On Thursday, February 23, 2023, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline accepted Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Marissa J. Brumbach’s, reply brief.
The case is entitled “In the matter of Judge Marissa J. Brumbach” and was brought by the Judicial Conduct Board with case no. 2 JD 22.
On December 14, 2022, a Petition for Relief of Interim Suspension Without Pay was filed by the Judicial Conduct Board against the respondent alleging nine counts of judicial misconduct. According to the petition, the allegations against judge Brumbach undermine both public confidence in the judiciary and the reputation of the same. Based on the actual complaint, the respondent didn’t perform her judicial and administrative duties competently and diligently. This is in regard to the judicial activity of the respondent where she was supposed to finish all his supposed traffic citations duties but failed to do so.
The filing states:
“That same day, the Administrative Judge spoke with Judge Brumbach about the 95 traffic citations scheduled for hearings on January 7, 2022, and her earlier email to the President Judge. While speaking with the Administrative Judge, Judge Brumbach denied adjudicating the 95 traffic citations scheduled for hearings on January 7, 2022, and said that she had merely marked them with what she thought the outcome should be. During the afternoon of January 6, 2022, the President Judge obtained the 95 traffic citation files that were scheduled to be heard by Judge Brumbach on January 7, 2022.”
On December 13, 2022, the respondent filed her Answer to the Petition for Relief for Interim Suspension. In the said answer, the respondent denied some parts and admitted some. In response to these factual allegations, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline issued an order dated, January 12, 2023, wherein the Petition to Suspend without pay was denied.
On January 31. 2023, the respondent filed an Omnibus Motion where she requested that the Board be precluded from admitting the original copies because the board has caused them to be irreparably spoiled.
The filing continues:
“The facts alleged by the Board are legally insufficient to establish that Judge Brumbach committed any misconduct. Bach of the Board’s nine allegations of misconduct hinge on its ability to prove, as a matter of law, that Judge Brumbach adjudicated any of the 95 citations before their January 7 list date. Because the Board cannot prove Judge Brumbach adjudicated any of the 95 citations, the Board’s Complaint should be dismissed with prejudice. The Board’s Complaint erroneously alleges that Judge Brumbach’s notations on the Exhibits are “adjudications as written.”
In response to this, on February 9, 2023, the Judicial Conduct Board’s filed a response to the respondent’s Omnibus Motion where it requested that the said motion be denied in its entirety.
The filing further states:
“WHEREFORE, the Board, by and through Melissa L Norton, Chief Counsel, respectfully requests that this Honorable Court deny Respondent’s Omnibus Motion in its entirety.”
In the Reply Brief of the respondent, she submitted the same for the purpose of further supporting her earlier Omnibus Motion. She argued that she would be prejudiced if she will not be allowed to respond to the same arguments. The respondent also stated that the board’s arguments are flawed.
The filing additionally notes:
“Ultimately, the Board’s shifting arguments in support of its Complaint are evidence that its Complaint is fundamentally flawed. No matter whether the Board argues: (1) Judge Brumbach adjudicated the cases; (2) what would have occurred on January 7 (and not what did occur or could have occurred) would have amounted to misconduct; (3) Judge Brumbach pre-judged the cases (a theory which implicitly concedes that no person’s due process rights were ever denied);” (4) the notations on the paper citations were “verdicts”8 albeit not final or appealable orders; or (5) Judge Brumbach failed to conduct a trial in absentia, the Board cannot escape the fact that the conduct alleged did not amount to misconduct in any form as a matter f law.”
In response to the request to file a reply brief, the court issued an order accepting the respondent’s reply brief and ordered the Judicial Conduct Board to file a rebuttal brief.
Judge Brumbach’s courtroom is located at 1301 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, and can be reached at +1 215-686-7000. Her info can be found on Ballotpedia.org.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.