On Monday, April 10, 2023, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC)  of the Supreme Court of New Jersey filed a complaint against R. Douglas Hoffman, judge of the Municipal Court of the Township of Robbinsville, for touching his female co-worker without her consent.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of R. Douglas Hoffman,” with case no. 2023-051.

The charges cited code of judicial conduct Canon 1, rule 1.1, Canon 2, rule 2.1, Canon 5, rule 5.1(a) which require:

Judges to observe high standards of conduct to preserve the integrity and independence of the Judiciary.

Judges to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety and to act, at all times, in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary.

Judges to conduct their extrajudicial activities in a manner that would not demean the judicial office.

The respondent allegedly was involved in an unconsented touching with one of the clerks he was working with within the municipal court.

The filing states:

“Respondent and L.W. were affiliated as “friends” on Facebook. Respondent often “liked” L. W.’s posts, exchanged jokes, comments, and photos, some with sexual innuendo, and discussed weekend plans with L.W. on Facebook. Respondent extended an open invitation to L. W. to visit him at his beach house any time she was in the area. On May 31, 2022, Respondent provided L. NV. with his personal cell phone number via direct message to her Facebook account. Prior to that date, Respondent communicated with LW. via Facebook Messenger.”

The filing continues:

“L. W. arrived at Respondent’s beach house at or around 11:30 a.m. where she remained for longer than four hours. Respondent and L. W. spoke initially on the front porch of Respondent’s house before Respondent invited LW. inside for a tour. Over the next four hours, L. W, and Respondent each consumed four shots of whiskey and one to two cans of beer. At one point, Respondent and L. W. sat within arm’s length of each other on a couch in Respondent’s family room drinking alcohol and watching a baseball game on L.W.’s phone.”

The filing further states:

“The conversation between Respondent and L.W. at times concerned LW. ‘s intimate relationship with her boyfriend. While seated on the couch, Respondent touched L. W.’s knee and upper thigh, without her consent, and in a manner that made L.W. uncomfortable. Immediately thereafter, L.W. abruptly left Respondent’s house without further discussion and without her car keys.”

According to the ACJC, Judge Hoffman “demeaned the judicial office,” a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

The complaint states:

“WHEREFORE, Complainant charges that Respondent, Municipal Court Judge R. Douglas Hoffman, has violated the following canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

Judge Hoffman is a part-time judge in the Municipal Court of the Township of Robbinsville in New Jersey located at 1117 US-130, Robbinsville Twp, NJ 08691, and can be reached at +1 609-259-3522. His info can be found on lawyersjustia.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.