Articles Posted in Here Comes the Judge

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You seriously threatened a judge on the phone, and on Facebook? Brilliant! As reported by Courthouse News Service:

Ezra Osman [age 28] is the ex-husband of Iris Guillen, who works as clerk for 312th Family Court Judge David Farr, according to Harris County court records.

After Osman called the court repeatedly on May 9, Guillen told Judge Farr that Osman was harassing her, records state.

“The judge picked up the extension and told the defendant that if he continued to tie up the phone lines he would be in trouble,” according to the charging document signed by an assistant district attorney. “The defendant then told the (judge), ‘Fuck you, mother fucker. I’m gonna’ come down there and fuck you up.'”

Pure genius, only to be followed by this …

Guillen later showed a Harris County sheriff’s deputy that Osman had made a threatening post on his Facebook page. It said: “Got my ninjas … so heads are going to roll started with that punk ass judge,” according to the assault charge.

Very effective use of social media.

Osman is currently jailed on a $20,000 bond.

Here’s the source, including a link to the charging document.

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Fellas, did you not see your old mom sitting there when you started to mix it up? The Juice is guessing this is not the first fight between these two brothers. As reported by the Beaver County Times (Pennsylvania):

Police said Terry Wayne Welling, 47, was upset that a dog owned by ]his brother] Samuel Wayne Welling, 55, was “going to the bathroom” on the living room floor at 916 Duss Ave., listed as both men’s address.

Sam Welling was sitting next to Mary Welling, 87, on a sofa when Terry Welling confronted him and began punching him in the face, according to the report. Sam Welling punched Terry Welling multiple times, and the two brothers ended up atop their mother.

Um, boys. You’re hurting your me. Boys …

Police say Mary Welling was unable to free herself from beneath her sons and an errant punch from Terry Welling struck her in the shin. The report said Mary Welling suffered a 4-inch laceration and bone was exposed. She was taken to Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital.

Holy mackerel! The charges?

Sam Welling was charged with one count of simple assault, while Terry Welling was charged with two counts of simple assault and one count of reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for mom to visit. Here’s the source.

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For this judge, the job is apparently not all about banging away on a gavel and doling out some justice. Although she has only been charged, it’s not looking good. As reported by lancasteronline.com:

A Lancaster city district judge has been removed from the bench after she was charged Monday with a dozen criminal offenses.

The charges relate to District Judge Kelly S. Ballentine dismissing three of her own parking tickets last year and in 2010, according to a police affidavit.

After a lengthy investigation, the state Attorney General filed 12 charges, including nine felonies, regarding Ballentine’s conduct while on the bench.

She’s charged with tampering with public records (six counts), restricted activities due to a conflict of interest (three counts), and obstruction of the administration of law (three counts).

As of Monday, Ballentine will no longer hear cases or serve as district judge.

“At this time, I have issued an order that she be placed on indefinite administrative leave until all criminal charges are resolved,” said Lancaster County President Judge Joseph Madenspacher, who has authority over the county magistrates.

If you’re wondering how the Judge will get by, here’s how.

Ballentine will receive pay during that time, [Judge] Madenspacher said. “I have no power to suspend her.”

Here’s the skinny:

According to records, Ballentine dismissed three of her own tickets for parking illegally in front of her house.

Ballentine, 43, dismissed a no-parking ticket and an expired registration ticket in December 2010 and a no-parking ticket in January 2011, the affidavit shows.

As The Juice said, it’s not looking good. Here’s the source.

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Hmmm. The Juice was working on this post and thought this name sounded familiar, so he checked the archives of 1,854 Legal Juice posts and found this one about Judge Willie F. Singletary. The story on philly.com was now not so surprising.

The state Supreme Court yesterday canned Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie F. Singletary, suspending him without pay after he allegedly showed a woman cellphone pictures of his genitalia two weeks ago.

Yikes.

But this isn’t the first time Singletary has made headlines. In 2007 his driver’s license was suspended for unpaid tickets [a BOATLOAD of them – see Juice post above], and two years later he was reprimanded for promising favors in exchange for campaign donations.

That’s quite a record in just the past 5 years.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ordered that Singletary be “relieved of any and all judicial and administrative responsibilities as a judge of the Philadelphia Traffic Court.”

Might consider another line of work.

