Published On: Tue, Mar 25th, 2014

Judge Joe Brown arrested for contempt, released on his own recognizance same day

Former TV judge, Judge Joe Brown, who ruled many in the past in contempt of court, was arrested for the exact same infraction in a Tennessee courtroom Monday.

Judge Joe Brown Image/ Shelby County Sheriff Office

Judge Joe Brown
Image/ Shelby County Sheriff Office

Brown, 66, was sentenced to five days in jail after he became “pretty raucous” and “challenged the authority” of Magistrate Harold Horne. However, later that day, Brown was released on his own recognizance.

According to a report by Memphis affiliate, WMCTV.com, Brown, a former Shelby County criminal judge, was  representing a woman who was accused of being the mother of an unknown child by someone in Virginia.

Brown told the magistrate that according to federal standards the woman had been treated unfairly and threatened to shut the place down.

According to a transcript of the court proceedings from the Memphis news source, Brown was found in contempt after the following display:

“On what authority do you sit by? As a former judge here,” said Brown to the magistrate. “We have a rule in the 30th judicial district that says every single magistrate referee has to be unanimously approved by every circuit, chancery, and criminal court judge. I don’t recall your name’s ever been submitted, sir. This tribunal on a general sessions court’s authority is insufficient to establish you, therefore I challenge your authority to hear it. By the way, what is that? Magistrate, sir? With due respect.”

The show, “Judge Joe Brown” was cancelled last year after a long run.



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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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