Eighteen months after Ottawa County District Judge Kenneth Post jailed a young criminal defense attorney for persistently asserting his client’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights, the Michigan Supreme Court found that Judge Post’s conduct breached numerous standards in the Code of Judicial Conduct and imposed a 30-day suspension without pay. The order is here.
The order attaches a transcript of a bond hearing in which Judge Post, over defense counsel’s repeated objections, asked the defendant state on the record when he last used controlled substances. Judge Post wanted to determine when the defendant should be ordered to his first drug screening. But each time Judge Post demanded an answer, defense counsel would interrupt to assert the defendant’s right to not incriminate himself. Eventually, Judge Post had enough, fined the attorney, and had him jailed for contempt of court.
The order adopts the conclusions of the Judicial Tenure Commission that Judge Post’s conduct, among other things, was discourteous, improper and prejudicial to the proper administration of justice, and eroded public’s confidence in the judiciary.