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March 01, 2006

Sambora / Locklear 40

Sambora Seeks New Judge

by Sarah Hall
Feb 28, 2006, 11:00 AM PT

Heather Locklear is apparently not the perfect fit for Richie Sambora. Neither, it seems, is the judge handling their divorce case.

The Bon Jovi guitarist has filed court documents challenging the objectivity of the judge assigned to handle his split from the Spin City star.

According to the preemptory challenge filed Friday by Sambora's lawyer, Jacalyn Davis, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas "is prejudiced against" her client, which would prevent him from receiving "a fair and impartial trial or hearing."

It's not known specifically why Sambora has issues with Levanas--if indeed there are any issues at all. The move follows a recent trend in celebrity divorces, where one party files such documents with the intention of eventually being reassigned to a private judge, who will handle the matter outside of the public realm.

Other stars to employ the strategy in order to shield the ins and outs of their high-profile splits from prying eyes include Brad and Jen, Nick and Jessica, and Charlie and Denise.

Private judges are usually retired courtroom justices whose expenses are covered by the involved parties in exchange for sealed lips.

Locklear filed for divorce from her rocker hubby of 11 years on Feb. 2, citing irreconcilable differences. The split came after months of denials from the couple that anything was amiss in their union.

In her filing, the Melrose Place alum requested that the court enforce a prenuptial agreement the couple signed before tying the knot in December 1994.

She is also seeking physical custody of the twosome's 8-year-old daughter, Ava, with visitation rights for Sambora.

The split marks the second divorce for Locklear, who was previously wed to M�ley Cr� drummer Tommy Lee from 1985 to 1992. This was the first marriage--and divorce--for Sambora.

Posted by riesambo at March 1, 2006 05:58 PM