On Thursday, November 3, 2022, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission issued a reply to the petition for review filed by Tracy E. Green, Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Michigan, which sought a review of the Commission’s recommendation to remove Judge Green from the bench for allegedly covering up child abuse.

On July 29, 2022, the Commission filed a Decision and Recommendation, requesting the Supreme Court to remove Judge Green from the bench for allegedly lying about the abuse of her young grandsons by her son.

The Commission states:

“Count I charged that Respondent covered up evidence of child abuse committed by Respondent’s son against Respondent’s grandchildren (her son’s children, two young boys). Count II charged that Respondent made false statements as a judge under oath at a juvenile court hearing (the “Juvenile Court”) while testifying as a witness on behalf of her son, and to the Commission in these proceedings in her responses to the Commission’s requests for comment issued September 17, 2019, and October 30, 2019, about her knowledge of her son’s child abuse against Respondent’s grandchildren. Count III, as added by amendment to the FC, charged that Respondent made knowingly false statements to the Commission in her Answer which she signed under penalty of perjury.”

According to the Commission, Judge Green’s misconduct is comparable to, or worse than, the misconduct that caused the Supreme Court to remove other judges.

On October 14, 2022, Judge Green filed a petition objecting to the Commission’s Decision and Recommendation. Judge Green stated that she was never, under any circumstances or in any respect, aware of, or told by anyone, the details of the alleged abuse of her grandsons at the hand of their father. Specifically, Judge Green said that she was never advised about alleged abuse by her grandsons.

The petition states:

“The two foundational elements that had to be proved by a preponderance of evidence, before the Commission could consider whether Judge Green covered up evidence of child abuse, are the existence of child abuse and Judge Green’s knowledge of actual child abuse. Without these findings in the record, it is impossible to find misconduct and an actual analysis of the Brown factors is impossible.”

The petition concludes:

“The decision and recommendation of the Commission, in adopting the findings of fact and conclusions of the appointed Master related to Count I and Count II of the Amended Complaint, lack factual and legal bases and the constitutional rights of Judge Green have been violated. For these reasons, those counts should be dismissed. At a minimum, the denial of Judge Green’s constitutional rights and the errors of the Commission and appointed Master entitles the Judge to an in-person re-hearing.”

In its reply, the Commission stated that because Judge Green rests her entire defense on her own implausible testimony and “categorical denial’ of the allegations of misconduct, she conspicuously provides no analysis of the Brown factors, including that she does not dispute the Commission’s analysis of the Brown factors and other relevant disciplinary considerations.

The Commission’s reply states:

“Finally, because Respondent’s position hinges solely on her request that this Court flip the Commission’s credibility determinations entirely in her favor, and she does not dispute the Commission’s disciplinary analysis in the event this Court does not adopt her position, Respondent focuses her Petition on arguing that the proceedings were unfair. She argues that she was denied due process because Michigan’s judicial disciplinary system in unconstitutional, that other aspects of the Hearing, including a purported conflict of interest and other alleged improper conduct by disciplinary counsel, made the risk of unfairness intolerably high, and that she was entitled to an in-person hearing rather than a virtual hearing for the ten of the twelve hearing days that were conducted via ZOOM and live-streamed to YouTube.”

According to the Commission, the recommended discipline of removal is proportionate to the misconduct of Judge Green and reasonably equivalent to the action that has been taken previously in equivalent cases, and should be ordered by this Supreme Court.

The Commission’s reply concludes:

“WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, and based on the supporting facts and argument in the accompanying reply brief and in the Commission’s July 29, 2022 Decision, the Commission asks that this Court reject Respondent’s Petition, and accept in full the Commission’s recommendation of removal.”

The Judge is in Courtroom 604, 1441 St. Antoine in Detroit, and can be reached at 313-224-2441.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.