Judges are supposed to remain impartial. So it is probably not a good idea to announce to the world that you want to be friends with someone whose case you are about to rule on.
A circuit court judge in the Florida town of Sanford, is coming under fire for doing just that. Judge Linda Schoonover is facing accusations and complaints about a range of issues, including sending a Facebook friend request to a woman whose divorce she was about to rule on.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Judge Schoonover’s ruling on the case was unfavorable for the woman who received, and ignored, the judge’s friend request. More than a dozen lawyers and an unreported number of defendants have issued complaints about the Judge, who has been barred from ruling on 17 different lawyers’ cases. The complaints focus on erratic behavior and either an lack of understanding of or a lack of respect for the law.
She has also been accused of sending defendants to a particular psychiatrist, something she had no legal authority to do according to her critics.
But it is the Facebook friend request, and subsequent ruling that appeared to be in retaliation of the ignoring of that friend request, that shows an obvious disregard or misunderstanding of the law. It also shows a shockingly low level of maturity for someone in a position of such power.
Normally, it is the defendant in the courtroom that has run afoul with the law using Facebook.
But this is Florida, they do things different there.
[Photo Credit: noyava]