Jan 042010
 
 January 4, 2010  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

Liz Potocsnak reports on a lawsuit arising from the seizure and urinalysis of a spectator in a Tennessee courtroom. The judge was eventually censored for his “routine practice” in his courtroom, and now the individual is suing:

A judge in Dickson County, Tenn., had officers pull a spectator out of his courtroom “on a hunch,” held him in custody and made him submit to a urinalysis for drugs, the man claims in Federal Court. Benjamin Marchant claims that General Sessions Judge Durwood Moore admitted that he “routinely drug-screens ‘spectators’ in his courtroom if he ‘thinks’ they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” Moore allegedly called it the “routine policy of the court.”

Marchant says he was in Moore’s courtroom supporting a friend, when Moore ordered officers to take him into custody. They grabbed Marchant, allegedly without any evidence of illegal behavior, and took him to a different place in the courthouse where he was made to submit to a drug screen urinalysis. He was released from custody when the results came back negative.

In response to Marchant’s judicial ethics complaint, Moore allegedly said that plucking suspicious spectators from his courtroom and screening them for drugs was “the routine policy of the court.”

[…]

In response to Marchant’s judicial ethics complaint, Moore allegedly said that plucking suspicious spectators from his courtroom and screening them for drugs was “the routine policy of the court.”

Moore acknowledged he had violated Marchant’s rights and was censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Judiciary Court on May 1, 2009, the highest form of punishment short of seeking a judge’s removal from the bench, according to the complaint.

  One Response to “TN: Court spectator seized and forced to undergo urinalysis – lawsuit”

  1. Maybe it was Moore that should have been the subject of the “the routine policy of the court”?

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