Recent cases

  • Based on an agreement between the judge and the Judicial Inquiry Commission, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for beginning a Facebook relationship with a woman whom he had met in his official capacity and exchanging sexually explicit messages and photos with her, often during office hours and from the offices of the probate court. In the Matter of Archer, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary August 8, 2016).
  • Based on an agreement between the judge and the Judicial Inquiry Commission, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary ordered a judge to retire immediately and never serve in judicial office again for failing to disqualify herself from a case involving the probate of her father’s estate in which she and her siblings were heirs and related misconduct. In the Matter of Isaac, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary August 8, 2016).
  • Accepting the recommendation and findings of the Commission on Judicial Conduct based on the judge’s admission of culpability, the Alaska Supreme Court censured a judge for 5 statements he made in the courtroom. In the Matter Involving Dooley, Order for censure (Alaska Supreme Court August 12, 2016).
  • Based on a conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court reprimanded a judge who had been convicted of “operating while intoxicated endangering a person,” had asked a police officer to “just take [him] home and forget about the drinking and driving,” and had told the officer that he was a senior judge for the Court of Appeals. In the Matter of Garrard (Indiana Supreme Court August 3, 2016).
  • Based on the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge for 90 days without pay for (1) during a sentencing hearing, criticizing the victims for writing in their victims’ impact statement that their 3-year-old daughter expressed fear of black men following the defendant’s invasion of their home and, in Facebook posts while the defendant’s probation was still pending, making several comments about the victims’ impact statement and on his decision to grant probation; (2) publishing on Facebook comments that accused the county commonwealth attorney of advocating for all-white jury panels, comments that criticized the public defender and criminal defense attorneys in general for not publicly supporting him in his dispute with the commonwealth attorney, and comments regarding a motion to certify the law while the case was pending before the Kentucky Supreme Court, and making similar comments in a presentation to the Louisville Bar Association; and (3) publicly criticizing a court of appeals decision. In re Stevens, Agreed order of suspension (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission August 8, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline reprimanded a judge for (1) informing another judge that he would not abide by an agreement for her to become chief judge, based in part on his belief that the mayor wanted him to continue as chief judge; (2) taking positions or making decisions regarding the administration of the court based on his perception of what the mayor or city administration wanted, not on the best interests of the court (or allowing it to appear that he had done so); (3) failing to cooperate with the other judge on his court regarding administrative matters and refusing to meet or speak with her or respond to her correspondence; and (4) failing to bring the other judge’s treatment of court staff, her treatment of city deputy attorneys, and her improper dismissal of valid warrants to the Commission’s attention. In the Matter of Hoeffgen, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 3 months without pay and ordered that she not seek re-election in 2017 to the municipal court seat that she currently holds for (1) her treatment of court staff, which created an atmosphere of fear and apprehensive; (2) her handling of cases, including amending or dismissing charges sua sponte; and (3) hostile, combative, arbitrary, unreasonable, and demeaning behavior toward deputy city attorneys. In the Matter of Ramsey, Stipulation and consent to discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline reprimanded a judge for discussing his son’s criminal case with another judge. In the Matter of Kalleres, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline reprimanded a former hearing master for unprofessional conduct in a hearing about a bench warrant, including telling the deputy district attorney that an appeal would make him look like an “idiot” and a “baby” and be “pathetic,” “dumb,” “silly,” and a waste of court resources. In the Matter of Beller, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on factual stipulations, the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline censured a former judge who pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension or prosecution by providing false statements to law enforcement. In re Shaner, Opinion (June 14, 2016), Order (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline August 16, 2016).

 

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