On Monday, July 31, 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court suspended Honorable Tracy E. Green, a Third Circuit Court Judge of Michigan after misconduct involving dishonesty concerning her son’s abuse of her grandchildren.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Tracy E. Green”, and was bought by the Judicial Tenure Commission with case no. 162260.

In a ruling and advisory opinion submitted on July 29, 2022, the commission formally asked for Judge Green’s removal from her judicial position due to accusations of falsehoods concerning her son’s maltreatment of her grandchildren. Charge I alleged that Green concealed evidence of child abuse perpetrated by her son against his own children, who are the former’s grandchildren (two young boys). Charge II asserted that Green while serving as a judge, provided false testimony under oath during a juvenile court proceeding (referred to as the “Juvenile Court”) on behalf of her son.

Moreover, she allegedly furnished inaccurate information to the commission during these proceedings in response to the commission’s inquiries dated September 17, 2019, and October 30, 2019, concerning her awareness of her son’s abusive actions towards her grandchildren. Charge III, introduced through an amendment to the FC, accused Green of deliberately making false statements to the commission in her signed answer.

The syllabus states:

“The master found that respondent knowingly concealed evidence of child abuse prior to becoming a judge. The JTC adopted the master’s findings and conclusions of law. The JTC additionally found that statements the respondent made to a CPS investigator on the day the boys were removed from Davis – Headd’s home further demonstrated that she had been aware of the abuse.”

The syllabus continues:

“In these proceedings, the respondent admitted to one instance of seeing a handprint on GD and covering it up with makeup. Respondent maintains that the mark she saw was not a bruise and was, in fact, a “ pinkish ” red mark. Regardless of whether the mark met the medical definition of a bruise, the slap to G D’s face was hard enough that it left a visible mark on his face that the respondent believed needed to be covered with makeup. When testifying before the master, the respondent described what she saw as “a faint, what looked like to me an outline of some fingers. Not the whole hand, but at least three fingers.” Such an injury would be evidence tending to prove child abuse or a pattern of child abuse, even if the mark, by itself, would not be sufficient to prove child abuse under the applicable standard of proof.”

The syllabus further states:

“The boys’ testimony in this matter is relevant. RD and GD credibly testified that the respondent was aware of and had covered bruises or other marks of severe physical discipline on more than one occasion. Moreover, the boys’ version of how the single instance to which the respondent admit ted occurred was dramatically different than the respondent’s — importantly, both boys denied that RD had ever teased GD about being slapped by their father, which was the sole reason respondent provided for covering up the handprint. Accordingly, we conclude that the JTC sustained its burden of proving that the respondent knowingly made false statements about evidence of child abuse in her answer to the JTC’s requests for comment”

The syllabus additionally notes:

“Because the complaint was never amended, Count II was limited to the respondent’s testimony in the juvenile court hearing and her responses to the JTC’s requests for comment. This lack of amendment in connection with the JTC’s generalized conclusions that the respondent lied under oath 18 raises a concern that the respondent was not provided with notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond to these allegations. Because the complaint was not amended to add these new allegations, we decline to consider them further or make any determination of whether the JTC demonstrated this count by a preponderance of the evidence.”

The Michigan Supreme Court held differing opinions on certain aspects of the Judicial Tenure Commission’s conclusions. It determined that a six-month unpaid suspension better aligned with the appropriate penalty. While acknowledging the JTC’s evidence of misconduct related to concealing abuse evidence and false statements, the court dismissed the charge of deliberate falsehood under oath. Furthermore, the court contested the JTC’s removal suggestion, taking into account multiple factors and previous instances of judicial disciplinary actions.

The Disposition states:

“Respondent’s judicial misconduct warrants a serious sanction. But as explained earlier, the JTC’s recommended sanction of removal from office is disproportionate to the misconduct that we have found. Instead, public censure and a six-month suspension are appropriate. Therefore, we modify the JTC’s recommendation and order that the Honorable Tracy E . Green, Judge of the Third Circuit Court, be suspended without pay for six months, effective 21 days from the issuance of this opinion.”

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

A copy of the original filing can be found here.