Judge Removed From Bench for Jailing 46 over In-Court Cell Phone Use

The use of cell phones in public places is an irritant that reminds us of the need for basic standards of etiquette. In courtrooms throughout the country, judges and court personnel impose serious consequences for the inconsiderate use of cell phones. The issue took an interesting turn this week when the NY State Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended the removal of an upstate judge for overreacting to the use of cell phones in his courtroom. The judge jailed an entire courtroom audience after no one admitted responsibility for a ringing phone.

“Every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now,” the judge told the courtroom’s audience, according to the commission. When no-one came forward, the judge ordered that the entire courtroom audience of 46 people be taken into custody and set bail at $1,500.

Details of the story are reported in the NYT and the Niagara Gazette.