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After getting sentenced to 10 years for robbery, like Mr. Taylor, I’m sure you wouldn’t be in the best mood either. Still, you better be prepared to pay the price if you lay into the judge, as Mr. Taylor did. Here are excerpts from the decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division:

Defendant appeals from his conviction for second-degree robbery … his sentence on that charge, and the imposition of two consecutive six-month sentences for contempt …

Did someone say “contempt”?

When the court asked defendant if he understood his appeal rights, defendant responded by stating, “Yeah, I understand that you all railroaded the shit out of me. That’s what I understand.”

Uh-oh.

Although his attorney attempted to calm him down and the court attempted to resume asking him if he understood his right to appeal, defendant persisted in confrontational behavior, stating, “you’re all — so full of shit.” The court warned defendant that he would impose an additional six months for contempt of court. Defendant was defiant, stating, “Add six. What the fuck I care now.”

This reminds The Juice of a truly classic, early Juice post …

The court warned defendant again about imposing six months for contempt. Defendant replied, and repeated, “Fuck contempt of court.” Both his attorney and a court officer attempted to calm defendant down. The court said, “I’m going to give you one opportunity —” but defendant interrupted, “Give me — give me — don’t give me shit, mother fucker. Do what the fuck you’ve been doing to every black mother fucker that come in this courtroom.”

Defendant continued to interrupt the court, repeating, “Fuck you” three times, calling the judge a “crazy ass mother fucker,” telling him, “Eat shit and bark at the moon, sorry son of a bitch.” When the judge said he was going to place on the record his reasons for imposing an additional six month sentence, defendant interrupted again, stating “[i]s that all you’re going to put on it, the six months?” He continued to interrupt and taunt the court, saying, “Keep adding six months then” and “well shut the fuck up and do . . . what you’re going to do.”

Yikes.

The court proceeded to set forth the acts it deemed contumacious as the basis for imposing an additional sentence of six months. Defendant continued to interrupt. The court noted further that this exchange occurred in a courtroom filled with fifty people.

After the court ordered defendant to be remanded, defendant replied, “Fuck you, bitch” and then stated “Suck my ass, you cracker bitch.” The court had him returned to counsel table and imposed an additional six months for contempt, to be served consecutive to the prior sentences. After remanding defendant once again, the court noted that defendant “held up his left hand with the middle finger extended in a gesture[.]”

So how do you think the appellate court ruled? Affirmed. The case is STATE v. TAYLOR, No. A-3326-09T2, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. (August 24, 2011). You can read the opinion on Leagle here.

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Judges can do many things to end up facing discipline. They can skip out on work too much. They can treat parties poorly. They can disrespect lawyers who appear before them. Or, as a Pennsylvania disciplinary court found regarding Allentown District Judge Maryesther Merlo, all of the above, per The Morning Call.

Regarding attendance:

Merlo had a habit of calling out of work when dozens of hearings were scheduled and litigants, police and attorneys were assembled in her courtroom, her staff testified. According to the decision, Merlo missed 116 days of work from September 2007 to December 2009.

“This is not to mention that on the days when [Merlo] did come to work, she was never on time — she was always late,” the court added.

Former Lehigh County President Judge William H. Platt and Court Administrator Gordon Roberts testified their efforts to address her work habits fell on deaf ears. The disciplinary court noted Merlo’s explanation that her absences were excused because she never took vacation was belied by the fact she did take 49 days of vacation during the period at issue.

Excellent work habits. How did she treat parties and witnesses?

In one case, Merlo described a young man who appeared in court with his mother on a traffic offense as “a dog who needs to be retrained.” In another case, she ordered deputy sheriffs to arrest a woman who had been counseled by her lawyer not to testify to avoid incriminating herself, according to the decision.

[There was also testimony about] bizarre courtroom behavior, including an episode in which she ordered a defendant to call himself “scumbag.”

And the court examined Merlo’s conduct in 10 cases and found six in which her demeanor constituted a violation of the rules of conduct. Witnesses testified Merlo’s behavior was often demeaning, intimidating and offensive.

Okay. But what about Judge Merlo’s side of the story?

In each of the six cases, the court found the witnesses who complained about Merlo’s behavior to be more credible than the judge.

Doh! That hurts.

The state disciplinary court examined Merlo’s demeanor during truancy hearings, noting her practice of continuing cases to give the kids “a second chance” interfered with the district’s efforts to discipline students with attendance problems. Her own tardiness set a poor example for the students, the court noted.

