Judge Carroll: We Don't Care What You're Awed By
In the Observer's February 21 issue, Matt Kuhns quoted Municipal Court Judge Patrick Carroll's dismissal of Ms. Scott's suit against the city: "In reviewing the number of court decisions involved in this case, I am awed by staggering amount of public funds spent on attorney's fees..."
Once again, Mr. Carroll has demonstrated his inability to separate his fiscal beliefs from his duty to appear fair and impartial. If you're so concerned about the cost of attorney's fees, why don't you do something - such as reporting it to the bar - instead of running off at the mouth again? Or offer some facts to support his opinion? How about calling out the city's Law Advisor and its appointed counsel by name?
A judge's job is not to return funds to the entitity that employs him or her. The judges job is to listen to the people who (in Judge Carroll's case) have to endure his moodiness and the belittling remarks he hurls down at them from his self-elevated lofty bench. If you do not and continue to refuse to understand that a judge is supposed to listen to the facts and then apply them to the law without regard to whether your tribunal returns money to the city, then you shouldn't be sitting on the bench.
Finally, a Municipal Court decision has no precedential value, and the poorly-crafted comments here offer little in the way of persuasive authority. "I am awed by ..." Really? How about some facts? If you really wanted to do the right thing the right way - which you fell well short of the mark on here - you would have written something such as: "While this court has no jurisdiction to decide the merits of this case and therefore dismisses it, the court notes that this ordinance conflicts with state law, pits neighbor against neighbor, and that the city's continued litigation of a pointless issues wasted the appellant's time as well as that of this court."
Unfortunately for the people who have to appear in your court, they have to put with another four years of your saturnine behavior and apparent inability or refusal to display proper judicial decorum by treating those who appear before you with dignity. Please just do your job, sir, and spare us what Ernest Hemingway would undoubtedly call your ill-thought-out comments were he alive to hear and read them today. Thank you.
Bob Soltys is a retired federal administrative law judge and a former Navy officer.
Bob Soltis is a retired federal administrative law judge and a former Navy Judge Advocate.