Sunday, April 2, 2017

Small Town Nevada Judge Challenges Disciplinary Charges

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge who has been suspended from her position in a small, Nevada town is challenging state ethics charges that accuse her of various forms of abuse of judicial power.

Goodsprings Township Justice of the Peace Dawn Haviland's responses to the 10 charges were posted March 22 by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, online records show.

The document declares that Haviland does not believe that she has committed any ethical violations.

But it declines to respond to an 11th count alleging that she improperly provided legal advice and violated rules requiring her to competently and diligently discharge her duties, "promote confidence in the independence of the judiciary" and "exercise impartiality and fairness."

"I do not give anyone legal advice," she said, adding that she saw no specific facts to respond to in the other allegations in the count.

Haviland's lawyer, Al Marquis, has said he'll challenge the authority of the state oversight panel and seek dismissal of all charges. They were filed March 1.

Haviland was suspended in December with pay from her job as the only local judge in Goodsprings, a town of about 200 residents about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southwest of Las Vegas.

She branded several allegations as fabrications and dismissed one about sentencing a man to jail without his attorney present as a simple mistake. She said she corrected it "a couple of days later."

Haviland attributed several of the allegations to a disgruntled court clerk. Haviland said that she couldn't recall signing an order sealing records about a domestic dispute involving her daughter and then-son-in-law. She had recused herself from the case.

Haviland said her clerk gave her the order for her signature. In her answer to the judicial discipline panel, Haviland said that she saw nothing wrong with signing it because it had been agreed-upon by all parties in the case.

Haviland's answer accused the commission of making public a record that was supposed to have been sealed.

Full Article & Source:
Small Town Nevada Judge Challenges Disciplinary Charges

1 comment:

Kim said...

I think it's important that judicial discipline be above boards and public. Perhaps this challenge will go a long way toward achieving transparency.