Tag Archives: reprimand

Greeneville Judge Censured, Reprimanded

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct has issued a public censure and a public reprimand to Circuit Court Judge John K. Wilson of the Third Judicial District.
Judge Wilson’s censure is a result of his conduct at 2011 deposition in addition to failure to abide by a resolution and agreement previously reached with the Court of the Judiciary.
The reprimand was due to an improper ex parte hearing and improper ex parte relief granted with respect to a petition to modify a permanent parenting plan.
Because it is a public censure rather than just a public reprimand, the judge will be required to personally appear before Board of Judicial Conference at its August meeting pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. ‘ 17-5-301(g)(2) & (4).
Judge Wilson has been a judge since 1979. The Third Judicial District serves Greene, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins counties.
The complete text of the censure and reprimand can be found HERE.

Judge Reprimanded for Ordering Release of His Son

UNION CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary issued a public reprimand against an Obion County judge for ordering the release of his son after an arrest for driving under the influence.
The court that investigates complaints against Tennessee judges posted the reprimand on Monday against General Sessions Court Judge Jimmy C. Smith.
According to the reprimand obtained by the Union City Daily Messenger (http://bit.ly/IkwOMY ), Smith admitted that he had set the condition for release of his son, James Cutler Smith, who was arrested in October 2011 and later pleaded guilty to a violation of the implied consent law.
The court found this was a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which says a judge shall disqualify himself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might be questioned

Andrew Jackson Reprimanded

Text of letter released today by state Court of the Judiciary:
The Honorable A. Andrew Jackson
40000 Highway 48 North, Suite One
Charlotte, Tennessee 37036
RE: Complaint of James Baum
File No. 1 1-4599
Dear Judge Jackson:
This letter shall serve as a public letter of reprimand pursuant to your agreement with an investigative panel of this Court.
This reprimand relates to a complaint which was filed by attorney James Baum.
The pertinent portion of the complaint filed by Mr. Baum deals with the allegation that on July 25, 2007 you initiated a summary contempt of court against an individual for an incident which occurred outside of your presence. During the hearing, you found that person in contempt of court and ordered that she serve 10 days in jail, without appointing counsel for her, even though both the counsel for the opposing party and the guardian ad litem in the case had suggested that you do so.
Mr. Baum also alleges, in pertinent part, that in another case you found another individual in civil contempt, for failure to pay child support, without appointing that individual an attorney and without conducting a hearing to determine the individual’s ability to pay the amount of back child support that you established as an amount to be paid to purge that individual of the contempt charge.
Upon receiving notice fiom Disciplinary Counsel, you promptly responded admitting the factual basis for the complaints. You also admitted in your answer to Mr. Baurn’s complaint that you had committed an error in your failure to appoint counsel in those cases and your failure to conduct a hearing concerning the defendant’s ability to pay child support in the civil contempt proceeding. You have indicated that you will appoint counsel and have hearings as appropriate in hture cases.
Your actions in the above cases were a violation of Canon 2A which requires that
“A Judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner
that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary. ”
Accordingly this letter constitutes a public reprimand for your actions.
Sincerely yours,
Chris Craft
Presiding Judge

Hamilton County Judge Publicly Reprimanded

Text of a letter of public reprimand sent to Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Robert L. Moon from the state Court of the Judiciary, as provided to media by the Administrative Office of the Courts:
Dear Judge Moon:
This letter shall serve as a public letter of reprimand pursuant to your agreement with an investigative panel of this Court.
The reprimand relates to three complaints, one of which was filed by Judge Rebecca Stem, one of which was filed by Attorney Hiram (Hark) Hill, and one of which was filed by Attorney Benjamin L. McGowan.
The pertinent portion of the complaint filed by Judge Rebecca Stem concerns a preliminary hearing, over which you presided, in which you threatened to have a young woman, who was a reluctant victim-witness of a domestic assault, handcuffed and arrested if she did not testify in a manner which you considered to be truthful.

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Chattanooga Judge Gets Public Reprimand

A Hamilton County judge has been issued a public reprimand by Tennessee Court of the Judiciary after the court determined he twice violated judicial ethics, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Hamilton County General Sessions Judge David Bales received two complaints earlier this year, one from Judge Rebecca Stern and the other from local attorney Hank Hill. Public reprimands by the judiciary court are rare. Only two other Tennessee judges have been issued reprimands this year, and only three were issued in 2010, according to the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. Bales acknowledged that he made mistakes and said he would “strive to not make mistakes in the future.”
“I, at all times, tried to rule fairly and impartially for all citizens,” he said. “Sometimes I’ve made mistakes, and I am human like everyone else. I admit I have made mistakes in these two matters.”
…The first incident happened in November 2010, when Bales set a bond of $70,000 in a domestic assault and false imprisonment case without the defendant or his attorney present.
…In the second incident, Bales set a bond of $1 million in a murder case in March. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman reduced the bond to $250,000.

A copy of the reprimand is available HERE.

Legislators Eye End to ‘Private Reprimands’ for Judges

Legislators are eyeing repeal of the state law that allows keeping the admonishments wayward judges receive secret and imposing stricter rules concerning when judges must bow out of a case when accused of a conflict of interest.
Judges say making public the “private reprimands” now handed out by the Court of the Judiciary would be a bad policy move, but acknowledge the Legislature could take such a step.
Changing the rules for recusal of a judge, which are now established by the state Supreme Court, also is criticized on policy grounds. But it could also be a violation of the state constitution, according to Chris Craft, presiding judge of the Court of the Judiciary (COJ).
Both proposals arose during recent hearings by an ad hoc committee appointed to review the COF and recommend changes to the 2012 legislative session. For much of the two days of hearings, the legislators listened to sometimes emotional complaints from citizens about judges they characterized as arrogant or abusive.
“I wish all the members (of the Legislature) could hear what we’ve heard,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet. “I think there is a need for serious change.”
Craft, who also is a Criminal Court judge in Memphis, defended the COJ during the proceedings. He said many of the complaints legislators heard — and the vast majority of all complaints received by COJ — are simply from

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Court of Judiciary Elects New Presiding Judge, Issues New Report

The Court of the Judiciary, which would be abolished and replaced with appointees of the House and Senate speakers under pending legislation, has a new presiding officer and declares it is offering “new detail” about its operations in an annual report.
The report for the fiscal year ended June 30 says 350 complaints about Tennessee judges were received and action was taken on 334 were closed during the period. Fifteen judges received a reprimand during the year – nine of those reprimands made public and the other six kept private.
Link to the full report HERE.
Previous post on the legislative “task force” set up to study the Court of the Judiciary is HERE.
News release on the new presiding judge of the Court of the Judiciary and the report is below.

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