Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this months:

  • Based on a stipulation and joint recommendation, the Illinois Courts Commission publicly reprimanded a judge who pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and volunteered his status as a judge to the DUI investigator. In re Nordquist, Order (Illinois Courts Commission August 9, 2007).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Board, the Minnesota Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for his ex parte handling of a traffic ticket belonging to the son of a court clerk and his attempt to influence the testimony of the clerk in the Board’s investigation. Inquiry into Murphy, 737 N.W.2d 355 (Minnesota 2007).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Board of Judicial Standards, the Minnesota Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for his ex parte handling of a traffic ticket belonging to a clerk’s husband. Inquiry into Stacey, 737 N.W.2d 345 (Minnesota 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge who pled guilty to driving under the influence, first charge. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Westfaul, 962 So.2d 555 (Mississippi 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for failing to take any action in 1 small claims case, delaying hearings from 4 to 10 months in 5 small claims cases, and delaying decisions from 23 to 33 months in 2 small claims cases. In the Matter of Scolton, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 1, 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge who had delayed rendering judgments for up to 23 months in 10 cases and deciding motions in 12 cases and failed to report the delayed cases as required. In the Matter of Robichaud, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 1, 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge who presided over a case involving a defendant with whom she had a professional and social relationship and with whom she had discussed the facts ex parte, granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal without notice to the district attorney as required by law, and extended an order of protection after discussing the matter ex parte with the complaining witness. In the Matter of Valcich, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 21, 2007).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for using his official position and influence to suggest a bond in a matter in which he had a personal interest. In re Jarrell, Public Reprimand (North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission August 14, 2007).
  • Based on the recommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, the North Carolina Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for speaking ex parte with an attorney representing a defendant in an action to recover unpaid child support and striking an order entered by a different judge finding the defendant in contempt. In re Royster, 648 S.E.2d 837 (North Carolina 2007).
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Judicial Discipline removing a judge from office for routinely using improper and offensive language with his staff. In re Berkhimer, 930 A.2d 1255 (Pennsylvania 2007).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a retired magistrate for helping out the county on 2 tickets. In the Matter of White, 650 S.E.2d 73 (South Carolina 2007).
  • Based on a stipulation and agreement, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for writing a letter to a sentencing judge on behalf of a defendant. In re Bonner, Stipulation, Agreement, and Order (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 3, 2007).

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • Pursuant to the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, a special tribunal publicly censured a justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court who had been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Commission on Judicial Performance v. McRae, 700 So. 2d 1331 (Mississippi 1997).

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • Accepting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed a judge for (1) ticket fixing; (2) failing in over a dozen cases to sentence criminals in accordance with the statutes; (3) dismissing 7 misdemeanor cases without requiring the payment of court costs as required by statute; (4) failing to require the forfeiture of money seized in a gambling raid as required by statute; (5) amending a sentence after part of the sentence was served, in response to ex parte communications with the father of the defendant, and writing to the defendant’s employer that no charges were pending; (6) seeking favorable treatment for the defendants in 3 cases assigned to other judges; (7) on 27 occasions, ordering a party to pay a judgment in installments or partial payments and setting up a payment schedule and in some instances ordering payment within 5 days from judgment, preventing appeals; and (8) having the highway patrol officer the judge thought had filed a complaint about his ticket-fixing arrested for contempt for returning to the courthouse after leaving at the judge’s order. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Chinn, 611 So. 2d 849 (Mississippi 1992).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for tolerating inappropriate and disruptive demeanor and comments by defense counsel in a case, demonstrating a lack of patience and courtesy towards defense counsel, and making inappropriate comments to one of the defense counsel during another case. In re Bruhn, Stipulation and agreement (Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct August 7, 1992).

 

 

