The parties were divorced by one judge. The divorce case was assigned to a different judge for post-decree proceedings. Wife filed a motion for substitution of judge as of right. She had an absolute right to a change of judge. Each party gets one absolute change of judge opportunity.
Wife had filed her motion before the start of the hearing. She had filed her motion before the assigned judge has made a substantial ruling. Once a judge makes a substantial ruling, you cannot ask for a change of Judge. Unless there is some particular problem involved. In this case, the Wife was not saying there was any problem with the judge. She was just asking for her absolute right to change of judge. And, the Judge had not made any substantial ruling.
The post decree judge denied her motion to change judges. Wife appealed.
The Appellate Court said that it was wrong for the trial court judge to deny her motion for substitution of judge. Now, all of the post decree judge’s orders were void. And, any orders that follow that judge’s orders were also void. You could compare it to the criminal idea of ‘fruit from the poisonous tree’.
Once the motion had been improperly denied, the judge’s orders were improper.
In re Marriage of Crecos, 2015 IL App (1st) 132756.
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