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Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Judge’s ‘Inexplicable Madness’ Over a Cellphone...(MORE, CLICK HERE)

A Judge’s ‘Inexplicable Madness’ Over a Cellphone
The New York Times - News Briefs
November 27, 2007
By Danny Hakim

The next time you pass through the city court system in Niagara Falls, N.Y., remember to turn your cellphone off.

Today, the Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended the removal of a judge in Niagara Falls City Court who had what the commission’s chairman, Raoul L. Felder, called, “two hours of inexplicable madness” when a cellphone rang in his courtroom.

Specifically, on the morning of March 11, 2005, the judge, Robert M. Restaino, was presiding over a slate of domestic violence cases when he heard a phone ring in his courtroom. He told the roughly 70 people in the courtroom, according to the commission’s report, that “every single person is going to jail in this courtroom” unless the phone was turned over.

He continued: “If anybody believes I’m kidding, ask some of the folks that have been here for a while. You are all going.”

Security officers attempted to find the phone, but failed, while an officer was posted at the door.

After a brief recess, Judge Restaino returned to the bench and asked the defendant who had been standing before him when the phone rang — from the back of the room — and if he knew whose phone it was.

“No,” the defendant, Reginald Jones, said. “I was up here.”

Nonetheless, the judge scrapped plans to release Mr. Jones, set bail at $1,500 and sent him into custody. He was the first of 46 defendants to be sent into custody because of what could be called the case of the ringing cellphone.” The judge opined at length about his frustration over the phone.

“This troubles me more than any of you people can understand,” Judge Restaino said, adding: “This person, whoever he or she may be, doesn’t have a whole lot of concern. Let’s see how much concern they have when they are sitting in the back there with all the rest of you. Ultimately, when you go back there to be booked, you got to surrender what you got on you. One way or another we’re going to get our hands on something.”

One defendant, according to the report, told the judge, “This is not fair to the rest of us.” To which the judge replied, “I know it isn’t.”
Another told the judge, “This ain’t right.” The judge responded: “You’re right, it ain’t right. Ain’t right at all.”

The commission said that Judge Restaino acted “without any semblance of a lawful basis,” behaved like a “petty tyrant” and said his conduct “transcended poor judgment.”

Mr. Felder, the chairman — who is best known as a celebrity divorce lawyer — was the lone dissenter; he voted instead to censure the judge.


Anonymous said...

So the Judge got exercised about the cell phone - so what - cut him some slack - go after all the corrupt Judges that everyone knows about that do far worst thant this

Anonymous said...

Do these guys have to pass any mental tests before they are on the bench?
What happens when they snap they get a promotion?
Maybe he need a inpartial medical review of his mental condition.
Maybe he has a substance abuse problem. How about asking judges and lawyers to pee in a cup every now and then.

Anonymous said...

To be on the bench the major requierements are to be a narcist, insecure so you can destroy others to feel better about yourself, have a criminal mind, be mentally unstable, not know the constitution or just don't care about it and maybe know someone, blow someone or just not be human at all.

Anonymous said...

I am sure if the above writer was thrown in jail, he wouldn't be requesting some slack for the hack!Judges absolutely must have an appropriate demeanor and from what i have witnessed from the bench...this is RARE! Throw JUDGES RESTAINO OUT AND LET'S GET IN SOMEONE DECENT FOR THIS BUSTED JUDICIARY! I am all for removing him...NY TAXPAYER!

Anonymous said...

I was before a judge (Sam Walker) whose first rulling after a defendant appears to him is to set the so called "Condition of Bail" atop of any bail already posted.
Th condition of Bais is sending the defendant to a program at his own or taxpayers cost for 52 or at leas 26 weeks to a program (Task or "Domestic Violence for Men").
If and when the defendant gets acquited he does not get back anything from what he spends on program fees (typically $3000).
I assume this practice of the petty tyrant Sam Walker costs millions to the NYS taxpayer and probably even more to defendants.
From my own extensive experience with Sam Walker, I can say that he has an IQ of an idiot (he constantly forgets stuff, insists on applying procedures that are totally insuitable for a particular case, speaks bulshit in the courtroom). I don't know if he was born idiot or became demented with aging,, what bugs me is that the commission of Raoul Felder does not take any measures against him.

The reason Hon. Sam Walker is not sanctioned yet is the fact that his idiotic behaviour generates a lot of money for the industry (the programs and the lawyers).

Anonymous said...

The lawyer love Hon. Sam Walker, because he pound their pockets with money for the so called "compliance hearings".
A defendant sent to a program is typically ordered to appear once a month before the idiot Sam D. Walker just to check if he attends the program.
Of course, the Defendant appears with a lawyer, who typicallly charhges him between $600 and $800 for the useless court appearance.
During the "complience hearing" a note from the program, stating that the Defendants reqularily attended" is typically read by the DA to the idiot Walker (as if the idiot cannot read it itself).

The point of this comedy is, of course, to make money by imitating work from the DA and the lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I'm not afraid to call the guy idiot, because I know that Sam Walker is too afraid of being submitted to an IQ test, to sue me for defamation.
I will love to appear before a jury on a defamation trial.

Anonymous said...

Compare this guy to Frances Nicolai and then tell me who has committed major violations. This guy is a boy scout compared to Nicolai and his boys.

Anonymous said...

Now Judge Restaino has involved the support and outrage of the Niagara Falls common council in his removal appeal! This is the ultimate judicial arrogance. This judge erred so horrifically, that even if he claims he is a saint or prophet, he has a propensity for outrageous outbusts and behavior if minor things upset him. This is not appropriate judicial demeanor and most definetly worthy of his matter what his ethnicity....NIAGARA FALLS! You have dealt with so much corruption, and now you rally behind the perpetrator of same. Keep the MOB there and shut up.

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