In re JP Williams, Jr.Annotate this Case
This case came before the Supreme Court on recommendation of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana, which recommended Justice of the Peace Herbert Williams (Parish of Plaquemines) be publicly censured and ordered to reimburse costs incurred in the Commission's investigation and prosecution of this case for violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. In his capacity as an ex officio notary public, JP Williams notarized a document "purporting to transfer" ownership of a parcel of land to his son and daughter-in-law. The donation was not recorded right away. Upon discovering the "purported donation" in 2009, the purported Donor filed a complaint in Louisiana federal district court to clear title to the property at issue. In light of an article that appeared in the local newspaper concerning the complaint, the Commission opened an investigation, and alleged JP Williams engaged in judicial misconduct by notarizing the donation of land to his relatives, which was beyond his limited ex officio notarial powers, and without witnessing the Donor's signature. After a thorough review of the facts and law in this matter, the Supreme Court agreed with the Commission's disciplinary recommendation.