25 years ago this month:
- The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for delays in rendering decisions in 13 cases. In the Matter of King, Final Decision and Order (Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission May 21, 1997).
- Pursuant to the recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for (1) addressing an assistant state attorney as she attempted to state an objection in a raised tone of voice and remarking, for example, “Yeah, you’ll be sorry. Keep your mouth shut while I’m talking to him,” “Well, there’s no objection required here and if you talk any more it’s an order,” and “You don’t open your mouth anymore until I invite you to do so and if you do I’m gonna hold you in contempt;” and (2) during a second case, berating a second assistant state attorney in an improperly raised voice; refusing to allow the victim to make a statement as was her right, addressing the victim in an improperly raised voice, and acting in an overbearing and dictatorial manner; and having the bailiff physically escort the victim to the rear of the courtroom and making gestures and noises mimicking a shooting gun as she was led away. Re Wright, 694 So. 2d 734 (Florida 1997).
- Based on a joint statement of circumstances and conditional agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended a judge for 30 days without pay for failing to disqualify himself from a case in which he had submitted written materials highly critical of the defendant and in support of an attorney against whom the defendant had filed a grievance or to disclose that fact to the defendant; imposing a lengthier sentence on the defendant who demanded a jury trial than he would have imposed if she had submitted to a bench trial or pleaded guilty; and misrepresenting the law to the defendant and forcing her to choose between proceeding without counsel or exercising her right to counsel and facing contempt and incarceration. In the Matter of Cox, 680 N.E.2d 528 (Indiana 1997).
- The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications ordered a judge to cease and desist imposition of a probationary condition that prohibited a juvenile offender from associating with Hispanic males under the age of 21 unless in the company of an adult or unless they were family members. Inquiry Concerning Robertson, Order (Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications May 16, 1997).
- Accepting the recommendation of the Judiciary Commission, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured a court of appeal judge who had sat as a member of a panel that heard the appeal of a party with whom the judge had a close, personal relationship. In re Cooks, 694 So. 2d 892 (Louisiana 1997).
- Agreeing with the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Nebraska Supreme Court suspended a judge for 6 months without pay for disseminating religious materials to jurors and for offensive and unwelcome conduct that amounted to sexual harassment toward female court personnel, citizens having business in the courts, and student interns In re Empson, 562 N.W.2d 817 (Nebraska 1997).
- The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for issuing a warrant of eviction based solely on the ex parte request of the landlord, without any notice to the tenant and without conducting any court proceeding. In the Matter of Holmes, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 29, 1997).
- Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a judge for stating, “Oh, it’s been a rough day — all those blacks in here” and conditioning his disqualification from a case on the withdrawal of complaints against him. In the Matter of Jensen, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 29, 1997).
- The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards publicly reprimanded a judge for failing to enter a decree and judgment on a dissolution case that he had under advisement for more than 11 months, contrary to administrative policies and statute. Rosas, Press release (Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards May 1997).