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    Judge Reprimand Himself for Not Silencing Cell Phones

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    After his phone rang while he was on the bench, Lansing, Michigan District Judge Hugh Clarke, Junior fined himself 50 dollars for failing to switch the device to vibrate.

    These days, it's hard to find a place where anyone can be away from their mobile devices.

    After his phone rang while he was on the bench, Lansing, Michigan District Judge Hugh B. Clarke, Junior fined himself 50 dollars for failing to switch the device to vibrate.

    It’s only fair, really, as there is a sign posted in the courtroom stating that people who fail to silence theirs will be found in contempt.

    He’s since explained that he only had the phone on him because of a call he had to make during recess. In his rush to get back to the proceedings, he forgot to turn the ringer off.

    Of the fine, Judge Clarke said, “I’m not above the law. We operate by laws and rules, and people have to follow them.”

    He’s not the first court official to reprimand himself for breaking his own disruption rules.

    Several months ago a judge in nearby Ionia County did the same when his phone went off during a trial.

    In that courtroom, the fine is only 25 dollars, and the judge promptly wrote himself a “Contempt of Court” form.