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What do you do when you’re a judge, and you need another judge to hear your own petition? Judge John Devine of Texas’s 190th District found himself facing this thorny legal problem. A home builder and mortgage company had allegedly violated an oral promise to let him lease a new house, leaving him and his family homeless. Devine tried to get a judge to sign an emergency order so that he can move in, but all the judges he approached recused themselves, citing the impropriety inherent in hearing a colleague’s case. His ordeal ended when a visiting judge signed the order and helped solve the dispute.

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