In the case of Schoenberg v. State Farm Insurance Company, No. 2012-CV-5005 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Aug. 10, 2016 Minora, S.J.), Senior Judge Carmen D. Minora of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas granted a Defendant’s Motion for Recusal.
In his Opinion in the matter, Judge Minora noted that his
noted that “[r]ecent United States Supreme Court cases regarding judicial
disqualification and recusal dedicate a review of the new law in this
In analyzing Pennsylvania and Federal law on the issue,
Judge Minora generally noted that a court proceeding begins with a presumption in favor
of the court that a tribunal is fair, unbiased, and disinterested. The trial court then has a duty to reveal
any facts that would tend to show bias or interests making the tribunal
At that point, the
party concerns must motion to the court alleging facts as to why they believe the
court is disqualified and thus seeking the court to recuse itself.
Once the matter reaches that stage, a court
must perform a subjective review of its appropriateness to handle the pending
case. Also, an objective test, a
procedural test, and a code of judicial conduct review also ought to be
In the end, Judge Minora granted the Defendant’s requested
recusal in part and denied it in part, resulting ultimately in the court’s
decision to recuse itself.
Anyone wishing to review a copy of Judge Minora's detailed analysis in Schoenberg for the deciding of a motion for recusal, may click this LINK.