The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed the owner of Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro’s petition to dismiss the presiding judge in the two criminal cases against her.
In an order dated Tuesday, the Court of Appeal said a judge is disqualified for lack of impartiality if a reasonable objective examiner with full knowledge of the case questions his impartiality.
“Because no reasonable reviewer would question the impartiality of the designated judge, the chief justice did not abuse his discretion in denying the petitioner’s request to remove the designated judge,” the court said.
Restaurant owner Lisa Hanson asked the court to review the case after 3rd Judicial District Chief Justice Jodi Williamson last month rejected Hanson’s request to remove Judge Joseph Bueltel from his case.
Bueltel is the third judge assigned to the case. Hanson faces nine misdemeanor criminal charges including violation of emergency powers and public nuisance after reopening his business in December in violation of state orders banning in-person meals to slow the spread of COVID-19 .
Hanson argued that Bueltel had violated his due process rights and asked him not to dismiss the criminal charges for lack of jurisdiction over the matter. She also questioned how he can proceed as a judge of his criminal cases when she has taken legal action against him.
In Minnesota, parties to court cases can each remove a judge as of right, but if they seek to disqualify the deputy judge, they must show prejudice and the case must go to the chief justice to consider the claim.
“Considering the record of the proceedings as a whole, including the civil actions brought against the designated judge, the applicant’s allegations of impartiality are truly dissatisfaction or disagreement with the judge’s rulings and are not sufficient to establish bias. judicial, ”said the Court of Appeal. .