Recent cases

  • The Arkansas Commission on Judicial Disability and Discipline announced the resignation and permanent removal of a judge, concluding its cases against him; the Commission had filed a statement of allegations and an amended statement alleging the judge, in addition to other misconduct, used his judicial status to form sexual relationships with young Caucasian male defendants. Press release (Boeckmann) (Arkansas Commission on Judicial Disability and Discipline May 9, 2016).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance admonished a judge for abusing his authority and violating the due process rights of individuals appearing before him when he ordered a witness in a criminal case incarcerated for contempt, when he ordered the payment of monetary sanctions, attorney fees, and costs in a family case, and when he granted ex parte relief in a custody case. Public Admonishment of Román (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 16, 2016).
  • Granting the application of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Iowa Supreme Court admonished a judge for signing an ex parte order presented by an attorney who had recently represented the judge in a personal matter without charge. In the Matter of Howes (Iowa Supreme Court May 20, 2016).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) failing to comply with the Court’s previous order to pay a civil penalty for violating the financial reporting requirements imposed by law and (2) not participating in the Commission proceedings. In re Myers (Louisiana Supreme Court May 3, 2016).
  • Based on the decision and recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission and a settlement agreement, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 120 days without pay and censured her for (1) following ex parte communications, reducing charges, dismissing charges outright, or modifying sentences in at least 20 criminal cases and dismissing at least 32 ticket cases without holding a hearing and without explicit authority from the prosecutor to do so; (2) meeting with a defendant and his counsel in the holding cell prior to a bench trial without the presence of the prosecuting attorney; (3) sending 2 ex parte texts to the judge who had been assigned to several cases after she had disqualified herself; and (4) declining to appoint a translator for a defendant when she should have. In re Church (Michigan Supreme Court May 25, 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge had accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court reprimanded a judge for making a vulgar remark to 2 deputy attorneys general in chambers concerning a law guardian and communicating compliments to a state’s witness while she was testifying. In the Matter of Portelli, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 18, 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court censured a judge for driving while intoxicated and identifying himself as a judge to the state trooper who stopped him. In the Matter of Baptista, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 19, 2016).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a judge for (1) impermissibly delegating her judicial duties by failing to review or approve dispositions and sentences negotiated by the deputy town attorney with defendants in traffic cases and (2) altering court records requested by the Commission by placing her initials on case files, next to the prosecutor’s notation of plea agreements. In the Matter of Calano, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 9, 2016).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, an investigative panel of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct reprimanded a judge for her comments following a motion to transfer and for directing that a transcript of her comments be forwarded to the transferee court. Re Davenport (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 18, 2016).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, an investigative panel of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct reprimanded a former judicial commissioner for failing to disqualify himself from a case in which one of the attorneys had, a month earlier, recommended him for a part-time prosecutor position or to disclose the relationship. Re Cross (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 18, 2016).

 

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