JUDICIAL CONDUCT COMMISSION GIVES PUBLIC REPRIMAND TO CIRCUIT JUDGE LANGFORD

Timothy A. Langford, The Circuit Court Judge for 1ST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT of Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton and Hickman counties was given a public reprimand by the Judicial Conduct Commission on June 17, 2013.

It was charged that Judge Langford was asked by the grandmother of two children to allow her to take them to an Easter Egg hunt. The judge granted the requested. An anonymous ethics complaint was filed against the judge.

It was found that the District Judge had previously issued a Domestic Violence order which forbade the children to be around their father pending further order of the District Court.

It appears that Judge Langford’s main violation was the ex parte communication he had with the grandmother on the weekend when the court house was closed. This is a complex issue as all Judges are supposed to be on call 24/7…and many times they must enter emergency orders on the weekend.

This ruling will make it more difficult to comply with the JCC. The message is that no judge should meet with just one party…if they all can’t be present then no hearing. The JCC applied the rule as it is written, and they were correct. The solution might be to ask the Supreme Court to really look at this rule and figure out how a judge is supposed to be on call 24/7 but can only meet or talk with all parties.

No harm was experienced by the children. The Circuit Judge was given a public reprimand.

Sometimes a judge tries to look out for the best interest of a child, and that can get him in trouble.

The entire file in this case may be reviewed on line at:

http://courts.ky.gov/commissionscommittees/JCC/Documents/Public_Information/FormalProceedingsLangford.pdf

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