On Wednesday, June 19, 2024, the Minnesota Lawyer reported that the Board on Judicial Standards was granted leave to file an amended complaint against Judge John P. Dehen.

The amended complaint comes amid an ongoing inquiry into Judge Dehen’s conduct. He has served as a judge in Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District since being elected in 2010. In 2022, Dehen received a private admonishment for improper use of his judicial prestige relating to a dispute over a Facebook marketplace sale.

The original formal complaint against Dehen was filed on April 26, 2024, and included allegations that he acted outside of established law and procedure and had a disqualifying conflict of interest regarding his efforts to rehire a former court reporter at the highest pay scale. Dehen was also accused of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law while serving as a judge.

However, the Board on Judicial Standards sought to expand the scope of their complaint by adding two new allegations of misconduct. Firstly, they claimed that Dehen once presided over court proceedings from inside a moving vehicle. Additionally, the board alleged that Dehen demonstrated prejudice based on language and immigration status in several at-risk juvenile guardianship cases. They argued his statements in these cases did not align with statutory criteria and displayed a pattern of prejudice toward parties based on their national origin and ethnicity.

Although Dehen argued there was no good cause for amending the original complaint, Senior Judge Kurt Marben authorized the board to file the revised complaint. The board was given a 10-day window starting on June 13, 2024, to officially submit the amended formal complaint detailing the new allegations against Judge Dehen. The inquiry into his conduct continues as the legal process moves forward.



Source: Minnesota Lawyer