Articles Posted in Michigan Supreme Court

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The Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) issued a formal complaint against Judge Deborah Adams of the Third Circuit Court for misconduct (misrepresentations under oath, forgery and the filing of forged and unauthorized pleadings, and misrepresentations to the commission). The JTC found two of the three counts against Judge Adams were established by a preponderance of the evidence, and recommended that she be suspended without pay for 180 days and ordered to pay costs. The Supreme Court affirmed the JTC's findings of fact and conclusions of law. However, the Court rejected the JTC's recommendation of suspension and instead removed her from office. View "In re Adams" on Justia Law

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The Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) recommended that the Supreme Court remove Respondent 22nd District Court Judge Sylvia A. James from office for judicial misconduct. Judge James filed a petition asking the Court to reject that recommendation. The evidence established that respondent misappropriated public funds, some of which were intended for victims of crime in the city of Inkster. She inappropriately spent much of this money on self-promoting advertisements and travel expenses for herself and various other court employees. She treated these funds, as the master phrased it, as her own "publicly funded private foundation." In addition, she: (1) denied people access to the court by instituting and enforcing an improper business-attire policy; (2) employed a family member in violation of court policy; and (3) made numerous misrepresentations of fact under oath during the investigation and hearing of this matter. The Court concluded that cumulative effect of respondent's misconduct, coupled with its duration, nature, and pervasiveness meant that respondent was unfit for judicial office. "Although some of her misconduct, considered in isolation, does not justify such a severe sanction, taken as a whole her misconduct rises to a level that requires her removal from office." Therefore, the Court adopted the recommendations of the JTC, except with respect to costs respondent will be ordered to pay, as would be detailed later. View "In re Hon. Sylvia James" on Justia Law

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The Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) recommended that the Supreme Court remove Respondent 12th District Court Judge James Justin from office for numerous instances of documented judicial misconduct. Respondent's multiple acts of misconduct evidenced that he failed to follow the law, "apparently believing that it simply did not apply to him." Among the instances cited, Respondent fixed traffic citations issued to himself and his spouse, dismissed cases without hearings, failed to follow plea agreements, and made false statements under oath during the JTC hearing. Upon review, the Supreme Court ordered Respondent's removal from office, and that he pay costs, fees and expenses incurred by the JTC in prosecuting its complaint. View "In re Honorable James Justin" on Justia Law