Jeffrey M. Lasher
Jeffrey M. Lasher, pro se.
N.E.3d 1028] The petitioner, Jeffrey M. Lasher, was divorced
from the respondent, Tricia Leslie-Lasher, pursuant to a
judgment of divorce nisi in 2014. In March, 2015, he filed a
motion for relief from judgment, pursuant to Mass. R. Dom.
Rel. P. 60 (b) (2) and (3), which was denied by a judge of
the Probate and Family Court in May, 2015.
petitioner then filed a petition in the Appeals Court,
pursuant to G. L. c. 231, § 118, first par., seeking
review of that order. He alleged both that the respondent
had been untruthful about her financial resources in the
divorce proceedings and that the Probate and Family Court
judge should have recused himself from ruling on the
postjudgment motion. A single justice of the Appeals Court
initially remanded the case to the Probate and Family Court
judge for clarification and findings regarding the status of
the petitioner's recusal motion and the judge's
ruling on it. After the judge issued his
findings, the single justice denied the petition
and later denied a motion for reconsideration. A
second single justice of the Appeals Court struck the
petitioner's notice of appeal. See McMenimen v.
Passatempo, 452 Mass. 178, 189, 892 N.E.2d 287
petitioner subsequently filed a substantially similar
petition in the county court, pursuant to G. L. c. 211,
§ 3. A single justice of this court denied the petition.
After allowing the petitioner's motion for
reconsideration, the single justice again denied the
petition. We affirm the judgment of the single justice of
incumbent on a party seeking exercise of this court's
extraordinary power of general superintendence under G. L. c.
211, § 3, to demonstrate the absence or inadequacy of
alternative means of redress. See Russell v.
Nichols, 434 Mass. 1015, 1016, 750 N.E.2d 1008
(2001); McGuinness v. Commonwealth, 420
Mass. 495, 497, 650 N.E.2d 780 (1995), and cases cited. In
this case, the petitioner failed to allege, much less
demonstrate, that the Probate and Family Court judge's
order denying relief from the divorce judgment could not
adequately be addressed through the ordinary appellate
process, in an appeal to a panel of the Appeals Court from
the postjudgment order. See, e.g., Raheman [46
N.E.3d 1029] v. Raheman, 59 Mass.App.Ct. 915, 917,
795 N.E.2d 1239 (2003), cert. denied, 541 U.S. 1013, 124
S.Ct. 2076, 158 L.Ed.2d 626 (2004) (reviewing postjudgment
ruling denying motion for relief from judgment);
Rezendes v. Rezendes, 46 Mass.App.Ct. 438,
707 N.E.2d 368 (1999) (same). For that reason, the single
justice neither erred nor abused her discretion in denying
the G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition.
General Laws c. 231, § 118, first
par., authorizes " [a] party aggrieved by an
interlocutory order of a trial court ... [to] file ... a
petition in the appropriate appellate court seeking
relief from such an order." It is doubtful that the
Probate and Family Court judge's order qualified as an
According to the Probate and Family Court
judge's findings, at a hearing on March 25, 2015, the
judge informed the parties that he had received a Bible from
the respondent with his name inscribed on it, and that this
would be ground for a motion to recuse. The petitioner filed
such a motion. Although the judge indicated that he could
remain impartial, he allowed the motion
" based [on] the Court's belief that its
impartiality might reasonably be questioned. After a
recess, and upon further consideration, the Court informed
the parties that although it had allowed the Motion to
Recuse, it was still going to rule on ... [the
petitioner's] Motion to Reconsider and his Motion for
Relief from Judgment, and that the recusal would take
effect after the [judge] ruled on those [m]otions. Neither
party objected. ...
" The decision to rule on [the] Motions was
made because the Court had already taken those matters
under advisement, prior to recusal, and because the ...