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Judge Censured for Excessive Bail, Severe Attitude

Posted Feb 8, 2008 2:07 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Michigan Supreme Court has publicly censured a judge for setting “grossly excessive” bail and showing a “severe attitude” toward witnesses and litigants.

Judge Norene Redmond of Eastpointe was censured after the court reviewed her actions in three cases, according to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News. The cases involved allegations that Redmond:

--Raised the bond for a woman after she was told the woman’s son had called her an asshole outside the courtroom.

--Set bonds at $750,000 and $1 million for two men accused of overbilling an elderly woman for a paint job.

--Ordered a resident to serve 30 days in jail for throwing a loud party at her home. The court said Redmond failed to disclose she knew some of the complaining neighbors and referred to the defendant’s home as a “flophouse.”

The opinion (PDF) cited several problems with the judge’s conduct, saying she failed to impose reasonable punishment, allowed outside relationships to influence her judgment, and failed to act courteously.

The judge’s conduct demonstrates “a severe attitude toward witnesses, tending to prevent the proper presentation of the cause or ascertainment of the truth, and failure to avoid a controversial manner or tone in addressing litigants or witnesses,” the court said.

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