I-TEAM: Cleveland judge says her ‘humor’ may have gotten her in trouble

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**Watch our September 2020 report on Judge Pinkey Carr in the video above**

CLEVELAND (WJW) — A Cleveland Municipal Court judge is responding to the FOX 8 I-TEAM about a new complaint seeking discipline against her.

The new complaint filed late Friday with the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel accuses Judge Pinkey Carr of violating multiple rules of professional conduct, including not wearing proper attire on the bench, holding hearings without a prosecutor or defense attorney present, making jokes and berating defendants, and filing fictitious paperwork with the court. The complaint is over 100 pages and gives several examples.

“Since this is pending litigation, I am limited in my response,” Judge Carr said.  “It’s mind-boggling for me the original petitioner questions my courtroom humor with the litigants, attorneys, and staff after I have been a judge on the bench for nine years. This is the same sense of humor I have displayed since January 2012 to present which the petitioner never questioned, took offense or issue until the allegations were made in the 2020 amended complaint.”

 The judge added that many people in her courtroom are there for traffic citations and she believes many are nervous.

“For the past nine years I have enjoyed providing justice to litigants with a little levity through humor while being fair and impartial,” Carr said. “My courtroom decorum can be described as unique.  But I utilize a common-sense approach to justice. My delivery most often includes humor. However, I am not humorous during every case.  Most often my humor is displayed during my rotation in the misdemeanor arraignment room.  When warranted, my delivery is appropriate for the situation.”  

The judge has until April 15 to file a response to the amended complaint. A hearing on charges is set for May.

Attorneys filing the complaint against Carr are requesting that the Board of Professional Conduct and Ohio Supreme Court sanction the judge.

The I-TEAM reported back in September a push for discipline had begun against  for holding court hearings and issuing warrants for people who did not appear in her courtroom at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis when the court was supposed to be closed.

On March 18, the FOX 8 I-TEAM asked the judge if she issued warrants for defendants who did not appear and she said she did not. The I-Team then checked court records and found that she did issue more than 30 warrants. She then told the I-Team she did not intend to issue the warrants.

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