Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • Based on an agreement, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for beginning a Facebook relationship with a woman whom he had met in his official capacity and exchanging sexually explicit messages and photos with her, often during office hours and from the court’s offices.  In the Matter of Archer, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary August 8, 2016).  
  • Based on an agreement and stipulation, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary ordered a judge to retire immediately and never serve in judicial office again for failing to disqualify herself from the probate of her father’s estate in which she and her siblings were heirs; engaging in ex parte communications about the case with others, including her siblings; obtaining waivers outside the court and outside the presence of all parties or their attorneys; in a personal letter to a 3rd party, misusing her title to give extra weight to a request about a debt owned by an heir’s estate; notarizing documents that she knew or should have known would be filed in a proceeding before her; directing the administratrix (her sister) about who should and should not be included as heirs; directing her attorney to request that a settlement check in a class action case that was an asset in the estate be sent to the probate court office; inserting her personal knowledge of facts and family history into the case; misusing her status as a judge to preempt tasks normally reserved for an estate’s personal representative; and co-mingling her status as party and judge.  In the Matter of Isaac, Final judgment (Alabama Court of the Judiciary August 8, 2016).
  • Accepting the recommendation and findings of the Commission on Judicial Conduct based on the judge’s admission of culpability, the Alaska Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for 5 statements he made in the courtroom.  In the Matter Involving Dooley, 376 P.3d 1249 (Alaska 2016).
  • The Illinois Courts Commission publicly censured a judge for deceiving her mortgage lender by making several misrepresentations in her mortgage application that caused the lender to believe she occupied the property as her primary residence when, in fact, the judge resided at another property and had no intention of establishing residence at the property she was re-financing.  In re Santiago, Order (Illinois Courts Commission August 18, 2016).
  • Based on a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge who had been arrested and convicted for operating while intoxicated, endangering a person; had asked a police officer to “just take [him] home and forget about the drinking and driving;” and told the officer that he was a senior judge for the Court of Appeals.  In the Matter of Garrard, 56 N.E.3d 24 (Indiana 2016).
  • Based on an agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission suspended a judge for 90 days without pay for (1) criticizing the victims in a criminal case during a sentencing hearing and on Facebook while the defendant’s probation was still pending; (2) comments on Facebook and in a presentation to the Louisville Bar Association that criticized the county commonwealth attorney and accused him of advocating for all-white jury panels, that criticized the public defender and criminal defense attorneys for not publicly supporting him in his dispute with the commonwealth attorney, and that discussed the motion to certify the law filed on behalf of the commonwealth attorney; and (3) criticizing a court of appeals decision in a public statement.  In re Stevens, Agreed order of suspension (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission August 8, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and the judge’s consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for discussing his son’s criminal case with another judge; the judge also agreed to complete a course at the National Judicial College.  In the Matter of Kalleres, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a former hearing master for unprofessional conduct in a hearing about a bench warrant.  In the Matter of Beller, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent to discipline, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) informing the other judge on his court that he would not abide by an agreement for her to become chief judge based in part on his belief that the mayor wanted him to continue as chief judge; (2) taking positions or making decisions regarding the administration of the court based on his perception of what the mayor or city administration wanted, not on the best interests of the court (or allowing it to appear that he has done so); (3) failing to cooperate with the other judge regarding administrative matters and refusing to meet or speak with her or to respond to her correspondence; and (4) failing to report to the Commission the other judge’s treatment of court staff and deputies from the city attorney’s office and her improper dismissal of valid warrants.  In the Matter of Hoeffgen, Stipulation and order of consent to public reprimand (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on a stipulation and consent to discipline, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 3 months without pay and ordered that she not seek re-election for (1) her treatment of court staff; (2) her handling of cases, including amending or dismissing charges sua sponte; and (3) her improper interactions with and comments about deputies from the city attorney’s office; the judge also agreed to write apologies to 3 of the complainants and to submit to a fitness for duty exam.  In the Matter of Ramsey, Stipulation and consent to discipline (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline August 23, 2016).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) making condescending and inappropriate remarks about a teenage sexual assault victim; (2) becoming angry and making loud and derogatory statements to the district attorney in another case for suggesting that the judge place a case ahead of another case that had been pending longer and challenging the judge’s observation about moving cases expeditiously; and (3) making disparaging and provocative comments in a third case regarding the family relationship between the county district attorney and a potential witness.  In the Matter of Hafner, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 29, 2016).
  • Based on an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a magistrate for hearing matters involving the sheriff’s department even though her husband was the elected sheriff. In the Matter of Underwood, 790 S.E.2d 761 (South Carolina 2016).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s