The Supreme Court of Michigan recently issued an opinion in a judicial misconduct case, suspending the judge for 60 days without pay. Judge Morrow, sitting for the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan, received his punishment from the Supreme Court after the parties were unable to settle their claims outside of court.
There were ten instances of conduct that were complained of, however only eight were considered judicial misconduct. In fact, the first official to review the conduct, the master, only found two to be judicial misconduct, stating that though the Judge’s “methods are sometimes unorthodox, ‘his heart is in the right place[.]’”
Judges are expected to abide by the law and also by a code of professional ethics, just like most other professional persons. So, when Judge Morrow closed the courtroom doors during a post-conviction hearing without explanation, failed to sentence convicted persons as required by law, dismissed cases sua sponte, subpoenaed medical records without parties consent, and retrieved a prisoner from lockup and sentenced him without restraints or security; he was making his own law, not abiding by it.