Legal Ethics

Reprimanded re Bailiff Relationship, Ex-Judge Says He's Sued NJ Supreme Court for Racial Bias

Reprimanded for failing to disclose a romantic relationship with a bailiff in his courtroom, a former part-time New Jersey municipal judge says he has filed a federal lawsuit against the state supreme court.

Wilson Campbell, who now serves as chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Justice, tells the National Law Journal that he sued New Jersey’s top court and other defendants over the scolding, contending that he is being discriminated against due to his race. The article is reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

The District of New Jersey suit alleges, he says, that officials wrongfully sought to oust him from his judicial job because of the consensual relationship between a black man and a white woman. It asserts constitutional and civil rights claims, as well as claims for abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

“The policy in the state of New Jersey allows for dating between judges and judicial employees,” Campbell tells the legal publication. “Their only complaint was that I didn’t say I was dating this employee.”

Officials with the state supreme court declined to comment, saying it had not yet received the suit.

As detailed in an earlier post, the former relationship came to light when the bailiff attempted suicide after her breakup with the judge. “Bailiff’s Suicide Attempt Ignites Ethics Complaint Against N.J. Judge”

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