On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission entered an order in the judicial conduct proceeding, denying 42nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jamie Jameson’s request to have his temporary suspension lifted.
On August 15, 2022, Judge Jameson filed the subject motion to alter, amend, or vacate the Commission’s order of temporary removal. The judge is currently suspended with pay after a 3-2 vote following a preliminary hearing by members of the JCC earlier this month.
Judge Jameson is charged with misconduct and establishing a conflict of interest in relation to an ankle monitoring program he initiated. He is also charged with using his position as a judge to exert pressure on attorneys and others to donate and support his political campaign as well as acting in retaliation against a Marshall County Sheriff’s Office employee by attempting to have the person fired or reassigned.
According to Judge Jameson’s motion, there were numerous errors of law that occurred, all of which require that the Order of Temporary Suspension be withdrawn and vacated. The first and potentially the most egregious error concerns the number of votes cast by the JCC ordering the temporary suspension. It added that the evidence presented by the Commission is insufficient to prove the burden required to temporarily suspend Judge Jameson.
In a fourteen-page opposition to Judge Jameson’s motion, the JCC stated that the commission heard approximately eight hours of testimony, including over two hours of testimony from Judge Jameson, and considered numerous video hearings and document exhibits at the hearing.
The opposition reads:
“Absent from Judge Jameson’s view of the evidence presented at the hearing are the introduction of courtroom videos displaying his deviation from acceptable standards of judicial conduct while on the bench. The videos displayed his behavior to attorneys, jail staff, and others and demonstrated a demeanor that was not patient, dignified, or courteous. The videos illustrated how Judge Jameson used his contempt power in an unacceptable manner. The evidence presented depicted Judge Jameson imposing contempt charges at individuals who disagreed with him, accusing attorneys of unethical conduct, and handcuffing a Marshall County jailer and threatening him with contempt for a COVID-19 jail policy conflict.”
The opposition goes on:
“Judge Jameson’s Motion does not cite any new or previously unavailable evidence, any intervening change in controlling law, or any justification for a belief that the JCC’s August 15, 2022 Order must be vacated to prevent manifest injustice. On the contrary, Judge Jameson relies on the same law, the same evidence, and the same arguments as he did at the hearing. As such, his Motion is nothing more than a request that the JCC reassess the evidence presented at the hearing and make factual findings in accordance with his views of the evidence.”
In the order denying Jameson’s motion, the JCC disagreed with the judge’s argument that “the only exception [to the Commission’s requirement to follow the Civil Rules] concerns the standard of proof in that the burden requires that the proof submitted be of clear and convincing evidence.”
The order stated that:
“Judge Jameson’s challenge of the evidence presented which resulted in the Order of Temporary Removal is simply his view of the evidence presented at the hearing. The Commission heard the same evidence presented and reached its conclusion by majority vote of the quorum, and consistent with the standard set forth in the rule for temporary removal. Any other argument presented by Judge Jameson to challenge the Order of Temporary Suspension, including manifest error of law, is without merit. Based on the foregoing, by a vote of 5-0, Judge Jameson’s motion to alter, amend, or vacate is DENIED.”
A full five-day hearing is scheduled in mid-October.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.