20 years ago this month:
- Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a part-time municipal court judge and fined him $1,500 for (1) his conduct during the representation of a client charged with assaulting his wife and using his official capacity to have a National Crime Information Center criminal history run on the client’s ex-wife’s current husband to use in a child custody hearing subsequent to the divorce; and (2) treating a 17-year-old girl who was a defendant in a traffic case and her mother intemperately and having the mother arrested for contempt. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Gunter, 797 So. 2d 988 (Mississippi 2001).
- Based on the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a former judge for soliciting support and votes for his re-election from defendants and attorneys appearing before him during court. In re Stephenson, 552 S.E.2d 137 (North Carolina 2001).
- Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former magistrate for (1) purchasing items from a distraint sale conducted by his office; (2) personally serving documents on parties to actions pending in his court and falsifying the affidavit of service; (3) failing to respond to several circuit court orders requiring him to file returns in appeals from his court; (4) failing to monitor his official accounts, review his official bank statements, or supervise his clerks to ensure that they were properly executing their financial and accounting duties; and (5) misplacing documents in a matter pending before him, causing an unreasonable delay in the disposition of the case. In the Matter of Thompson, 553 S.E.2d 449 (South Carolina 2001).
- Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for calling an attorney ex parte to ask whether the attorney had told the defendant in a civil case she could charge a management fee for certain properties. In re McCulloch, Stipulation, Agreement and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 5, 2001).
- Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) engaging in a pattern or practice of accepting guilty pleas without obtaining proper written statements from the defendants as required by law, and (2) banishing defendants from the municipality in at least 3 cases. In re Reid, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 5, 2001).