Recent cases

  • A special Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of the Judiciary suspending the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from office without pay for the remainder of his term for entering an administrative order that directed all probate judges to follow the state’s marriage laws in disregard of a federal court injunction and for failing to disqualify himself from the state case on same-sex marriage after taking a position on the issue in the administrative order. Moore v Judicial Inquiry Commission (Alabama Supreme Court April 19, 2017).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for violations of the financial reporting laws during her campaign for office. In the Matter of Flanagan, Public admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 11, 2017).
  • Agreeing with a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a non-lawyer judge who had been convicted of battery against a public safety official for shoving the police chief during a meeting and ordered that he be eligible for future judicial service and that he pay the costs of the proceeding; the reprimand was conditioned on the judge tendering his resignation effective April 28, 2017. In the Matter of Phillips (Indiana Supreme court April 28, 2017).
  • Agreeing with the findings of a hearing panel of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Kansas Supreme Court found that a former judge made dishonest statements under oath in a prior discipline proceeding; however, it did not impose a sanction because the judge had resigned, and suspension or removal were, therefore, unavailable. In the Matter of Henderson (Kansas Supreme Court April 7, 2017).
  • Based on the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for, as a joke, holding an attorney in contempt for adding expungement cases to her docket contrary to a “no add-on” order for the day. In re Leibson, Agreed order of public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission April 13, 2017).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, based on a stipulation of agreed facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge from office for 30 days without pay, fined him $1,100, and publicly reprimanded him for threatening to use a weapon on a defendant, interrogating the same defendant concerning his drug use, which had no bearing on the charge before the court, and interrogating, demeaning, and intimidating the defendant’s mother about the defendant’s drug use and her parenting skills. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Vess (Mississippi Supreme Court April 20, 2017).
  • Based on the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $3,000 for advising a plaintiff to orally move to amend her complaint and issuing a default judgment that ordered an immediate eviction even though the original complaint had not asked for it, and that awarded $3,000 more than the original complaint had demanded. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Roberts (Mississippi Supreme Court April 20, 2017).


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