Judge Fines Himself for Smartphone Disturbance in Court

These days, it's hardly surprising to hear that a Michigan judge found himself in contempt of court after his cell phone interrupted court proceedings. After all, we live in a constantly connected world, right? That said, it is strange that Judge Raymond Voet held himself in contempt of court.

The AP (via Huffington Post) reports that Voet fined himself for the interruption after his smartphone went off during a prosecutor's closing argument on Friday. Apparently, Voet's Windows Phone started requesting voice commands with no warning. Voet reckons he must have bumped the phone by accident, but he wasn't about to let himself off the hook that easily. Voet has a policy against the use of electronics in his court. This policy states that the owner of any electronic devices causing a disturbance during court sessions will be cited with contempt. His logic is that if he can't live by his own rules, how can he expect others to abide them? He fined himself $25 during a break in the proceedings.

"Judges are humans," The AP cites Voet said. "They're not above the rules. I broke the rule and I have to live by it."

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  • rb420
    Would be nice if more people in positions of power had that kind of integrity
  • whiteodian
    Having served Jury Duty a few times, this doesn't surprise me. The judge and bailiffs constantly remind jurors to have their devices powered off and in some cases will collect them prior to us going into the courtroom. For the judge to let himself off the hook, that would be counter to what he stands for in upholding laws/rules.
  • the great randini
    I wish he would run for office. My new hero.
  • Tuishimi
    Funny! Good for him.
  • Anomalyx
    It is sad that something like this is so unusual that it warrants being in the news. Where have morals and sensibility gone these days?
  • edogawa
    Nice, this guy has my respect, only if everyone had that kind of integrity.
  • internetlad
    faith in humanity. . . rising. . . rising.
  • slomo4sho
    Nothing more powerful than leading by example.
  • Marcus52
    /respect for Judge Voet.
  • halcyon
    25 whole dollars eh? ...to get good, "I play by my own rules" PR. I'm sure he thinks it was a good investment. Me? Not impressed. Pay the fine like that when its $2,500 and I'll have some respect.