Mississippi Comm'm on Judicial Performance v. DearmanAnnotate this Case
The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance filed a formal complaint against Judge Teresa Brown Dearman for violating Canons 1 (charging judges to establish, maintain, and enforce high standards of conduct to uphold the integrity of the judiciary), 2A (charging judges to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary), 2B (charging judges to avoid lending the prestige of their office to advance the private interests of others), and 3B(2) (charging judges to be faithful to the law and not to be swayed by partisan interests), when she initiated a telephone call to a circuit court judge in Florida. The Commission averred that Judge Dearman reached the voice mailbox of the Florida judge's judicial assistant, identified herself as a judge in Mississippi, and recommended that bond be set for a longtime friend and criminal defendant. It further averred that Judge Dearman personally guaranteed the defendant’s appearance if bond was granted. The Commission recommended that Judge Dearman be publicly reprimanded and ordered to pay $100 in costs, but the Supreme Court found the recommendation insufficient. The Court ordered that Judge Dearman be suspended from office for thirty days without pay in addition to a public reprimand and costs of $100.