Angelina Jolie Requests Private Judge Removal From Divorce Case With Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie requested on Monday that the private judge overseeing her divorce case with Brad Pitt be removed because of insufficient disclosure of his business relationships with one of Pitt’s attorneys.
Jolie filed the request in the Los Angeles Superior Court. She argued that Judge John W. Ouderkirk should be removed from the divorce case originally filed in 2016 because he was not completely honest about formerly working with one of Pitt’s attorneys, Anne C. Kiley.
The official request says Ouderkirk has “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.”
The statement continues saying Pitt’s attorney, Kiley, “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk’s financial interests in moving – over the opposing party’s opposition – to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.”
Like many other high-profile couples’ divorce cases, Pitt and Jolie hired a private judge to keep much of their personal and financial details sealed.
Jolie’s recent filing emphasizes that a hired private judge must follow the same rules of disclosure and conflict of interest that other judges have to comply with. “It doesn’t matter if Judge Ouderkirk is actually biased. Under California law disqualification is required so long as a person aware of the facts ‘might reasonably entertain a doubt’ about Judge Ouderkirk’s ability to remain impartial.”
Pitt and Jolie were officially divorced in April of 2019. Their lawyers asked for a bifurcated judgment, which means that two married people can be declared single while other issues like finances and child custody, for example, remain.
Pitt and Jolie were a couple for 12 years and were married for two. They share six children.