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Civil Procedure

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

Posted Apr 15, 2013 12:35 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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When a cellphone rang Friday during a prosecutor's closing argument in a domestic violence trial, a Michigan judge didn't have to look far to find the culprit.

It was Chief Ionia District Judge Raymond Voet himself who was to blame, MLive.com reports. He had recently gotten a new phone and apparently didn't lock it properly before court. He also had trouble turning it off, as it offered him suggestions about voice-dialing.

“I got very embarrassed, and I’m sure my face turned red,” Voet told the newspaper later. “I thought it would never happen to me.”

The judge is known for being a stickler about cellphones and has signs posted outside his courtroom warning the public that individuals face a $25 fine and could lose their electronic device if it does off during a hearing. He is known for having taken offending phones from police officers, attorneys, witnesses and personal friends.

Voet held himself in contempt and walked downstairs during a court recess to pay the same $25 fine he imposes on other offenders, the article reports.

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