Attorney’s contempt charge reversed

An Ottawa County judge's decision to reverse a contempt charge strikes accord with defense attorneys' ability to do their jobs without being punished. Ottawa County Chief Circuit Judge Ed Post on Monday reversed a contempt decision made by Ottawa County District Court Judge Kenneth Post.
Kyle Moroney
Jan 18, 2012

 

The two Posts are not related.

The contempt charge surfaced during a Hudsonville District Court arraignment on Dec. 2, 2011, in which defense attorney Scott Millard’s client faced a minor in possession of alcohol charge. During the hearing, Judge Kenneth Post began asking Millard’s client if he would pass a drug test. Millard, according to court documents, instructed his client to exercise his Fifth Amendment right and remain silent.

Judge Kenneth Post responded that Millard’s client was either going to answer the question or go to jail.

After Millard continued to argue his point, Judge Kenneth Post then ordered Millard to jail for contempt.

According to court records, while Millard was en route to jail, the transporting deputy was called back to the courthouse and Millard was given the opportunity to be released from jail if he would agree to instruct his future clients to answer the judge’s questions.

“While Mr. Millard agreed that he would instruct his clients to answer Judge Post’s questions ‘as required by law,’ Judge Kenneth Post did not find this response satisfactory and remanded Mr. Millard to jail,” the court brief stated.

Millard appealed the contempt charge, which was reviewed by Judge Ed Post.

In his decision, Judge Ed Post stated that: “Clearly, the client’s answer to the question regarding the last day he used drugs would lend to incriminate him. ... Applying the definition of contempt to the circumstances of this case, the court concludes that the trial court abused its discretion in convicting appellant of contempt of court.”

Chief Ottawa County District Judge Bradley Knoll said the original minor in possession charge against Millard’s client will move forward; however, the case will be assigned to a different judge. Any action against Judge Kenneth Post will be considered by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

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