10 years ago this month:
- Granting the petition of the Judicial Standards Commission, the New Mexico Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) having an ex parte conversation with the complaining witness in a domestic violence case and altering a court document; (2) promising a couple he would help them in court with their landlord/tenant case and advising them on how to excuse the other magistrate judge, and (3) giving testimony at the Commission hearing that was not forthright. Inquiry Concerning Rodella, 190 P.3d 338 (New Mexico 2008).
- Accepting an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a non-lawyer judge for (1) significant delays in 3 small claims actions and (2) staying a warrant of eviction in a landlord-tenant case based on an ex parte communication and failing to require the holdover tenant to make a deposit with the court, as required by law. In the Matter of Baldwin, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 22, 2008).
- The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for making sexually inappropriate comments to and having unwanted physical contact with several female detention officers. Public Warning of DePena (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 29, 2008).
- Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a former judge for her intimate relationship with a public defender and presiding over matters in which the public defender appeared, becoming highly intoxicated in front of her court staff and revealing details of her sexual encounter with the public defender, and apparently attempting to conceal her misconduct in conversations with the Commission staff and on a voice message to the court administration; the former judge agreed not to perform judicial functions again without the Commission’s approval. In re Hartl, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 1, 2008).
- Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for requiring a litigant to remove a head covering the litigant maintained was for religious purposes without any inquiry as to the sincerity of the claimed religious belief. In re Stolz, Stipulation, agreement, and order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 1, 2008).