Recent cases

  • Based on his resignation and agreement to never hold judicial office again, the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission closed its investigation of allegations that a judge had issued warrants and made other rulings contrary to clearly established law, including issuing arrest warrants for criminal defamation in violation of a statute held unconstitutional in 1982 and formally repealed. In re Todd, Report of disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission January 4, 2018).
  • Accepting the parties’ agreement with the masters’ proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended sanction, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 days without pay for barring the county clerk from the courthouse for 6 days after a hearing at which she was not present and of which she had not been adequately notified; holding a hearing that did not reflect patience, dignity, or courtesy and did not promote public confidence in judicial impartiality; commanding 2 deputy clerks to appear for the hearing without written notice of its purpose; and presiding over the hearing even though he had a specific interest in the   In the Matter of Young, 92 N.E.3d 628 (Indiana 2018).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Kansas Supreme Court publicly censured a former magistrate for revoking a defendant’s probation based only on a motion and without providing the defendant an opportunity to respond and failing to cooperate with the Commission. In the Matter of Trigg (Kansas Supreme Court April 6, 2018).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for the use of inmates from the county detention center and publicly owned equipment in the reconstruction of the church he attended and at which he had a leadership role; personally observing community services work and signing documents verifying community services work by criminal defendants on probation in his court; misconduct related to the ankle monitoring program; failing to decide a motion for 3 years; failing to decide motions for shock probation within the statutory time limit; and employing to work on his property a man who was under supervised probation for a guilty plea over which the judge had presided. In re Langford, Agreed order of suspension (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission April 2, 2018).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for a pattern of stalking and harassing his ex-wife. In re Sachse, Opinion (Louisiana Supreme Court March 13, 2018).
  • Adopting the findings of the Judicial Standards Commission and based on its recommendation and the commissioner’s agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a deputy commissioner of the Industrial Commission for driving under the influence of an impairing substance. In re Shipley, Order (North Carolina Supreme Court April 6, 2018).
  • The Oregon Supreme Court suspended a judge for 3 years without pay for (1) making a false statement to the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability during its investigation of his conduct at a soccer game and (2) having inappropriate out-of-court contacts with a probationer in the veterans treatment court; twice permitting the probationer to handle a gun despite the prohibition on possession of firearms that was a condition of his probation; and making a false statement to the presiding judge in a meeting about the gun-handling incidents. Inquiry Concerning Day, 413 P.3d 907 (Oregon 2018).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a former judge for angrily confronting court staff about complaints to the Judicial Conduct Board. In re Tidd, Opinion (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline April 4, 2018).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against a judge; the Commission had been investigating allegations that the judge had signed warrants for the arrest of 2 men in unrelated incidents without affidavits of probable cause to support the charges, resulting in their illegal arrest and detention. Leal, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 13, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for refusing to permit a man to inspect and copy judicial case files and for engaging in a heated conversation with the man; the Commission also ordered the judge to obtain 4 hours of instruction with a mentor on judicial demeanor and public access to judicial case files. Public Warning of Smith and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 21, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for engaging in an intimate relationship with the city prosecutor. Public Reprimand of Berry and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 21, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for posting on his Facebook page a meme endorsing the extermination of Muslims and statements “railing” against liberals. Public Reprimand of Burkeen (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct February 21, 2018).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against a judge; the Commission had been investigating allegations that the judge had been arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and lied to the media about it, in addition to other misconduct. Burkeen, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 29, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for presiding over a case in which she had represented the defendant before becoming a judge and making statements about the defendant’s character during sentencing. In re O’Rourke, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct March 9, 2018).

 

 

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