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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Judge holds himself in contempt for his smartphone

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A Michigan judge has held himself in contempt of court and paid a US$25 fine after his smartphone interrupted court proceedings.

Judge Raymond Voet.
(Credit: Michigan Live)

Michigan Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia County 64A District Court doesn't like phones interrupting court proceedings. It's fair enough; court is very serious business, and the last thing you need is someone's wacky ringtone right at the moment of sentencing. Voet, therefore, decided that offenders are liable to be held in contempt and fined — a policy that is stated in a clear sign hanging in Voet's court room.

So when his own phone started asking him in the middle of court to give it voice commands, he had no choice but to hold himself accountable.

"The prosecutor was in the middle of his closing arguments," Voet told ABC News. "He lost his train of thought and looked at me. I felt my face starting to burn red." Voet turned off his phone and allowed the prosecutor to continue. During a break in proceedings, however, he fined himself the US$25.

Voet, who used to use a BlackBerry, had just switched to a new Windows phone and was not as familiar with its operation, leaving the phone unlocked — but, having heard many such excuses from people whose phones he has confiscated over the years, he said that he had to hold himself to the same standard.

"Judges are humans," he told AP. "They're not above the rules. I broke the rule, and I have to live by it."

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JamesP11 posted a comment   

Wow, good for him. Never thought I'd see the day where a U.S. judicial official actually cared about the law.


RaphaelM1 posted a comment   

Unfamiliar with it yet so unfamiliar he couldn't simply POWER THE PHONE DOOOOOWN...


DavidL10 posted a comment   

Haha, windows phone users are cool :D


CharlesB3 posted a comment   



PaulL6 posted a comment   

I would have much more respect for law enforcement officials if they all held themselves to the standards as this Judge did. Good job.


MirA posted a comment   

Now that, that is a judge. Respect!

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