The verb recuse is used in legal situations and means to remove someone from a position of judicial authority, either a judge or a member of a jury, who is deemed unacceptable to judge, usually because of some bias.

The Latin recusare, meaning "to refuse" is the place to start in the history of recuse. You can recuse someone else, but also yourself. As the sister-in-law of the person accused of stealing 400 gallons of pudding from the local pudding factory, you had no choice but to recuse yourself from judging the trial. Too bad, it sounds like an interesting one.

Definitions of recuse

v disqualify oneself (as a judge) in a particular case

Type of:
declare unfit

v challenge or except to a judge as being incompetent or interested, in canon and civil law

Type of:
refuse to accept or acknowledge