Trials & Litigation

Judge fines defendant $50 over ringing cellphone ... then has to pay another $50 himself


A Michigan judge who has a sign in his courtroom since May warning visitors they’ll be held in contempt if a cellphone rings, didn’t hesitate to lower the boom on Friday when a defendant being sentenced in a credit card case violated the rule as his lawyer was speaking to the court.

The defendant’s phone was seized, and he could only get it back by paying a $50 sanction, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Then the jurist’s own cellphone rang five minutes later.

“I reached in my pocket, pulled out 50 bucks, gave it to my court officer and she took it upstairs,” said Lansing District Judge High Clarke Jr. A receipt shows the fine was paid at 10:29 a.m.

A similar incident happened to another Michigan judge in April:

Oops. Judge holds himself in contempt when his own cellphone rings during court hearing

Hat tip: Associated Press

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