According to today’s Fulton County Daily Report, in a story by Andy Peters, two of the three Superior Court judges in the Paulding Judicial Circuit have recused from a citizen’s effort to unseal court filings in House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s divorce case.
The report is reprinted below:
Two of the three Superior Court judges in the Paulding Judicial Circuit have recused from a citizen’s effort to unseal court filings in House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s divorce case. The only judge that’s left to hear the matter is the one whose actions prompted the citizen’s motion—Judge James R. Osborne.
Atlanta attorney Gerald R. Weber Jr. last month filed a motion in Paulding County on behalf of Rome government gadfly George Anderson to unseal Richardson’s divorce file. Susan Richardson filed for divorce from Glenn Richardson on Feb. 6. The case was sealed the same day by Osborne, who wrote in his sealing order that “the harm otherwise resulting to the interest of the parties and their children … outweighs any public interest” in seeing the records.
Weber argued the records should be unsealed “pursuant to Uniform Superior Court Rule 21 and the common-law and constitutional right of access to court records.” Weber said Osborne’s order used the wrong standard, implemented no time limitations and sealed virtually the entire file.
Paulding Superior Court Chief Judge Tonny S. Beavers and Judge Kenneth G. Vinson recused from Anderson’s complaint, Weber said, citing court documents. Weber said that while he has not asked Osborne to recuse, the judge could do so on his own.
Anderson also filed a complaint against Osborne with the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, saying Osborne acted improperly by ruling on Richardson’s divorce case since he had practiced law with Richardson. Anderson also filed a complaint against Richardson with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.
The divorce case in the Paulding Judicial Circuit is styled Richardson v. Richardson, No. 08-cv-670. Glenn Richardson, a lawyer, is representing himself and his ex-wife in responding to Anderson, Weber said.
Judge Osborne declined to comment. A call to Richardson’s office was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.
SOURCE: Fulton County Daily Report