Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) telling the parents in a custody hearing, “I don’t know what the hell you two are thinking, but get it together.  All of you,” and “I don’t give a crap about any of you” and (2) in an unrelated severance hearing, telling litigants that “I honestly don’t give a crap about either one of these people.”  Hancock, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 12, 2016).
  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for immediately denying a litigant’s oral motion to dismiss a photo radar ticket; cutting him off when the litigant said the judge did not know what the motion was about; speaking throughout in an elevated tone and belittling fashion; and telling the litigant to “shut up” and “knock it off,” and that he could do what the judge asked or eat green soup at the jail that evening.  Forshey, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct May 12, 2016).
  • The Arkansas Commission on Judicial Disability and Discipline announced the resignation and permanent removal of a judge and concluded its cases based on allegations that, in addition to other misconduct, he used his judicial status to form sexual relationships with young Caucasian male defendants.  Press release (Boeckmann) (Arkansas Commission on Judicial Disability and Discipline May 9, 2016).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for ordering a witness in a criminal case incarcerated for contempt; ordering the payment of monetary sanctions, attorney fees, and costs in a family case; and granting ex parte relief in a custody case.  Public Admonishment of Román (California Commission on Judicial Performance May 16, 2016).
  • Granting the application of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Iowa Supreme Court publicly admonished a judge for signing an ex parte order presented by an attorney who had recently represented her in a personal matter without charge.  In the Matter of Howes, 880 N.W.2d 184 (Iowa 2016).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court removed a justice of the peace for failing to comply with the Court’s previous order to pay a civil penalty for violation of the financial reporting requirements imposed by law and disregarding the actions and legal proceedings connected with that order.  In re Myers, 189 So. 3d 1056 (Louisiana 2016).
  • Based on the decision and recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission and a settlement agreement, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended a judge for 120 days without pay and publicly censured her for (1) following ex parte communications, reducing charges, dismissing charges outright, or modifying sentences in at least 20 criminal cases and dismissing at least 32 ticket cases without holding a hearing or explicit authority from the prosecutor; (2) meeting with a defendant and his counsel in the holding cell prior to a bench trial without a prosecuting attorney; (3) sending 2 ex parte texts to the judge who had been assigned to several cases after she had disqualified herself; and (4) declining to appoint a translator for the defendant when she should have.  In re Church, 879 N.W.2d 246 (Michigan 2016).
  • With the judge’s consent, the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee (1) publicly reprimanded a judge for independently investigating facts on Zillow and tax records and considering those facts in reaching her decision in a divorce case and receiving and considering a real estate flyer in a second divorce case and (2) cautioned her about delays.  In the Matter of Albee, Reprimand and caution (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee May 9, 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for driving while intoxicated and identifying himself as a judge to the state trooper who stopped him.  In the Matter of Baptista, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 19, 2016).
  • Adopting the findings and recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, which the judge accepted, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for, in chambers during a break in court proceedings, telling a deputy attorney general she was doing a great job and that he liked how she “shoves it up” or “rams it up” the law guardian’s “a**” and later in the hearing, complimenting a state’s witness while she was testifying.  In the Matter of Portelli, Order (New Jersey Supreme Court May 18, 2016).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) impermissibly delegating her judicial duties by failing to review or approve dispositions and sentences negotiated by the deputy town attorney with defendants in traffic cases and (2) altering original court records requested by the Commission by placing her initials on case files, next to the prosecutor’s notation of plea agreements.  In the Matter of Calano, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 9, 2016).
  • Based on the report of a referee following a hearing, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for speaking about her personal tort action with the judge presiding in the case and subsequently faxing and mailing that judge a letter that included details about her claim.  In the Matter of Dixon, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 26, 2016).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for characterizing the father in a custody case and/or his attorney as a “sneaky snake” who had connived, engaged in a “ploy,” and manipulated the court schedule when they filed a motion to transfer and for directing that a transcript of her comments be forwarded to the transferee court.  Re Davenport (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 18, 2016).
  • Pursuant to an agreement, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a former judicial commissioner for failing to disqualify himself from a case in which one of the attorneys had recommended him for a part-time prosecutor position a month earlier or to disclose the relationship.  Re Cross (Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct May 18, 2016).

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