On Wednesday, June 21, 2023, the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct and King County Superior Court Judge Mary E. Roberts entered into a stipulation, agreeing to the admonishment of the latter for misconduct.

The case is styled “In re the Matter of The Honorable Mary E. Roberts,” with case no. 11082-F-206.

The charges cited Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 1 (Rules 1.1 and 1.2), and Canon 2 (Rule 2.5), which require:

Judges to respect and comply with the law and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Judges to perform judicial and administrative duties competently and diligently.

According to the court document, the Commission found that Judge Roberts has engaged in misconduct by failing to timely issue decisions in a custody modification action, and in a post-trial attorney fees and costs matter.

The filing states:

“In the custody modification action, the final day of trial occurred on July 1, 2022. Respondent issued her Final Order and Findings on Petition to Change a Parenting Plan or Custody Order on January 17, 2023, approximately six and a half months after the final hearing. While the matter was under advisement, interested parties wrote to Respondent several times inquiring about the status of her decision. Each time the parties were assured a final decision would be forthcoming.”

The filing continues:

“In the post-trial attorney fees and costs matter, a motion was filed on February 11, 2021, and Respondent’s decision was entered on June 2, 2021, ninety-seven days after it was submitted for a decision.”

In response, Judge Roberts acknowledged the delays and took full responsibility for this serious failure and is ashamed of the lack of diligence and the impact it had on the parties.

The filing additionally notes:

“Respondent has resigned her position as the court’s Assistant Presiding Judge and has stated her intention to retire from the bench in January 2024.”

Based on the foregoing stipulations, and upon consideration of the aggravating and the mitigating factor, Judge Roberts and the Commission agreed that an admonishment is the appropriate level of sanction to impose upon the former.

Judge Mary E. Roberts attended Washington School of Law, graduating in 1984. Her courtroom is located at 516 3rd Ave. Room C-203, Seattle, Washington, and can be contacted at 206-477-1348. Roberts’ info can be found on KingCounty.gov.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.