Recent cases

  • Based on a report of uncontested sanction but modifying the recommended sanction, the Arkansas Supreme Court suspended a judge for 18 months without pay for (1) dismissing cases involving a specific deputy sheriff without the consent of the prosecution; (2) attempting to exert improper influence over cases in other courts involving the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; and (3) over several months, repeatedly failing to call his full docket on the record and canceling court without appropriate prior notice to litigants, attorneys, witnesses, or law enforcement; the Court held 6 months of the suspension in abeyance for 1 year contingent on the judge’s compliance with remedial measures.  Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission v. Carroll, Opinion (Arkansas Supreme Court November 18, 2022).
  • The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission removed a judge from office for (1) developing and implementing an ankle monitoring program through a non-profit organization he established, using the prestige of judicial office to promote the program to elected officials, agencies, and individuals, hindering the competitive bid process for the program, ordering defendants to participate in the program, and participating in the collection of fees those defendants paid to the organization; (2) mismanaging his courtroom, engaging in acts of retaliation, and abusing his contempt power; (3) pressuring people to donate to or support his political campaign; (4) attempting to interfere with his staff’s compliance with a Commission subpoena; and (5) using the prestige of office to intimidate a radio station about an open records request for video footage from the courthouse.  In re Jameson, Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and final order (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission November 4, 2022), on appeal.
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a former judge for exchanging flirtatious and sexual text messages with an employee of the administrative office of the courts.  In the Matter of Privett, Public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission November 10, 2022). 
  • With the judge’s consent, the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities publicly reprimanded a judge for making contributions to political candidates and failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.  Notice of Reprimand (Owens) (Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities November 2022).
  • Based on the former judge’s consent, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline barred a former judge from judicial office for a pattern of legal error that caused the Nevada Supreme Court to reverse guilty verdicts in 18 cases and for an ex parte communication with the prosecution in one of the cases.  In the Matter of Smith, Stipulation and order of consent (Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline November 14, 2022).
  • Based on the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Conduct Committee, which were based on a stipulation and agreement, the New Hampshire Supreme Court found that a former marital master violated the code of judicial conduct by making inappropriate and irrelevant statements during a telephone hearing in a marital case and having a side conversation with staff in the courtroom, failing to disclose his comments to the parties or to disqualify himself from the case, and failing to disclose his exact comments to the Committee during its investigation; because the master had retired, the Court found that no additional disciplinary action was required but ordered that he pay over $12,680 in costs.  In the Matter of DalPra, Order (New Hampshire Supreme Court November 10, 2022).
  • Accepting an agreed statement of facts and recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for voluntarily preparing and submitting character reference letters that invoked his judicial title in support of 2 pistol license applications and writing a letter on his judicial stationery requesting that a judge reconsider her denial of one of the applications.  In the Matter of Aronian, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct November 7, 2022).
  • Based on the judge’s resignation and agreement to be disqualified from judicial service in the state, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct agreed not to pursue further disciplinary proceedings against a former judge; the Commission had received an anonymous complaint that the judge had been arrested for terroristic threat of a family member (although prosecution was declined); a complaint from the county attorney about the judge’s treatment of professional associates, inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and use of county equipment; and a complaint about his treatment of defendants.  Noaker, Voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 13, 2022).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly warned a judge for failing to provide a defendant a pretrial hearing that she had requested, failing to respond to several letters and emails regarding 2 cases, and failing to timely dispose of the business of the court; the Commission also ordered the judge to receive 2 hours of instruction with a mentor.  Public Warning of Morales and Order of Additional Education (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct October 13, 2022).
  • Following a trial de novo, a Texas Special Court of Review affirmed the State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s public reprimand of a judge for seeking to replace a defendant’s attorney and initiating a motion for a new trial on the defendant’s behalf.  In re Wilson, Opinion (Texas Special Court of Reivew November 21, 2022).
  • Granting a petition for consensual license revocation, the Wisconsin Supreme Court revoked the law license of a former judge based on his conviction, entered following a guilty plea, on 2 federal felony counts of distribution of child pornography.  In the Matter of Blomme, Opinion (Wisconsin Supreme Court November 25, 2022).

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