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Legal Ethics

Municipal judge must give up top court job because son is a cop, state supreme court rules

Posted Mar 6, 2013 5:54 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The chief municipal court judge in Perth Amboy, N.J., must step down from the court's top job, because his son works for the city as a police officer.

And Judge George Boyd must also recuse himself from any cases involving the police department, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in a unanimous opinion (PDF) on Wednesday, the Star-Ledger reports.

Boyd has been a municipal judge in Perth Amboy since 1991. His son has been on the police force since the beginning of 2011.

His lawyer, Frank Catalina, said Boyd is disappointed by the supreme court's decision but will comply, the newspaper reports. "The decision also indicates he's a respected and long-sitting judge, which he appreciates," Catalina said.

The city's mayor, Wilda Diaz, said Boyd stepped down as chief municipal judge, effective today, and likewise will not hear any cases concerning the Perth Amboy police department from this point on.

“In the upcoming weeks, the city will be evaluating the volume of non-police matters in the municipal court so it can assess its options available going forward,” said Diaz.

Meanwhile, the state's top court apparently hasn't yet decided whether another New Jersey municipal judge can continue moonlighting as a stand-up comic.

An earlier ABAJournal.com post discusses that case:

Does judge’s moonlighting as stand-up comic put judiciary in bad light? State’s top court to decide

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