Throwback Thursday

5 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge for advertising wedding services on his web-site. Jayne, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct July 9, 2012).
  • Adopting the findings, conclusions, and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Arizona Supreme Court removed a judge for asking the court manager to move his vehicle to avoid a process server attempting to serve him with an order of protection, continuing to hear cases involving such orders, invoking his position repeatedly with law enforcement authorities, and sending threatening texts to his wife. In the Matter of Woolbright, Order (Arizona Supreme Court July 23, 2012).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly censured a judge for seeking preferential treatment from a court commissioner for a traffic citation issued to his wife. Inquiry Concerning Sarmiento, Decision and Order (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 5, 2012).
  • The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for ordering an attorney to remain in the courtroom for over an hour and a half without adjudicating an alleged contempt and ordering the attorney to “spend every waking moment” working on the case until the preliminary hearing. Public Admonishment of Jacobson (California Commission on Judicial Performance July 11, 2012).
  • Approving the findings and recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the Florida Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for driving under the influence and crashing the vehicle she was driving. Inquiry Concerning Nelson, 95 So. 3d 122 (Florida 2012).
  • The Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, with the consent of the judge, made public the fact that it had privately reprimanded a judge but not the content of the reprimand; the report states that the matter originated with media reports that the judge had been arrested based on allegations he engaged in a physical altercation with his wife; subsequently, the judge and the prosecutor agreed that the charges would be dismissed based upon his pre-trial diversion agreement to attend marital and stress counseling. In re Weaver, Report of Disposition (Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission July 18, 2012).
  • With the judge’s consent, in lieu of filing formal disciplinary proceedings, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications publicly admonished a judge for granting an ex parte motion for custody filed by a child’s maternal grandparents without notice to the non-custodial father or an opportunity for him to be heard. Public Admonition of Johnston (Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications July 5, 2012).
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the Judicial Conduct Commission’s removal of a judge for (1) advocating at a county meeting that $500,000 donated by criminal defendants under a plea agreement be used to fund a water park; (2) making misstatements in an order; (3) establishing a special grand jury to discredit the judge-executive; (4) viewing videotapes regarding the sheriff’s investigation of the judge-executive; (5) presiding over 2 criminal cases that he had urged the state police to investigate and the commonwealth’s attorney to pursue; (6) urging the utility company to donate $12,500 for playground equipment at his children’s elementary school and raising funds for the equipment; and (8) removing an assistant public defender as counsel in cases without giving her an opportunity to be heard. Alred v. Judicial Conduct Commission, 395 S.W.3d 417 (Kentucky 2012).
  • Affirming the recommendation of the Judicial Tenure Commission, the Michigan Supreme Court removed a judge from office for (1) inappropriate financial transactions and practices, including misappropriating public funds; (2) failing to ensure that a business-attire policy was properly enforced and did not deny people access to the court; (3) knowingly rehiring an unqualified magistrate, misrepresenting that he was qualified, and requiring him to sign bench warrants, contrary to statute; (4) hiring her niece; and (5) making misrepresentations during the investigation and hearing, including lying under oath. In re James, 821 N.W.2d 144 (Michigan 2012).
  • Based on a stipulation of facts and consent, the Oregon Supreme Court publicly censured a judge for a 16-month delay in issuing a decision in a divorce case. Inquiry Concerning Avera, 283 P.3d 923 (Oregon 2012).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline removed a former judge and barred him from serving in judicial office based on his guilty plea to charges that he had taken sexual liberties with 2 women appearing in his courtroom. In re Cioppa, 51 A.3d 923 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2012).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 1 month without pay for failing to docket a citation received by her son and instructing her office manager not to docket it until the judge told her to do so; transferring the citation to another judge’s court in violation of county administrative rules that require a transfer order from the president judge; making false statements in a report to the president judge; and instructing her court manager to testify falsely at a deposition. In re Arnold, 51 A.3d 931 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 2012).
  • Pursuant to the judge’s agreement, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary publicly reprimanded a judge for denying a motion to recuse in an order that recited facts that he should not have considered and accused the moving attorneys of misconduct. Re Gasaway (Tennessee Court of the Judiciary July 2, 2012).
  • Following a trial de novo, a Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court publicly admonished a judge to use only names and titles when referring to individuals appearing in his courtroom and to refrain from referring to individuals’ appearance or parts of their body unless the reference was appropriate and necessary under the circumstances. In re Adams, Decision (Special Court of Review Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court July 3, 2012).

Throwback Thursday

10 years ago this month:

  • The Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded a judge who became irritable and impatient with an attorney and, when the attorney tried to make a record, said, “I don’t care for the record, Mr. Jones. You say one more word and you’re in contempt.”  Andress, Order (Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct July 11, 2007).
  • With the judge’s agreement, the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure determined that a judge made comments about cultural issues prior to sentencing in a sexual abuse case that created an appearance of bias and compromised the integrity of the judicial process. Re Mitchell-Rankin, Determination and Undertaking (D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure July 9, 2007).
  • Adopting the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct to which the justice did not object, the New Jersey Supreme Court publicly censured a supreme court justice for communications with the police, prosecutors, and judges that created an unacceptable risk that his judicial office could influence the handling of a matter relating to his son. In the Matter of Rivera-Soto, 927 A.2d 112 (New Jersey 2007).
  • Granting a petition filed by the Commission on Judicial Standards based on stipulated findings of fact, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for endorsing a mayor for re-election and authorizing the use of his name in an endorsement that was published in the local newspaper. Inquiry Concerning Vincent, 172 P.3d 605 (New Mexico 2007).
  • Upholding the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York Court of Appeals removed a judge for (1) dismissing several code violation cases based on ex parte communications without providing the prosecution with notice or an opportunity to be heard and (2) testifying falsely about her actions and altering her court calendar to support her false testimony. In the Matter of Marshall, 872 N.E.2d 247 (New York July 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge who failed for over 6 years to adequately supervise his court clerks and to discharge his administrative duties diligently, resulting in missing court monies. In the Matter of Cavotta, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 19, 2007).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly censured a non-lawyer judge whose handling of 3 small claims matters was fraught with errors and violated well-established statutory and ethical mandates. In the Matter of Edwards, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 19, 2007).
  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed a non-lawyer judge who, in a property dispute involving a relative, had abused his judicial authority, presided over the matter notwithstanding his bias against the defendants, used his judicial power to benefit his relative’s interests, and used the term “jewing” while berating the defendants. In the Matter of Ellis, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 24, 2007).
  • The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge for (1) finding a defendant guilty in absentia; (2) in a second case, failing to provide adequate notice or an opportunity to respond before finding a defendant in contempt and issuing orders and fines that he had no authority to enforce; and (3) issuing a subpoena to compel another judge to appear before him. Public Admonition of Wall (Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 13, 2007).
  • Accepting an agreement for discipline by consent, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge following his guilty plea to common law misconduct in office. In the Matter of Stephens, 650 S.E.2d 849 (South Carolina 2007).

