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Judge Fines Himself After Phone Disrupts Court

Updated: Tuesday, April 16 2013, 10:48 AM CDT

A Michigan judge whose smartphone disrupted a hearing in his own courtroom has held himself in contempt and paid $25 for the infraction.

Judge Raymond Voet has a posted policy. It states that electronic devices causing a disturbance during court sessions will result in the owner being cited with contempt.

On Friday afternoon, during a prosecutor's closing argument, Voet's new smartphone began to emit sounds requesting phone voice commands.
Voet said he couldn't stop the voice because he doesn't use that function on the phone.

"That's an excuse, but I don't take those excuses from anyone else. I set the bar high, because cell phones are a distraction and there is very serious business going on," he told The Sentinel-Standard of Ionia. "The courtroom is a special place in the community, and it needs more respect than that. I tow a tough line, and I got to back it up this afternoon."

During a break in the trial, Voet fined himself. He says if he can't live by the rules he enforces he has no business enforcing the rules.

(Information provided by Associated Press, The Sentinel-Standard of Ionia)

Judge Fines Himself After Phone Disrupts Court


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