• May 14, 2013
Judge and Ye Shall Be Judged (cf. Gospel of St. Matthew, 7:1)

Judge and Ye Shall Be Judged (cf. Gospel of St. Matthew, 7:1)

The severe punishment of one Minnesota judge might be welcome news for Minnesota individuals and businesses in that the judicial system is shown policing its own.

The punishment might also be welcome news to other Minnesota tax court judges as the recommended discipline for Tax Court Chief Judge George W. Perez was, in part, it seems, due to his tendency to shovel work from his inbox to others on the tax court.

The Board of Judicial Standards lowered the boom on Tax Court Chief Judge George W. Perez late last week, holding that “It is improper to fail to make timely decisions and to falsely certify that these decisions were timely.”

As for the punishment,

We think that Judge Perez’s violations, involving improper conduct over a protracted period of time and involving multiple false certifications, are more severe than those in [the recent case against Hennepin County Judge Patricia Kerr] Karasov, and we recommend accordingly.

Minn. Stat. § 271.20 requires that cases be decided within three months of submission. Judge Perez failed to do that in a pattern that existed over many years. He falsely certified his compliance with the statute over those years. These are serious matters, deserving of serious sanction.

We therefore recommend that Judge Perez be censured and suspended without pay for a period of nine months and that he be directed, for the remainder of his term on the Minnesota Tax Court, to refrain from serving as Chief Judge, limit his participation in professional organizations, and regularly report the status of his outstanding decisions to the Chief Judge of the Tax Court.

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