On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the New Jersey Globe reported that Robbinsville Municipal Court Judge R. Douglas Hoffman will face a removal hearing regarding allegations of inappropriate conduct. According to the article, Judge Hoffman has served as a municipal court judge in Robbinsville since 2010 and also held positions in other nearby towns.

In 2021 and 2022, Judge Hoffman developed a close relationship with a Robbinsville violations clerk identified as L.W. The article states that in October 2022, L.W. met with Judge Hoffman at his beach house, where they had several drinks together. It is then alleged that Judge Hoffman inappropriately touched L.W.’s knee and upper thigh without her consent. L.W. quickly left and later reported the incident to her supervisor and Robbinsville’s human resources department.

The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct subsequently filed a complaint against Judge Hoffman stating that by providing alcohol to and drinking with a subordinate employee in his home, and touching her without consent, he violated certain sections of the New Jersey Code of Judicial Conduct regarding maintaining appropriate behavior and conduct befitting of a judge. The complaint asserts Judge Hoffman demeaned the judicial office through his reported actions.

In response to the complaint, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner assigned Appellate Court Judge Jack Sabatino as well as Assignment Judges Lisa Miralles Walsh and Carol Novey Catuogno to hold a hearing regarding Judge Hoffman’s conduct. The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct officially presented the charges against Judge Hoffman on March 26, 2023, with a formal complaint filed on April 10. Judge Hoffman will now face the removal hearing to determine if he should be removed from office.

 

 

Source: New Jersey Globe