Recent cases

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded a judge for committing multiple errors in an eviction proceeding. Carrillo, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct November 13, 2015).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded a former court commissioner for being impatient, harsh, and intimidating to the attorney for a victim in a criminal case who was attempting to be heard at a hearing. Newell, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct November 13, 2015).
  • The New Jersey Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 1 month for twice inappropriately touching a court employee, demeaning, belittling, and publicly humiliating her. In the Matter of Council, Order (New Jersey December 3, 2015).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a non-lawyer judge who, while arraigning 2 defendants charged with environmental conservation law violations, when no prosecutor or environmental conservation officer was present, listened to a defendant’s “version of the story,” reviewed a map of the alleged trespass site, identified locations on the map, discussed with the defendants whether the locations were public or private, asked the defendants about the events, and listened to their explanations, and subsequently failed to set a court date for about 10 months. In the Matter of Trickler, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 17, 2015).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York Commission admonished a non-lawyer who created the appearance that he was biased in favor of the town in a dangerous dog case by sua sponte sending hearing notices to witnesses whom he speculated would be needed to testify for the town, summarily ending the hearing at the conclusion of the prosecutor’s case, failing to allow the defendant or her witnesses to testify, and ruling for the town without including statutorily-mandated conditions consistent with the ruling. In the Matter of Heintz, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 17, 2015).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, an investigative panel of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a chancellor for an order dismissing a complaint for divorce that included language analyzing the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage in Obergerfell v. Holdges. Re Atherton (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct December 18, 2015).
  • Based on the report, findings, and conclusions of a special committee, the Judicial Council for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reprimanded a judge for inappropriate and unwanted physical and non-physical sexual advances toward a court employee in 1998. In re Smith, Order of reprimand and memorandum of reasons (5th Circuit December 4, 2015).  The Council also found that the judge “allowed false factual assertions to be made in response to the complaint, which, together with the lateness of his admissions, contributed greatly to the duration and cost of the investigation.”  The Council directed the clerk to suspend the assignment of new cases to the judge for 1 year, directed the judge to complete sensitivity training, and appointed another judge to act as a liaison between the judge and the Council and to make recommendations.

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