Recent cases

  • Based on a stipulated resolution and the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for failing to decide a petition for post-conviction relief for over 2 years and filing statements falsely certifying that he did not have any matters under submission that were pending and undetermined for more than 60 days. Inquiry Concerning Jantzen, Order (Arizona Supreme Court June 15, 2018).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for mocking a litigant in posts on his Facebook page; the Commission also ordered the judge to delete the posts and to review an Arizona advisory opinion about social media. Urie, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct June 12, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Georgia Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for demanding in a telephone call that a car dealership return a repossessed car and advising the woman from whom the vehicle was repossessed to file a lawsuit that was inconsistent with the law. Inquiry Concerning Anderson (Georgia Supreme Court June 29, 2018).
  • Based on a stipulation and the judge’s resignation and agreement not to serve in judicial office, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications concluded its investigation of allegations that a judge had inappropriate relationships with court employees and attorneys during court hours and on court property. In the Matter of Shoulders, Stipulation and agreement for resolution of investigation (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications May 2, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for sharing a news story on her Facebook account with the comment, “This murder suspect was RELEASED FROM JAIL just hours after killing a man and confessing to police.” In re the Matter of McLaughlin, Agreed order of public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission June 12, 2018).
  • Based on an agreement, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 3 months without pay, publicly censured him, and fined him $1,000 for failing to supervise a judicial assistant who was not performing duties; failing to follow established court practice and procedure and cooperate with other judges and court staff by hiring the judicial assistant; failing to perform his own administrative duties and to answer his phone when on call; and failing to timely respond to phone calls from the Commission’s investigator; the Commission also ordered that the judge attend a National Judicial College course on effective case management. In re Humke, Stipulation and order of consent to discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline June 8, 2018).
  • Following a hearing, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for holding a mother in contempt of court without notice and an opportunity to be heard and changing custody of a child to sanction the mother; the Commission also ordered that the judge attend a course on managing challenging family law cases at the National Judicial College. In the Matter of Hughes, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and imposition of discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline June 18, 2018), appeal filed.
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for entering a property without the owner’s permission, taking photographs, posting the photos on Facebook with disparaging comments about the owner, and failing to promptly remove the offensive Facebook post despite assuring the Commission that he would do so. In the Matter of Fisher, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 26, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded a complaint alleging that a non-lawyer judge had been rude to the defendant in a civil case and engaged in an ex parte conversation with the claimant. In the Matter of Kline, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 13, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded (1) its investigation of a complaint that a judge had failed to re-register as an attorney or to pay the required biennial registration fee and (2) a proceeding in which there was a pending recommendation that the judge be removed for failing to timely report or remit court funds to the comptroller and the town and failing to cooperate in the Commission investigation. In the Matter of Siegal, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 14, 2018).
  • Accepting a stipulation based on the judge’s resignation and affirmation not to seek or accept judicial office in the future, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded an investigation of a complaint that a non-lawyer judge was not maintaining a residence in the town where he presides, as required, but was residing in his mother’s former house. In the Matter of Brooks, Decision and order (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 13, 2018).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate based on his arrest for possession of a substance that he believed was oxycodone. In the Matter of Drose (South Carolina Supreme Court June 13, 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 former judge; the Commission had initiated formal proceedings alleging that the judge had intentionally or knowingly possessed Tussinonex, ecstasy, and marijuana; facilitated the purchase of Tussinonex without a prescription; knowingly engaged in sexual misconduct based on the payment of a fee; and failed to cooperate with Commission investigations. Green, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct April 18, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for posting campaign advertisements for other candidates on his Facebook page and sitting in the campaign tent of 3 candidates during the election. Public Reprimand of Lopez (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 6, 2018).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for participating in a joint campaign fund-raising event with the elected district attorney and authorizing the use of his name, title, and photograph on advertisements for the event. Public Warning of Duhon (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct June 28, 2018)
  • Adopting a judicial conduct panel’s undisputed findings of fact and conclusions of law, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended a court commissioner for 15 days without pay for speaking with the police chief about a petition for a harassment injunction and reviewing the police file about the conflict between the parties, who are neighbors, and falsely telling the parties that law enforcement and the municipal court judge had agreed that any further calls to the police would result in disorderly conduct tickets to all involved that would be sustained by the judicial system regardless of the circumstances. In the Matter of Calvert (Wisconsin Supreme Court June 15, 2018).

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