 

Throwback Thursday

20 years ago this month:

  • The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge who had routinely required out-of-town defendants in traffic cases to post $100 bail if they pled guilty by mail. In the Matter of Kelson, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 17, 1997).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished a judge who had told a litigant “it appears to me that you are more than a little nuts” and, when the litigant objected, said, “I understand what I have heard with my own ears and it appears to me that you are nuts.” In the Matter of Going, Determination (New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct July 18, 1997).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline severely reprimanded and censured a former judge for sexually harassing a court employee and filing false and misleading campaign expense reports. In re Cicchetti, 698 A.2d 704 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 1997).
  • The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a judge for 60 days without pay for contacting the supervisor of the statutory appeal unit regarding a defendant who had appealed from a sentence the judge had imposed and for making false statements to FBI agents about the contact. In re Trkula, 698 A.2d 180 (Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline 1997).
  • Based on an agreement, the South Carolina Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge who had pled guilty to official misconduct in office for dismissing DUI charges against a friend; the Court also ordered that he not seek appointment to any judicial office in the state unless authorized by the Court. In the Matter of Chiles, 490 S.E.2d 259 (South Carolina 1997).
  • Agreeing with the recommendation of the Judicial Conduct Commission, the Utah Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for allowing a litigant to submit a sworn affidavit signed by the judge that gave the judge’s opinions and conclusions on the ultimate issue in a pending judicial proceeding. In re McCully, 942 P.2d 327 (Utah 1997).
  • The Vermont Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and suspended her for 1 year without pay for falsely denying, during a hearing by the Vermont Association of County Judges, that she had secretly taped meetings or conversations. In re Kroger, 702 A.2d 64 (Vermont 1997).
  • Adopting the recommendations of the Judicial Hearing Board, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals publicly admonished a magistrate for contacting the arresting officer and prosecuting attorney concerning an action against his son-in-law. In the Matter of Rice, 489 S.E.2d 783 (West Virginia 1997).
  • Pursuant to a stipulation, the Wisconsin Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a former judge for battering his wife and causing her bodily harm. In the Matter of Crivello, 564 N.W.2d 785 (Wisconsin 1997).

 

Throwback Thursday

25 years ago this month:

  • The Delaware Court on the Judiciary censured and removed from office a judge who, without first resigning, sought the endorsement of his party convention for the nomination for Governor of Delaware. In the Matter of Buckson, 610 A.2d 203 (Delaware 1992).
  • Approving a conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded and admonished a former judge for pulling down his pants and revealing his undergarments and portions of his bare buttocks in his office in the presence of a female clerk employee, a police officer, and an employee of the court, without invitation or forewarning; the Court also prohibited the former judge from serving as a judge for 8 years. In the Matter of Katic, 595 N.E.2d 259 (Indiana 1992).
  • The Nebraska Supreme Court removed from office a judge who (1) regularly conducted disposition hearings without providing for a verbatim record, contrary to previous opinions and to discourage appellate review; (2) improperly ordered parties in a case out of the courtroom, prevented the attorney from the department of social services from making a record and excluded her from meetings, and received information out of court that affected his decision; and (3) ordered law enforcement officers to take 2 juveniles into custody and place them in the custody of the county administrator to prompt the county board of commissioners to provide a county juvenile detention facility and in retaliation for a dispute over parking spaces. In re Staley, 486 N.W.2d 886 (Nebraska 1992).
  • Based on an agreed statement of facts and memoranda as to sanction, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a judge who, in court and to a newspaper reporter, made comments about the celebration of Christmas by the mother in a custody proceeding in which the litigants and their children were Jewish. In the Matter of Feiden, Determination (New York Commission on Judicial Conduct July 29, 1992).