Commission on Judicial Discipline Takes Action
Clark County, Nevada
Last year we broke the story and showed a video of family court judge Rena Hughes coldly berating an unrepresented crying and pleading 12 year old girl who sat alone at counsel table after Hughes ejected her mom from the court house.
Hughes told the girl that her mom was losing custody as punishment, and that effective immediately she had to live with her dad for months without seeing her mom. Hughes even threatened to throw the girl into a “holding cell” at Child Haven, describing it as “jail.”
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We were so appalled by what we saw that we filed a complaint against Hughes with the Commission on Judicial Discipline. Mainstream media picked up the story, and Hughes was eventually taken off the case, and the girl’s mom’s rights were restored by another judge.
Click onto each video part 2-3
We are gratified to report that on October 10, 2017, the Commission on Judicial Discipline filed a formal complaint against Judge Hughes based this incident. Click on Formal Statement of Charges on Clark County Family Court Judge Rena Hughes.
The complaint accuses Judge Hughes of incompetence and abuse stating that she “knowingly” denied the mom and the girl their due process rights and improperly stripped the mom of her custody rights.
Click on Formal Statement of Charges on Clark County Family Court Judge Rena Hughes.
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The complaint also lists a host of violations of the rules of ethics that govern judges, including, failing to promote confidence in the judiciary, failing to uphold and apply the law, failing to perform all duties of her judicial office fairly and impartially, failing to perform judicial and administrative duties competently and diligently, failing to accord a party’s right to be heard, and failing to be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants and witnesses.
While many praise our work, we also take a lot of heat for reporting judges who we believe refuse to following the law.
We were recently criticized by Judge Bryce Duckworth, another family court judge against whom we lodged a complaint, claiming that all we do is “recruit disgruntled litigants.” We say this to our critics: What parent would not be “disgruntled” to have their child illegally and unconstitutionally taken away from them? And, we don’t “recruit” anyone.
When we learn of an injustice, we have the right — the civic duty — to let the public know about it. We file complaints with the appropriate authorities so that the abuse can stop and others are not victimized. We know that victims are afraid or intimidated to speak up; we also know that speaking up is the only way to effectuate change.
We are gratified that the Commission is taking action against Judge Rena Hughes. We hope this example encourages others to also speak up, as Audre Lorde said, “until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.”
See something, say something.
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