Legal Ethics

Insulted in Restroom, Texas Judge Jails Court Attendee, 69, for Contempt

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Angry about a Texas judge’s ruling in a custody matter involving his granddaughter, Don Bandelman followed the jurist into a public restroom at the Caldwell County courthouse.

Then the 69-year-old called District Judge Jack Robison a fool, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

Bandelman says the judge told him to leave, and he did. But then Robison had his bailiffs arrest Bandelman on the sidewalk outside the courthouse, without any hearing, sentenced him to a 30-day jail term for contempt, the article continues. After two days in the lockup, Robison commuted his sentence to time served once Bandelman’s wife hired a lawyer to file a habeas petition alleging illegal restraint and an appeals court started asking questions.

Bandelman is still angry about the June 23 incident and says he intends to file an ethics complaint against the judge.

“I don’t guess I regret telling him what I did,” Bandelman tells the newspaper. “It probably wasn’t the smartest thing, but it was a (gut) reaction. I guess you have no freedom of speech with a judge.”

Robison, through a court coordinator, declined to comment.

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