Friday, February 26, 2016

Judge anonymously sues commission over 'illegal' discipline

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal lawsuit accuses the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana of illegally disciplining a judge, who is suing the commission's appointed members under a pseudonym.

The judge, who sued the commission on Wednesday, is referred to only as "Judge John Doe" in the complaint. The suit doesn't identify the court where the judge serves or specify the nature of the judge's alleged ethical violations.

The suit claims the commission "admonished" and "cautioned" the judge even though it only has the authority to recommend a judge's discipline to the state Supreme Court.

The judge's attorney, Normand Pizza, declined to identify his client or elaborate on the suit's allegations. A spokeswoman for the state Supreme Court said commission records related to the case involving the judge are under seal.

The suit says the commission opened two separate investigations involving the judge in 2012. The judge also received "a recent inquiry on a baseless complaint," the suit adds.

In closing the 2012 cases, commission members ultimately concluded that the judge violated the state's judicial conduct code, admonishing the judge in one case and cautioning the judge in the other.
"Such actions are a form of discipline," the suit says.

The commission never asked the state Supreme Court to discipline the judge, the suit added.

"In these respects, the commission and its members purposefully and recklessly denied the judge the due process rights the law guarantees to the judge," it says.

The judge asked the state Supreme Court to review the commission's actions, but the court's majority refused to take up the case last June.

Full Article & Source:
Judge anonymously sues commission over 'illegal' discipline

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