The former judge of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Kahlilia Y. Davis, who was suspended for abusing her contempt of court powers, is facing opposition from the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission over her motion for reconsideration. The commission filed its objection and answer on Monday, July 24, 2023, arguing that Davis’s motion was untimely and meritless.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Hon. Kahlilia Y. Davis” with case no. 161134.

The respondent faced serious consequences as the Michigan Supreme Court ordered a six-year conditional suspension without pay. The accusations against the respondent encompassed various forms of misconduct, including abuse of contempt of court powers, failure to conduct essential evidentiary hearings and making hasty judgments, obstruction of court administration, intentional disconnection of video recording equipment resulting in proceedings without an official record, unauthorized recordings and publication of court proceedings, violation of handicapped parking regulations, and personal misrepresentations as a judge to the commission.

The report states:

“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.”

In response, Judge Davis sought to contest her discipline by filing a motion for reconsideration. In her argument, she contended that her actions were significantly less severe than the misconduct in the case referenced by the court, where the other judge involved only received a censure and a conditional suspension lasting five years. However, in contrast, Judge Davis was subject to a 3-year interim suspension, which began on June 17, 2020, followed by a 6-year conditional suspension. As a result, she will be under complete suspension from June 17, 2020, until June 23, 2029—a total of nine years. Throughout this period, she is prohibited from holding any judicial office.

The report continues:

“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 Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission opposes and answers former judge Kahlilia Davis’ motion for reconsideration, arguing that the motion is late and does not show valid reasons for reconsideration. The commission maintains that Davis’ suspension should not be reduced and stresses that the suspension is meant to punish her for her pervasive misconduct.

The objection states:

“Even if reconsideration was available and timely, Respondent fails to state any valid grounds for such relief. She presents nothing new that was not already before this Court when it rendered the discipline; she misstates that this Court’s order precludes her from running for and being elected judge in the next election, which is false, and she presents no compelling basis on which to conclude that this Court was wrong in deciding that her misconduct is deserving of the “highest condemnation and harshest sanction.” (Order p 6.) Accordingly, Respondent’s Motion should be denied.”

The objection continues:

“Respondent’s only argument on reconsideration is that since she was suspended on an interim basis for “three she should get credit for time served and should have received less than the six-year suspension under this Court’s Order. The respondent’s argument fails for multiple reasons. She fails to mention in her Motion that she was suspended with pay during her interim suspension, see June 17, 2020 Order of this Court, and she presents nothing new that was not already before this Court when it entered its June 23, 2023 Order.”

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission asked the court for the respondent’s motion for reconsideration to be rejected.

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.