Saturday, August 3, 2013
The Mississippi Supreme Court has imposed a 30-day suspension without pay and fined a Hinds County Youth Court judge who took action in a case after he had recused himself and abused his contempt power.
The basis for recusal was that the matter involved the relative of a court employee.
The court rejected the more lenient sanction jointly proposed by the judge and the Commission on Judicial Performance, stating that the commission "should examine the extent to which the conduct was willful and exploited the judge's position to satisfy his or her personal desires."
A concurring/dissenting opinion finds the sanction imposed to be unduly light:
I do not believe today's relatively mild punishment for illegally incarcerating two citizens and depriving them of contact with their children for months, will serve as much of a warning.
The concurring/dissenting opinion also notes that the judge acted because of an improper ex parte contact and caused the mother to be arrested in front of her four children. (Mike Frisch)