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A Utah juvenile court judge, who ordered an infant girl be removed from her same-sex foster parents' home, has retired.
Seventh District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen retired Friday, according to a judicial vacancy announcement. The former Carbon County judge, who used to be an Emery County attorney, was appointed to the bench in 1992 by then-Gov. Norm Bangerter.
Johansen made national news in November when he ordered the removal of a then-9-month-old girl from custody of a same-sex Price couple, April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce. Johansen said at a hearing that he believed it was "not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples."
The Human Rights Campaign responded, filing a formal complaint against Johansen with Utah's Judicial Conduct Commission.
Johansen later amended his order and removed himself from the case.
The Alliance for a Better Utah also had asked the Utah Legislature to begin impeachment proceedings against Johansen and launched a Web-based petition on change.org. The group's chairman, Josh Kanter, said Monday that Johansen's retirement is "good for the credibility of the judiciary down in that area."
Two LGBT-rights attorneys also were pleased with the judge's retirement and released a statement Monday.
"The administration of justice in the 7th District and public confidence in our justice system across the state will be strengthened by the appointment of a new judge untainted by the perception of bias against LGBT people," wrote Brett L. Tolman and Paul C. Burke, attorneys at the Ray, Quinney and Nebeker law firm.
A 1977 graduate of the J. Reuben Clark College of Law at Brigham Young University, Johansen is a former chairman of the state Board of Juvenile Court Judges and of the Judicial Council's Policy and Planning Committee.
Jennifer Dobner contributed to this report