Monday, November 05, 2007

Judge gets fired for reviewing evidence

Glenn Sacks reports:
Virginia judge James Michael Shull, who smoked out a woman who sought to extend a restraining order based on false charges of domestic violence, was just removed from the bench ...
The other complaint against the judge was that he once decided a family court issue by tossing a coin. The VA supreme court didn't say that there was anything wrong with tossing a coin or ruling in an arbitrary way, but it said that it was bad for the dignity of the process to tell the litigants that he was tossing a coin. It would have been better to toss the coin secretly, and to never reveal his process, according to the reasoning.

The judge's main offense was that he asked to see a thigh wound on a woman who was asking for a domestic violence restraining order. It turned out that the wound was self-inflicted. The judge should be commended for examining evidence and rejecting a phony claim, not fired.

The VA supreme court said that the judge should have been more sensitive because the woman had a "clear history of mental instability", and wore pants to court. I guess the trick to getting a restraining order in Virginia now is to just act like a crazy woman and refuse to show your evidence.

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