The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission issued a Letter of Caution to Alexis G. Krot, a judge on the 31st District Court (Hamtramck), on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of The Honorable Alexis Krot’ with case number #2022-24657.
The judge was charged with violating Canon 3(A)(3) and Canon 3(A)(14) of Michigan’s Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires:
A judge at all times to be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom they deal in an official capacity.
A judge to treat every person fairly, with courtesy and respect.
The judicial canons can be found here
The order reads:
“On January 10, 2022, you presided over the code enforcement docket. One of the matters before you involved Burhan Chowdhury, who had been issued a ticket in August 2021 for failing to keep his property free of weeds, trees or other nuisance vegetation. Mr. Chowdhury and his son, Shibbir, appeared before you by Zoom.
The facts are not in dispute, and you have candidly acknowledged them to the Commission. During the hearing, Mr. Chowdhury informed you that he was a cancer patient, was very old and weak, and could not look after ‘these things.’ A picture shown by screen share reflected overgrown vegetation around a garage in an alley.
You responded to Mr. Chowdhury’s statement that he was sick and weak by telling him that he should be ashamed of himself and that if you could give him jail time, you would. After you fined him $100, you told him to get the area cleaned up, as its appearance was ‘totally inappropriate.’
When Mr. Chowdhury’s son then asked if the fine was forgivable and stated that his father had been ill with cancer and that the area had been cleaned prior to the hearing, you only asked whether he had seen the photo of the area, then stated in a raised voice that it was shameful and that the neighbors should not have to view it, adding that ‘if you come back here — with your yard looking like that, you’re going to jail.’ That threat was particularly inappropriate, as a jail sentence is not an option for a civil infraction.
You deprived Mr. Chowdhury of his right to provide his explanation for the overgrown vegetation; whether intended by you or not, your interaction caused him humiliation; and you reacted with excessive anger toward an individual appearing before you for the first time, and doing so for a minor infraction.
Your conduct on this occasion violated Canons 3(A)(3) and 3(A)(14). A judge cannot allow circumstances, such as those you faced when the Chowdhurys were before you, unduly to influence the way they treat litigants. We caution you to adhere to the letter and spirit of these canons in the future, and we are confident that you share this aspiration.”
The Judge’s Courtroom is at 3401 Evaline St. in Hamtramck and can be reached at (313) 800-5248 http://www.31stdistrictcourt.net/about_the_court/judge_paul_paruk.php
A copy of the original filing can be found here