Demetria Brue, judge of the Michigan 36th District Court, has filed an answer to the complaint filed by the Judicial Tenure Commission of the State of Michigan. The case is entitled “In that matter of Hon. Demetria Brue,” with case no. FC105.

The charges cited Judicial canon; Canon 2(A), Canon 2(B), Canon 2(C); Michigan Court Rule: 9.104(2), 9.104(3), 9.104(5), 750.479c(1)(b); Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct: 8.4(b), 8.4(c). These ethics rules generally require:

A judge to avoid all impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Prohibits conduct that tends to erode confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.

Requires a judge to treat all persons with courtesy and respect.

Forbids judges to use the prestige of their office to advance personal interests.

Forbids lawyers to engage in conduct that exposes the courts to contempt, obloquy, censure, or reproach.

Forbids conduct that is contrary to justice, ethics, honesty, or good morals.

Forbids conduct that violates a criminal law of a state.

Forbids knowingly and willfully making any statement to a peace officer that the person knows is false
or misleading regarding a material fact.

Forbids a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, or misrepresentation, where such conduct reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.

Prohibits a judge from engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

On November 23, 2022, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission filed charges against the respondent for violation of the Judicial Canons during a dispute that involves a Bike Shop Owner. Allegedly, while the respondent and a colleague rented bicycles in Main Street, one of them had a problem using the said bicycle. After returning it to the Bike shop, the respondent refused to pay which started some arguments. During the heat of the discourse, the respondent reached over the cash register and attempted to take the bike rental paper out of the supervisor’s hand and then ripped it into pieces. The respondent then charges the supervisor of the shop with assault.

The filing states:

“Respondent Brue then said to Mr. Green words to the effect: You assaulted me. Did you just assault me? You took my receipt and tore it up. I want the police. Now we need the police. I am going to call them. Because you just assaulted an elected official who is here … who came here by invitation for a conference. You assaulted me. I asked you for my receipt back. You snatched my receipt back from me. You snatched my receipt and threw it away and grabbed my hand and you hurt me. You touched my hand with force and violence. I am a female. I am a judge. I am here for a conference and you —. it was disrespectful and it was violent. – I am an African America female. That was racist, and it was disrespectful and it was violent.”

In her Answer to the Complaint and Affirmative Defenses, the respondent clarified that it is Mr. Green “the Supervisor” who was rude and condescending when he approached them during their request for assistance with the disputed bicycle.

The filing continues:

“There had been a problem with the bike assigned to Respondent’s colleague who was also African-American and a judge. Respondent does not recall ever speaking to anyone who identified himself as a supervisor, A white employee rode the bike around in a circle on the sidewalk. “The white employee who rode the problem bike around in a circle indicated that there was nothing wrong it. One of the white employees went inside the bike shop and brought out who was later known as the owner, Mr. Green (who was also white) came out, he was rude and condescending towards Respondent and her colleague. He stated that there was nothing wrong with the bike assigned to the Respondent’s colleague. He accused them of wanting a “free ride.” Respondent took offense at the accusation because it was not only untrue and false but also because that is a term used by racists in past years to imply that African-Americans want something for nothing.”

The filing further states:

“Respondent does not recall ever telling PO Hardy that she and her colleague were judges. Respondent and her African-American colleague had become so concerned over the manner in which they were being treated by the police as well as by Mr. Green, that the colleague called the police department and asked that a police supervisor be sent to the scene. Later, when an officer, who was identified as Trooper Bergsma arrived, Respondent and her colleague assumed that he was the supervisor Respondent’s colleague had called for. He appeared a bit older than PO Hardy, more mature, and appeared to take charge of the situation. He did not appear to be acting as an advocate for Mr. Green. He helped to bring a resolution to the incident.”

The filing additionally notes:

“Respondent never knowingly made a faälse statement to the officers when the incident occurred on Mackinac Island and never intentionally made false statements to the Commission in her answer to the request for investigation. It is worthy to note that on March 27, 2022, Respondent filed her answer to a 28-day letter, her answer with attachments is approximately an inch-and-a-half thick.”

The respondent argued that the Complaint has presented no genuine issue as to any material fact. She also stated that the Commission is barred by lack of conditions precedent. She did not engage in making any false statements to the Judicial Tenure Commission nor engaged in improper or irresponsible conduct.

The Judge earned a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

The Judge is in 36th District Court, address is 421 Madison St, Detroit, MI 48226, USA in and can be reached at 313-965-5678. Her bio can be found on abjmonline.com.

A copy of the filing can be found here.