November 5, 2009
Judge Reprimanded For Ordering Arrest Of Victim
The Florida Supreme Court has imposed a public reprimand of a county judge who found probable cause existed for a former husband's domestic battery charge. The judge had:
...ordered sua sponte for the former wife, who was present in court as a victim of domestic violence, to be taken into custody. In accord with [his] order, the former wife was arrested, incarcerated overnight, and ordered to appear the next day for first appearance.
The couple were well known to the judge. The former husband was a criminal lawyer, the couple attended his church and the judge's children had babysat for the former couple's children.
The judge explained that he ordered the former wife's arrest because she had struck the first blow. He also felt that the arresting officer exhibited gender bias against the former husband. He admitted that he would not have taken action if the former wife had not been in the courtroom and "acknowledged that his actions had the potential appearance of impropriety."
Anyone find this sanction unduly lenient? (MIke Frisch)
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