A Michigan judge held himself in contempt after his smartphone interrupted a hearing on Friday.
Judge Raymond Voet created a policy at Ionia County 64A District Court that anyone with a mobile device that causes a disturbance during session will be cited with contempt.
Voet’s phone made noises during a prosecutor’s closing argument in a jury trial. The voice activation feature somehow turned on, and Voet wasn’t sure how to turn it off. “I can’t understand you,” it said. “Say something like ‘mom.’”
Voet said he likely bumped his phone.
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“I got very embarrassed and I’m sure my face turned red,” he said the following day. “I thought it would never happen to me.”
During a break in the trial, he fined himself $25, claiming that he can’t live by his rules then he has no business enforcing them.
“Judges are humans. They’re not above the rules. I broke the rule and I have to live by it," Voet said.
Voet has taken cell phones away from police officers, attorneys, witness, and people sitting in the gallery over the year. Even personal friends are not above rebuke.