Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dorothea Batiste Receives Three-Month Suspension At The Conclusion of Judicial Disciplinary Trial

Dorothea Batiste
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Dorothea Batiste has received a three-month suspension from the bench at the conclusion of a three-day disciplinary trial in Montgomery, a source tells Legal Schnauzer.

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (AJIC) charged Batiste with making improper use of her contempt powers in domestic-relations cases, and she faced possible removal from the bench. But the Court of Judiciary ruled this afternoon that Batiste should be suspended from the bench for three months.

Retired Presiding Judge J. Scott Vowell led the effort to file complaints against Batiste, and her lawyers argued that she was the victim of a vindictive prosecution because of Vowell's anger that she had filed a complaint against him with the Alabama Attorney General's Office.

We reported this morning that the case against Batiste was driven largely by her decision to do away with a special masters program in her court. That decision proved to be highly unpopular with a number of domestic-relations lawyers who are close to Vowell.

We will update the story as more information becomes available.


Anonymous said...

Could have been worse. I was afraid it was going to be much worse.

Anonymous said...

I consider this a victory for Batiste. I thought she was a goner for sure.

Anonymous said...

The only reason she was not removed is because the AJIC is expecting more complaints within the next couple of weeks because similar contempt and due process violations have occurred and the AJIC and ACOJ cannot give the appearance of selectively holding judges accountable. This case has opened the door to go after the Sibley Reynolds of the world. To remove her would have set a precedent to remove him and others like him.