The Court on the Judiciary
DISCLAIMER: These summaries do not reflect the work of the Court on the Judiciary. They have been prepared by the staff of the Court on the Judiciary for the convenience of the reader. These summaries may not be cited as legal authority.
The Court on the Judiciary held that the judicial officer seriously violated the rule providing that a judge should dispose promptly of the business of the court. The judge over a period of many months engaged in a persistent pattern of delay in the disposition of cases and persistently failed to comply with reporting mandates regarding matters held under advisement beyond specified time limits. Public censure imposed.
The Court on the Judiciary held that the judicial officer's advice to an attorney preparing a legal memorandum addressing a contested issue before the judge constituted an inappropriate ex parte communication in violation of rule prohibiting judges from initiating ex parte communication on the merits of a pending proceeding. Also, the Court held that the judicial officer's attempt to establish an inappropriately close social relationship with the attorney who regularly appeared in proceedings before the judicial officer violated rule requiring judges to promote confidence in the judiciary. Judicial officer removed from office.
The Court on the Judiciary held that the judicial officer's conduct in drawing his firearm before court personnel on one occasion and, on other occasions, displaying his firearm in public view, constituted wilful and persistent misconduct in office. Three month suspension and public reprimand imposed. Also, the judge was permanently banned from carrying or displaying a weapon at work.
Judicial disciplinary action was brought against judicial officer convicted of shoplifting, a crime involving moral turpitude. The judicial officer's acknowledgement of the conviction, resignation from judicial office, public reprimand and opening of the record accomplished the purpose of judicial discipline: to protect the public and maintain the high standards of conduct required so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary is preserved.
The Court on the Judiciary held that public censure and three month suspension of part-time judge and practicing lawyer was warranted by his failure to timely pay withholding taxes for his law firm's employee payroll, failure to timely pay property taxes, failure to timely pay parking fines and filing false certificates with Supreme Court. Suspension suspended on condition of judge's forfeiture of three months compensation.
Judicial officer petitioned to have State compensate judge's attorney for defense of charges of judicial misconduct proceedings in which judge was removed from office and censured for misconduct. The Court on the Judiciary held that the misconduct charges arising from the judge seeking gubernatorial nomination without first resigning judicial office did not arise out of judicial duty, and that the judge's right to appointment of counsel under judicial rule was not greater than under statute providing for appointment of counsel for State employees.
The Court on the Judiciary held that the judge's attending and speaking at political gatherings and publicly declaring as a candidate for office of governor without first resigning judicial office warranted censure and removal from office.
The Court on the Judiciary held that the judicial officer engaged in wilful misconduct in office by regularly attending political functions and by disregarding court scheduling through chronic tardiness warranting sanctions of six-month suspension and public censure.
The Court on the Judiciary held that ordering arrestee to pay fine allegedly owed in another court and using authority to order police officer to seize arrestee and use force necessary to remove money from the arrestee constituted wilful misconduct warranting one month suspension.
The Court on the Judiciary held that a judicial officer's presiding over son's arraignment on driving under the influence charge and permitting son to enter first offender program without first obtaining Attorney General's waiver warranted suspension from judicial office for six months.