I’ve mentioned the numerous impeachment efforts made against state court judges over the last 2 years for their decisions, including an effort in New Hampshire (HR 7 of 2011) that targeted the entire bench of the main trial court (Superior).
Now comes word that the New Hampshire House’s Redress of Grievances Committee, a committee that according to the Concord Monitor was revived in 2011 after a century in disuse, has voted to recommend impeachment against several judges, one of whom is retired, because of their rulings in custody cases.
Petition 45, filed by GOP state Senate candidate Joshua Youssef alleges misconduct on the part of three judges, two martial masters, and a guardian ad litem as part of a custody dispute. According to the Concord Monitor, Youssef testified alone and was the sole witness; the judges and others against whom the petition had been lodged declined to appear. Moreover only those portions of the court file provided by Youssef were considered (the article notes other portions were less favorable towards Youssef).
The 8-2 vote on the Youssef complaint comes only days after the same committee voted 9-1 to investigate for impeachment a retired judge. Petition 11 was filed by another father in another custody case who disagreed with the judge’s determinations as it pertained to custody and visitation. The judge has subsequently retired. That petition was advanced on a 9-1 vote.
This marks the 4th time in the last 5 years the NH House has attempted to remove a judge or judicial-branch official from office because of their rulings in custody or divorce proceedings. Prior efforts included HR 7, noted above, as well as attempts in 2010 and 2006 (detailed here).