On Monday, July 10, 2023, Kahlilia T. Davis, former judge of the 36th District Court, City of Detroit, Wayne County,  filed a motion for reconsideration before the State of Michigan Supreme Court after being suspended for committing deliberate and repeated misconduct.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Hon. Kahlilia T. Davis,” with case no. 161134.

On Friday, June 23, 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court imposed a six-year conditional suspension without pay against the respondent. The accusations involved a range of misconduct, including abuse of contempt of court powers, failure to conduct necessary evidentiary hearings and hasty judgment-making, obstruction of court administration, deliberate disconnection of video recording equipment leading to proceedings without an official record, unauthorized recordings, publication of court proceedings, violation of handicapped parking regulations, and personal misrepresentations as a judge to the commission.

The court determined that the respondent’s actions had a detrimental impact on the administration of justice. The misconduct specifically affected the dismissal of potentially valid claims, hindered parties from appealing due to the lack of transcripts or recordings, neglected proper conduct of contempt proceedings, including the unlawful imprisonment of a party, and involved the inappropriate use of the respondent’s personal cell phone to record court proceedings. These acts further compromised the justice system’s ability to ascertain the truth in legal disputes and impeded the pursuit of fair outcomes in those cases for the same reasons.

The report states:

“For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the respondent engaged in repeated, deliberate misconduct that besmirched the judiciary’s reputation and prejudiced the administration of justice. The nature and pervasiveness of the respondent’s misconduct require the highest condemnation and harshest sanction. Given respondent is no longer on the bench, we hold that a six-year conditional suspension without pay is an appropriate sanction, with the suspension barring the respondent from serving in a judicial office during that period.”

Judge Davis challenged her discipline by filing a motion for reconsideration. She argued that her actions were much less serious than the misconduct in the case cited by the court. The other judge, in that case, was only censured and suspended conditionally for five years. However, Judge Davis received a 3-year interim suspension starting from June 17, 2020, and a 6-year conditional suspension after that. This means she will be completely suspended from June 17, 2020, to June 23, 2029—a total of nine years. During this time, she cannot hold any judicial office.

The relief requested states:

“For the reasons stated herein, it is requested that this Court reconsider the length of the conditional suspension and reduce the same to an amount less than that imposed on Probert, given the larger punishment bestowed upon Judge Davis.”

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. Her info can be found on 36thdistrictcourt.org.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.