Recent cases

  • Following a trial, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended a judge for 180 days without pay and publicly reprimanded her for a pattern and practice of unreasonable and unjustifiable delay in managing her family court docket. In the Matter of Kelly, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary May 11, 2018).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for (1) stating in open court that the defendant’s attorney in a criminal case had been “disparaging of” and “unprofessional” to a witness, had been extremely unprofessional and disrespectful to the judge, and had a “temper tantrum;” (2) failing to disclose improper ex parte communications received from her bailiff; and (3) telling other judges at a judges’ meeting that she had found that a sheriff’s officer had committed perjury. In the Matter Concerning Novak, Decision and order (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 30, 2018).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for entering numerous ex parte orders to produce a defendant’s records to his public defender without notifying the prosecution and for speaking with the public defender on multiple occasions without the prosecution’s knowledge. In re Cunningham, Public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission May 22, 2018).
  • Accepting the parties’ stipulation of facts, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court suspended a judge indefinitely without pay and publicly censured him for his sexual relationship with a member of the drug court team; the Court ordered that a copy of its order be delivered to the governor and the legislature. In re Estes, Order (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court May 24, 2018).
  • The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for driving while impaired and identifying himself as a judge to the arresting officer. In the Matter of Atwal, Public reprimand (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards May 30, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly censured a judge for failing to be attentive to his administrative duties, to properly manage and supervise his staff, and to oversee the daily operation of his court, resulting in inordinate delays and confusion in the processing of cases; the judge also agreed to complete a course at the National Judicial College on effective caseflow management. In the Matter of Gunter, Stipulation, order of consent, and agreement (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline May 18, 2018).
  • Accepting the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, based on a stipulation and the judge’s agreement, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to issue a ruling for more than 2 years on a motion for attorney’s fees and expenses and failing to respond promptly to party and attorney inquiries about the status of the ruling. In re Henderson, Order (North Carolina Supreme Court May 11, 2018).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for interfering in a traffic stop and for dismissing citations issued by the highway patrol without the request of law enforcement authorities or the district attorneys’ office and without taking proof of the facts. Re Hinson (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 9, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for, during sentencing in a domestic violence case, addressing the defendant in a confrontational and angry tone, repeatedly calling the defendant “an animal,” and, near the conclusion of the hearing, refusing to let the defendant speak, telling him, “You don’t have the integrity to talk to me.” In re Wilson, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 11, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and a former judge’s agreement not to seek or serve in any judicial office without the Commission’s consent, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct dismissed a pending disciplinary matter alleging that the judge had failed to complete 10 hours of courses in judicial ethics within 2 years as required by a 2014 stipulated agreement in which she had been censured for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and gratuitously identifying herself as a judge to the arresting officer. In re Hitchcock, Stipulation, agreement, and order of dismissal (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 11, 2018).

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