Adopting a resolution jointly proposed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and the judge based on an agreement and stipulation, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended a judge for 11 months without pay for incarcerating offenders for non-payment of fines and costs without inquiring into their reasons for the non-payment in clear violation of state law, incarcerating offenders for months without a written order, and delegating judicial authority to a private probation company. In the Matter of Hayes, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary January 6, 2017).
Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disabilities Commission removed a judge from office for performing probable cause determinations for cases involving friends or former clients following ex parte communications, lowering their bail, and releasing them on their own recognizance. Parker, Letter of removal from office (Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disabilities Commission December 31, 2016).
Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for telling 2 young girls she would send them to foster care if they did not go on vacation with their father and making other threats after an ex parte discussion with the father’s attorney. In re Matter of Embry (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission December 27, 2016).
Based on the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) requiring couples with children to participate in special hearings to determine whether their marriage was irretrievably broken but not requiring such hearings for couples who do not have children and (2) providing third parties with facts about cases that were not part of the public record to assist the third parties with their independent research and teaching duties. In re Philpot, Public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission January 6, 2017).
Based on the findings and recommendation of the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline, the Missouri Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for deliberately postponing the appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in probation violation cases until after the time limit for disqualification to prevent the public defender from disqualifying her and threatening to bring bar complaints against any public defender who entered an appearance before an appointment. In re Mennemeyer (Missouri Supreme Court January 3, 2017).
Accepting a stipulation and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for making improper public comments on her Facebook account about a matter pending in another court and failing to delete public comments about the matter made by her court clerk. In the Matter of Whitmarsh, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 28, 2016).
Based on an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a non-lawyer judge for circulating a designating petition for another candidate for elective office and improperly attesting to the signatures on 2 other designating petitions. In the Matter of Rumenapp, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct December 30, 2016).
Accepting the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission based on stipulations, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) failing to report income from extra-judicial sources and (2) presiding over a court session in which criminal charges for which he was the complaining witness were on the calendar and agreeing to dismiss the charges after the defendant paid him $3,000 cash in his chambers as restitution. In re Mack (North Carolina Supreme Court December 20, 2016).
Accepting the sanction recommended by the Board of Professional Conduct based on stipulations of fact and misconduct, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended a judge for 1 year for contacting a landlord on behalf of a tenant; the Court stayed the suspension on the condition that the judge commit no further misconduct. Disciplinary Counsel v. Elum(Ohio Supreme Court December 21, 2016).
The Utah Supreme Court approved implementation of the Judicial Conduct Commission’s order of reprimand, based on a stipulation, of a judge for serving as president of the OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates. In re Kwan, Order (Utah Supreme Court November 4, 2016) .