On Friday, October 21, 2022, Kahlilia Y. Davis, Judge of the 36th District Court, City of Detroit, Wayne County, filed a petition for the Michigan Supreme Court to review the Judicial Tenure Commission’s recommendation for discipline for multiple acts of misconduct.

On March 6, 2020, Judge Davis was charged with seven counts of misconduct based on multiple violations of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct (canons), the Michigan Court Rules (MCR), and the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC). The alleged misconduct includes abuse of contempt of court powers, failing to conduct required evidentiary hearings and making premature judgments, obstruction of court administration, knowingly and intentionally disconnecting video recording equipment and conducting proceedings without an official record, making unauthorized recordings, and publishing court proceedings, handicapped parking space violation, and conduct, and making misrepresentations personally, as a judge, and to the commission.

In its Decision and Recommendation for Discipline filed on September 23, 2022, the Judicial Tenure Commission concluded that Judge Davis is unfit to serve as a judge. According to the Commission, Judge Davis’ multiple and distinct acts of pervasive on-the-bench misconduct comprising the first five counts of the seven-count Second Amended Formal Complaint are each egregious in their own right.

The cumulative effect and pervasiveness of Judge Davis’ misconduct convinced the Commission that the judge should not hold judicial office and recommended that the Supreme Court remove and suspend her without pay for a period of six years.

The recommendation reads:

“On the basis of her judicial misconduct, and in consideration of all the Brown factors and additional factors considered by the Supreme Court, the Commission unanimously recommends that Respondent be removed from office and thereafter suspended for six years without pay.”

On October 21, 2022, Judge Davis filed a petition objecting to the Commission’s Decision and Recommendation, stating that the Supreme Court is not bound by the Commission’s recommendations and that the Supreme Court’s exercise of the proposed discipline is not limited to the Commission’s views.

Judge Davis stated that while she did make mistakes, as virtually everyone does, she did not act in a manner intentionally designed to cause harm.

The petition states:

“Respondent recognizes that she did make some mistakes. She did not engage in intentional wrongdoing. The JTC recognized that their claim about misrepresentation is not based upon strong evidence. Thus, the JTC decided to limit their recommendation to one claim about misrepresentation, to wit: the weak allegation concerning a purported playing with cords from video recording equipment. For reasons set forth in this Brief, it is demonstrated that the JTC failed to prove a preponderance of evidence regarding the video recording equipment claim.

Respondent had been the subject of injection by the JTC for 5 years. She has been under the interim suspension for 2 1/2 years. To the extent that this Court determines that a sanction is required, it is submitted that such be limited to a sanction that is not greater than the suspension that is currently in effect.”

The Judge earned a law degree from the University of Michigan.
The Judge is in Courtroom 337, 421 Madison Street in Detroit, and can be reached at 313-965-2293 https://www.36thdistrictcourt.org/about-us/judges/kahlilia-yvette-davis.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.