10 Most Bizarre Judges in Court
1The US judge who jailed a man for yawning in court
Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak sentenced Clifton Williams to six months jail for yawning loudly when the judge sentenced his cousin to two years probation. The cousin walked out but Clifton didn't, and he had to spend three weeks behind bars. The prosecutor in the case said Clifton's yawn wasn't routine and was a "loud and boisterous" attempt to disrupt the courtroom. But a Tribune review of contempt of court charges over the past decade shows Rozak jails people on contempt charges more frequently than any other judge in his county. Rozak was responsible for more than a third of all contempt charges laid by 30 judges in the 12th Judicial Circuit over the past 10 years. Those jailed were typically spectators whose cell phones rang or who screamed or shouted profanities during sentencing.
2The judge who ducted tape to keep noisy defendant's mouth shut
3The judge who ordered a man suing his parents for allowance to move out and find a job
The situation at the home had seriously deteriorated with the parents claiming their son had physically and verbally assaulted them. The man's mother works in a restaurant while his father works for a garbage collection firm. In Spain it is not unusual for offsprings to remain living with their parents until well into their 30s, a trend strengthened by a tough labor market where the youth unemployment rate is 40.5%, the highest in the European Union.
4The judge who passed a sentence over the phone because the defendant was late to court
5The judge who jailed own worker for typing too slowly
To be fair, Greene did point out that Smith had failed to finish the transcript for several months now, and that she had been given a final deadline– which she missed. She then also failed to write up the transcript in time for her appearance on contempt of court charges.
Smith was eventually released from jail, after she told judge Greene that she couldn't do the work in prison because she was so worried about her three children at home. The judge then relented, and allowed her out of jail – but immediately put her under house arrest until she completes the work. Smith currently has around 400 pages of the 1,500 page transcript to go.
6The judge who used her twin sister to impersonate her on court so she could be double-booked
Their ruse was only discovered after they were overheard discussing their plans by a client.
7The judge who tried himself, convicted himself and then released himself for good behavior
8The judge who got fired for consulting his imaginary mystical dwarves during sessions
'From obscurity, my name and the three mystic dwarves became immortal,' he added. In addition to the mystical dwarves, Judge Floro also reportedly believed that he was able to foresee the future, that he could inflict pain on others, and that he was the angel of death. He would change his judicial robes from blue to black every Friday to recharge his psychic powers. The court found that he was unable to carry out his duties due to 'mental unfitness', adding that this could 'erode the public's acceptance of the judiciary as the rational guardian of the law.' Armand, Luis and Angel were unavailable for comment.
9The judge who got fired for jailing all of the 46 people present at the court
Restaino, who became a full-time judge in 2002, was hearing domestic violence cases when a phone rang. 'Everyone is going to jail,' the judge said.'Every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now. If anybody believes I'm kidding, ask some of the folks that have been here for a while. You are all going.' When no one came forward, the judge ordered the group into custody and they were taken by police to the city jail, where they were searched and packed into crowded cells. Fourteen people who could not post bail were shackled and bused to the Niagara County Jail, a 30-minute drive away.
Later in the afternoon, after being told reporters were calling, the judge ordered the defendants released. The judge told the state panel he was under stress in his personal life.
10The judge who sued the city for $1m after slip-up in court
Judge Battaglia, who broke a knee in the accident, accuses the city of "negligently using a mop bucket and wringer" and "negligently using a mop and soapy water" to create a "dangerous and hazardous traplike condition".
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