On Tuesday, December 20, 2022, the Commonwealth of Pennysylvania Court of Judicial Discipline ordered that a hearing on the Petition to suspend without pay against Judge Marissa J. Brumbach, a Magisterial District Judge of the 1st Judicial District of Philadelphia County, be held on January 6, 2022. The case is entitled “In the matter of Hon. Marissa J. Brumbach” with case no. 2 JD 22. 

The charges cited Code 1 of Code of Judicial Conduct; 1.1, 1.2, Canon 2; 2.1, 2.1(a), 2.5(b), 2.6(a); Constitution of the Commonwealth of PennsylvaniaaArticlea V, &17(b),  Article V, &18(d)(1) which state:

A judge shall comply with the law, including the Code of Judicial Conduct. 

A Judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. integrity. 

The duties of judicial office, as prescribed by law, shall ordinarily take precedence over a judge’s personal and extrajudicial activities. 

A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties competently and diligently. 

A judge shall cooperate with other judges and court officials in the administration of court business. 

A judge shall accord to every person or entity who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person or entity’s lawyer, the right to be heard according to law. 

Justices and judges shall not engage in any activity prohibited by law and shall not violate any canon of legal or judicial ethics prescribed by the Supreme Court. Justices of the peace shall be governed by rules or canons which shall be prescribed by the Supreme Court. 

A justice, judge, or justice of the peace may be suspended, removed from office, or otherwise disciplined for conduct which prejudices the proper administration of justice or brings the judicial office into disrepute, whether or not the conduct occurred while acting in a judicial capacity.

The Code of Judicial Conduct can be found here

On a Petition for Relief for Interim Suspension Without pay filed against the respondent on December 14, 2022, it was stated that the respondent filed with Board complaint, alleging nine counts of Judicial misconduct. Because of the serious nature of the alleged conduct, the Presiding Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court states its lack of confidence in the respondent’s integrity. 

Allegedly, the respondent, who is in charge of adjudicating the traffic citations on a certain day, had already adjudicated most of the said citations prior to the scheduled hearing date. This was because the respondent had already planned to attend an event on the specified date, but was not allowed by the Presiding Judge. 

The filing states:

“Upon review of the traffic citations contained in each of the 95 files it was determined that although each citation was scheduled to be heard on January 7, 2022, and each defendant had been so notified, Judge Brumbach had nonetheless adjudicated most of the citations prior to the scheduled hearing date.”

The filing continues:

“It was later learned that Judge Brumbach planned to be in Florida on January 7, 2022, and intended to place a telephone call to her court staff at the conclusion of each of the three court sessions on January 7, 2022. During each of the three aforementioned telephone calls, Judge Brumbach intended to instruct her staff to docket and record the adjudications she had previously placed on each of the traffic citations for each of the traffic citations that had been scheduled to be heard during the court session that had just concluded.”

The filing further states:

“On the morning of January 10, 2022, Judge Brumbach attempted to obtain the 95 traffic citation files telling a court employee that the files were “incomplete.” Despite her efforts to obtain the 95 traffic citation files, Judge Brumbach was denied access to them.”

It was requested that an interim order suspends Judge Brumbach without pay pending disposition. The court, in response, ordered that a hearing on the Petition be held on January 6, 2023, at 10 a.m. in the Superior Court Courtroom, 530 Walnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia.

Brumbach is a Magisterial District Judge of the 1st Judicial District of Philadelphia County. Her info can be found on ballotpedia.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.