- When the same judge is assigned to a protective-order proceeding and a related family court case, each case is still a separate action and holding a contested hearing on the order of protection does not waive a party’s right to a peremptory change of judge in the family court case.
Wife obtained an order of protection against Husband in a limited jurisdiction court and then filed a divorce petition one week later. Husband requested a hearing on the order of protection and, because of the pending divorce case, the protective-order proceeding was transferred to superior court. Each case had its own case number but they were both assigned to Judge Pratte, who affirmed the order of protection after a hearing.
Husband filed a notice of change of judge in the divorce case, presumably because he did not want the same judge that upheld the order of protection to be overseeing his divorce case. Wife challenged the objection, arguing that Husband waived his right to a change of judge by allowing Judge Pratte to rule on a contested issue—the order of protection. Judge Pratte denied the notice and retained the case, and Husband filed a special action.
Each party is entitled to a judge of change “[i]n each action, whether single or consolidated.” When an order of protection is transferred to superior court, the order of protective is assigned its own case number and cannot be consolidated with the family court action. Ariz. R. Fam. Law P. 5(a)(4).
Because the protective-order proceeding and the divorce proceeding are separate actions, a party is entitled to a peremptory change of judge in each action. Relief granted.
Ross v. Pratte in & for Cnty. of Pima, 2 CA-SA 2022-0039, 2022 WL 4363936 (App. 2022).