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Friday, February 11, 2011

[MD] Judge Russell, disciplined for marrying domestic violence couple, defied court himself in 2008

EMBATTLED JUDGE VIOLATED COURT ORDER DURING DIVORCE: Md.'s Chief Judge Asks For Ethics Panel Opinion
WBALTV.com
February 9, 2011
[Excerpts] A Baltimore County judge who was temporarily removed from the bench for marrying a couple in a domestic violence case has come into conflict with another judge in his own divorce. Judge Darrell Russell's divorce case is sealed from public view, but an open court hearing in the fall revealed he violated a court order, and an ethics panel may now be involved in the case. Russell was cleared to go back on the bench in Baltimore County District Court in January. He had been sidelined and reprimanded last year for allowing a domestic violence suspect to avoid prosecution by marrying him to his accuser. The 11 News I-Team has learned that Russell's own domestic situation caused a county Circuit Court judge to find him in contempt in the summer of 2008... On a recording of the appellate court hearing, the lawyer for Russell's ex-wife can be heard spelling out the complaint. "After June 1 comes and goes, I file a petition for contempt because Judge Russell does not move out of the marital home as of June 1," the lawyer said on the recording. The contempt petition was heard the following month, and the residing judge ruled in the ex-wife's favor. "Judge Russell is found in contempt for not vacating the home, and he's given until August of 2008 to do that," the judge can be heard saying on the recording. Law experts said findings of contempt are considered pretty serious. "What it means is, under our legal system, you have defied a judge," said law professor Byron Warnken... [Full article here]
[public official involved maryland state politics]

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