Suzette Arcelay, a school counselor, testified Merlo’s behavior was often rude and erratic, including an episode in which Merlo told her to “shut up.”

Judge Merlo has the option of appealing the findings. You can read more here.

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Not many Orders merit a block quote on Legal Juice. This one, from the case of Kissel v. Schwartz … out of Kentucky, most definitely does. So, without further ado:

“And such news of an amicable settlement having made this Court happier than a tick on a fat dog because it is otherwise busier than a one-legged cat in a sand box and, quite frankly, would rather have jumped naked off of a twelve foot step ladder into a five gallon bucket of porcupines than have presided over a two week trial of the herein dispute, a trial which, no doubt, would have made the jury more confused than a hungry baby in a topless bar and made the parties and their attorneys madder than mosquitoes in a mannequin factory; IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED by the court as follows: 1. The jury trial scheduled herein for July 13, 2011 is hereby CANCELED.”

You like Kenton Circuit Judge Martin J. Sheehan, right? One more thing:

“4. The Clerk shall engage the services of a structural engineer to ascertain if the return of this file to the Clerk’s office will exceed the maximum structural load of the floors of said office.”

Nicely done sir! Here’s the Order

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A despicable Wisconsin man pleads “no contest” to molesting four young boys. Before sentencing him (to 7 years), Waupaca County Judge Philip Kirk had some interesting things to say, including the following, as reported by fox11online.com:

In his pre-sentence comments he challenged Delton Gorges’ claim of being heterosexual.

“I think you were born gayer than a sweet-smelling jockstrap,” said Judge Kirk.

If you’re not scratching your head, then please explain to The Juice exactly what a “sweet-smelling jockstrap” is. There’s more.

“I think that if anyone believes that in the last 10 years or 15 years all of a sudden you developed an interest in homosexuality and young boys, then I must have looked ravishing in my prom dress this year,” Kirk said.

Certainly some strange imagery, but the point is well-taken. The judge did, though, express some empathy for the defendant, albeit in a strange way.

At one point, Judge Kirk said he believes Gorges was a victim of society’s homophobic attitude, especially considering the era in which Gorges grew up.

“I can’t imagine in the ’40s or ’50s admitting your sexual orientation,” said Judge Kirk. “No one knew there was a closet to come out of in those days. You know you had to be very careful because you could have found your penis floating in the Wolf (River) as walleye bait. It was a terrible life to have to live.”

Say what? You can read more here, and watch a courtroom video of the judge in action here.

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judge%20leave%20out%20of%20courtroom%20gavel%20funny.gif Regular Juice readers may recall that this will not be the first post involving a Motion to Continue a trial due to … a football game! I’m sure it won’t be the last, unfortunately.

And just in case you think that maybe The Juice just doesn’t like football … He was spotted at 3 Super Bowls over the years, coincidentally all involving the Redskins … Furthermore, he was spotted at almost every home Redskins game from 1967 until that painful day in December 1996 (notwithstanding the thrashing of the Cowboys) when the curtains closed at RFK.

Having established his bona fides, let’s just say it’s not a motion The Juice would ever file (not that there’s anything wrong with it …) Think the judge granted it? Yup, he did. Click here to read the Motion.

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Sometimes folks close a door a little loudly by accident. But when you slam a door, you’re saying something. When Marbelis Dorado left Judge Chet A. Thorpe’s Florida courtroom, she let the door do the talking. And Judge Chet didn’t like what he heard. As reported in The St. Petersburg Times:

… the judge had modified her probation as she had asked, but he also read a letter from her probation officer stating that said she regularly defies authority.

Hmm. “Defies authority.”

[She] … punctuated her courtroom exit with a loud thud.

Bad move.

“Go get her,” Tharpe told the bailiff, who returned with the woman. “Take her into custody.”

“Oh, please!” she told him. “I’m sorry!”

“Hook her up,” Tharpe responded.

Clearly hooking someone up has a different meaning in Judge Tharpe’s courtroom than almost everywhere else.

So she sat with other defendants, shackled at the ankles and wrists, weeping into her hands.

More than half an hour later, Tharpe found her guilty of criminal contempt, ordered her to anger management and told her to have a nice day.

Not surprisingly …

This time, she made a more quiet exit.

Click here for the source.