LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s long-pending breakup found itself in further disarray when a state appeals court sided with the actress and the privately-hired judge overseeing the divorce and child , disqualified custody case.
Jolie, 46, petitioned Judge John Ouderkirk to be disqualified, claiming he had failed to disclose business relationships with attorneys representing Pitt, 57. A Superior Court judge denied Jolie’s motion to disqualify Ouderkirk in November. Jolie appealed the decision.
In a 44-page ruling on Friday, a three-judge panel of the state’s second district appeals court overturned the Supreme Court ruling and ordered the judge to “issue a new order that will exclude Judge Ouderkirk from judging a divorce to serve temporarily ”. Case.
The panel found that Ouderkirk had not properly disclosed his involvement in other matters involving Pitt’s lawyers.
Pitt’s attorneys opposed efforts to disqualify Ouderkirk, insisting that he had followed “all standard ethical practices and rules.”
The Appellate Body ruled, however, that Ouderkirk’s actions “could reasonably lead an objective person, fully aware of the facts, to doubt the judge’s ability to be impartial. Disqualification is required. ”
Ouderkirk actually directed the couple’s 2014 wedding, and the couple mutually agreed to hire him to privately manage their divorce, which was filed by Jolie in September 2016.
His disqualification is now causing chaos to the long-pending dissolution process and leaving questions about custody of the couple’s children in the balance.
The couple has six children: Pax, 17; Zahara, 16; Shiloh, 14; Twins Vivienne and Knox, 13; and Maddox, 19. Maddox is considered an adult and has no custody agreement.
Temporary custody agreements between the couple were not publicly released, although Pitt sought joint custody of the children, with Jolie seeking primary physical custody.
Jolie’s attorneys argued in court files earlier this year that Ouderkirk had denied her request to give the children permission to testify on custody. The actress has alluded to violence problems with Pitt in court files.
The couple’s breakup made international headlines after an argument that broke out during an overseas flight to Los Angeles that the family was on. The aftermath led to child molestation investigations against Pitt by local and federal officials, but the actor was never charged with a crime.
Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.
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