As I understand it people recuse themselves from making decisions in a role (judge, lawyer, board member) in situations where there is a conflict of interest.

That being said, can a non-judicial party (for example a community association manager of an HOA) recuse a board member from voting or participating in a decision? or is the decision to recuse always a self-recusal?

2 Answers 2


The definition of "Recuse" is :

To remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest

The word "recuse" is from the Latin word "recusare", which means "to refuse."

You can recuse plurally, but if you are plurally recusing a group you are doing it on behalf of the group (meaning you are also recusing yourself).

In the situation given I believe the word "barred" would work better to describe the action taken.

The community association manager of the HOA barred the board member from voting or participating in a decision.

  • "excused" might also be a good fit, but excused is usually more voluntary. Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 5:47
  • Thanks for thoughtful response. Is there a link or citation for the first quote? I understand \ read in the papers that recusal is voluntary, and wonder if the it is possible if recusal can be used in place of being "barred": as in not voluntary
    – gatorback
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 10:57
  • That's what I'm trying to get at in my answer, recusal is an action taken against ones youself, not an action taken against another, the word is being applied incorrectly. For example, someone else can't suicide you, but someone else can murder you, it 's the same action but the word changes depending on who is pursuing the action. Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 19:02

In practice, "requests that someone recuse themselves" are not uncommon, and if someone fails to recuse themselves as requested, their failure to do so is subject to judicial review if it is causally connected to an adverse result that the person requesting the recusal experiences.

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