Durham Judge Reprimanded by N.C. Supreme Court After Telling Parents They Were “Acting Like Idiots”

According to the News Observer, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has ordered a public reprimand against a judge, James T. Hill, after he made inappropriate comments in the Courtroom during a child custody hearing.

The article states that Hill “failed to follow applicable law when handling the disruptive behavior…” and that “he did not follow proper procedure…” when he found the mother in contempt of court.  Athough the judge is well respected by many, it was his language and failure to follow procedure on this particular date that led to the reprimand.

A video of some of the courtroom drama can be seen in the below link, as well as full details of what took place. Our comments are as follows:

  • The issue before this court is a dispute between custody and support.   Although, the Judge’s reaction was not typical, the dispute is very typical.  Oftentimes, parents will be fighting over custody, visitation and child support.
  • I have never heard a New York Judge call the parties idiots, but, I have often hears Judges state that the case is not about the parents but is about what is in the best interest of the child.
  • New York Judges will also state that they do not want either party to say anything negative about the other party.
  • In New York, custody proceedings are not videotaped.

Article: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article43481352.html