The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded Judge A. Melissa Boyd, a Shelby County Criminal Court Judge, through a letter dated May 8, 2023, for soliciting donations and failure to respond to the Board’s inquiry.

The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of Judge A. Melissa Boyd,’ with case number #B22-9105.

According to the letter, Boyd utilized her Facebook account to solicit resources and cash donations for the benefit of a school. Said post showed Boyd wearing her judicial robe.

On December 21, 2022, Boyd was officially informed that an investigative panel of the Board had authorized a thorough investigation into her social media activity, and she was explicitly notified of her obligation to respond within 14 days and was provided with the necessary information to do so.

However, Boyd failed to submit any response within the required timeframe, extending beyond the January 11, 2023 deadline. Subsequently, on March 22, 2023, Boyd received a notice indicating that the investigation had been expanded to include her failure to timely respond to the Board’s inquiry.

Although Boyd eventually provided an explanation for the delayed response in an April 10, 2023 letter, the response was submitted after the statutory deadline had passed.

The letter reads:

‘The investigative panel decided to impose a public reprimand for the conduct described above, which you have accepted. The Board trusts that the reprimand imposed today will result n an elevated consciousness about how to approach similar situations going forward, as neglecting ethical responsibilities not only reflects poorly upon the individual judge but undermines the integrity of the judicial system and the administration of justice.”

The Board in ruling against Boyd stated that the solicitations were made using Boyd’s judicial office to promote the personal interests of others to seek financial contributions and resources through social media, blurring the line between Boyd’s official role and the advancement of private interests.

Accordingly, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct decided in favor of the investigative panel’s decision to impose a public reprimand on Judge A. Melissa Boyd.

Judge Boyd earned a law degree from University of Louisville School of Law. The Judge’s Courtroom is located at Shelby County Criminal Justice Center, 210 Poplar Avenue, Suite 3034, Memphis, TN 38103. His bio can be found at TNCourts.gov.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.