On Friday, May 26, 2o23, the Commercial Appeal reported that Judge Melissa Boyd, a Shelby County Criminal Court Justice, will be temporarily absent from her position due to an undisclosed illness. During her absence, her predecessor will assume the role and responsibilities until Judge Boyd’s return.

Before taking a temporary leave of absence, Judge Boyd faced a public reprimand from the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct in early May. The reprimand stemmed from a Facebook post where Judge Boyd while wearing her judicial robe, solicited donations for a school. In its decision against Judge Boyd, the Board emphasized that her solicitations, conducted through her judicial position, aimed to promote the personal interests of others in seeking financial contributions and resources via social media. This blurring of boundaries between Judge Boyd’s official role and the advancement of private interests was deemed problematic by the Board.

AbusiveDiscretion reported that on December 21, 2022, Judge Boyd received official notification that an investigative panel of the Board had approved a comprehensive inquiry into her social media conduct. She was explicitly instructed to provide a response within 14 days and was furnished with the relevant details for her reply.

Regrettably, Judge Boyd failed to submit any response within the stipulated timeframe, surpassing the January 11, 2023 deadline. Consequently, on March 22, 2023, she received a notice informing her that the investigation had been broadened to encompass her failure to promptly address the Board’s inquiry.

The board stated, “Failing to respond to an investigation is inconsistent with a judge’s proper performance of the judge’s duties and undermines public confidence in the judiciary, simply stated, failing to respond is unacceptable.” A 2015 release about Boyd’s suspension also reads, “Ms. Boyd failed to act with diligence in the handling of a petition to change custody, failed to deposit an unearned fee into a trust account, and failed to refund the fee when terminated prior to performing the work.”


Source: Commercial Appeal