How to Remove a Biased Judge In ?
The Due Process Clause of the United States and Missouri Constitutions guarantee a criminal defendant an impartial tribunal, permitting any litigant to remove a biased judge. State v. Taylor, 929 S.W.2d at 220.
Canon 3(D)(1) of the Missouri Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 2.03, requires a judge to recuse in a proceeding where a "reasonable person would have a factual basis to doubt the judge's impartiality. Id.
This standard does not require proof of actual bias, but is an objective standard that recognizes "justice must satisfy the appearance of justice." Liljeberg v. Health Servs. Acquisition Corp., 486 U.S. 847, 865, 100 L. Ed. 2d 855, 108 S. Ct. 2194 (1986).
Under this standard, a "reasonable person" is one who gives due regard to the presumption "that judges act with honesty and integrity and will not undertake to preside in a trial in which they cannot be impartial." State v. Kinder, 942 S.W.2d 313, 321 (Mo. banc 1996).
In addition, a "reasonable person" is one who knows all that has been said and done in the presence of the judge." Haynes v. State, 937 S.W.2d 199, 203 (Mo. banc 1996).
Finally, as to due process challenges, the Supreme Court has made clear that "only in the most extreme of cases would disqualification on this basis be constitutionally required." Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lavoie, 475 U.S. 813, 821, 89 L. Ed. 2d 823, 106 S. Ct. 1580 (1986); see also State v. Jones, 979 S.W.2d 171, 177 (Mo. banc 1998).