Judges

Alabama Judge Suspended and Will No-Doubt Only Receive a Public Admonishment By the Judicial Commission

Judges are protected and James Patterson will most likely end up with a public slap and his job, benefits and pension will be safe.

Mobile Circuit Court Judge suspended; facing demeanor, abuse of authority charges

JUN 16, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: JUL 7, 2022

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) — According to a report by Lagniappe, Judge James Patterson, a judge for the Mobile County Circuit Court, has been suspended.

Patterson, who is no stranger to controversy, is now facing consequences from the State.

Wednesday, two charges were filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission—the state agency charged with investigating complaints against Alabama judges. Those two charges are: inappropriate demeanor and temperament, and abuse of judicial authority.

The allegations are detailed in the complaint filed on Wednesday, June 15th.

According to the complaint, the inappropriate demeanor and temperament charge is based on a few allegations including:

Referring to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey as “Governor Memaw” in an order in a civil case, referring to the stay-at-home order issued by the governor just after the pandemic began.

Referring to another judge as a “G*dd*mn snowflake” in front of attorneys and staff.

The order also states he made a racially-charged comment in an Asian accent to a jury pool that included at least one Asian American.

He’s also accused of making demeaning comments to defendants, on one occasion, causing the defendant’s mother to have an emotional outburst.

Judge Patterson later wrote a letter of apology to the governor calling his actions a “poor attempt at humor”.

The abuse of authority allegation refers to 2018 when the 13th Judicial Circuit was struggling financially. The complaint alleges Patterson considered filing a lawsuit against the circuit court clerk, in an attempt to prevent him from sending fees collected locally to the state until the court was adequately funded.

At the time, NBC 15 asked the judge about it.

“It’s frankly starting to impact public safety. I for one intend to do something about it,” says Patterson.

In May of 2019 the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that he surpassed his authority in issuing that order.

We reached out to Judge Patterson this morning but he declined to comment

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Alabama Judge Suspended and Will No-Doubt Only Receive a Public Admonishment By the Judicial Commission
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