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New judge sought in Topeka sperm donor case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Topeka man being sued by the state for child support after donating his sperm to a couple is requesting a new judge in the case.

William Marotta's attorney filed a motion Friday calling for Judge Mary E. Mattivi to disqualify herself from the case. The filing doesn't include a reason, and state law doesn't require Marotta to give one, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/19VUFvK).

But if the judge declines to recuse herself, Marotta could file an affidavit spelling out the reason for his request. Possible reasons for filing an affidavit include concerns that the judge is related to either party or otherwise interested in the action or has a personal bias or prejudice in the case. Such an affidavit would be reviewed by a chief justice or other district judge.

Marotta answered an online ad for a sperm donation in 2009, for Angela Bauer and her then-partner, Jennifer Schreiner. The three signed an agreement that they believed severed Marotta's parental rights, and Schreiner became pregnant. But issues arose when the women split up and Schreiner sought state health insurance for the child.

Because no doctor was involved in the artificial insemination, the state sought to hold Marotta financially responsible. Under Kansas law, a physician must be involved in the artificial insemination for a man to be considered a donor.