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Legal Ethics

Pennsylvania Judge Dismissed Her Own Parking Tickets, Court Records Show

Posted Jul 15, 2011 3:06 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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Although district judges should disqualify themselves in proceedings in which they are a party, according to the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board's rules, one judge took it upon herself to dismiss her own parking and traffic violations this year, according to court records.

District Judge Kelly Ballentine dismissed a no-parking ticket and an expired registration ticket despite her colleagues' practice of having other magisterial judges handle their cases at the district court level, the Intelligencer Journal reported.

Similar actions have met firm opposition from other states, including New Jersey and Michigan, where a Michigan judicial commission recently recommended the removal of a district judge who dismissed nine traffic cases against himself and his wife.

Lancaster, Pa., and state authorities didn't tell the Intelligencer Journal whether Ballentine's actions were being investigated.

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