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Judge holds himself in contempt when his phone goes off during trial

Raymond Voet’s policy against phones in the courtroom applies to everyone

It’s a feeling we all know well. Flushed cheeks, clenched chest, the cloud of shame that appears over your head whenever your phone goes off someplace it shouldn’t—class, the movies, or, God forbid, court.

Judge Raymond Voet does not truck with such nonsense. The chief district judge of Ionia County in Michigan is notorious for holding the owners of disruptive cell phones in contempt of court and fining them $25. And, being a man of principle, this policy applies to everyone. Including himself.

On Friday, Voet accidentally nudged his phone, activating voice command and causing it to declare “Sorry, couldn’t hear anything. Try saying, ‘call mom’ or ‘open calendar’” during the closing arguments of a domestic violence trial. He apologized, and though the attorney who had been speaking said it was OK (what else would he tell the judge?), Voet filled his own name in on the “Contempt of Court” form, writing, “Ray Voet has been held in contempt of court for a disturbance caused by a personal electronic device in the Courtroom contrary to well posted notices.” And he, too, will have to pay the $25 fine.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.


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