By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Commission on Judicial Performance yesterday publicly admonished a retired Butte Superior Court judge, Barbara Louise Roberts, for repeated instances of intemperate conduct.
Roberts, 65, left the bench last Oct. 11. She was appointed in 1998 to a municipal court and became a superior court judge through unification.
The commission said in its decision:
“Judge Roberts engaged in a pattern of poor demeanor in multiple dependency cases over which she presided in 2019 and 2020. This misconduct included treating primarily parents, but in one case, attorneys and a social worker, in a harsh and discourteous manner. Judge Roberts also abused her authority and became embroiled in one case. The commission also found that, on January 8, 2020, Judge Roberts yelled at court staff and engaged in a display of impatient and frustrated behavior in the clerk’s office, in an adjoining internal court hallway, and in chambers. The commission further found that, on January 9, 2020, again while in chambers, the judge discourteously raised her voice to another judge.”
The opinion went on to say:
“In determining to issue a public admonishment, the commission considered that Judge Roberts’s misconduct involved harsh and degrading treatment of multiple vulnerable and struggling parents in dependency. The number and nature of these incidents indicate a pattern of misconduct.
“The commission considered the impact of the judge’s remarks on the public’s regard for the integrity and impartiality of the court system. In determining to issue a public admonishment, notwithstanding Judge Roberts’s retirement and lack of prior discipline, the commission considered the judge’s apparent lack of remorse for the harm her ‘tough love’ approach caused parents appearing before her, as well as her significant misconduct directed at court staff and her discourtesy to another judge.”
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