Not in My Courtroom!

 
 
By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2001-02-05
 
 
 

So, you think Judge Judy is tough? Get a load of Judges Ray McKoski and Edmund Bart of Chicagos19th Judicial Circuit Court. When theyre not busy cracking down on crime, theyre taking a gavel to cell phones and other annoying devices.

If youre one of those wireless people who cant let go of a pocket organizer or mobile device, do not, repeat not, end up in their courts.

Judge McKoski talks tough. He finds cell phones to be "very detrimental to the jury or a judge to reach a fair decision." Woe to anyone whose phone rings in his court, because you can be certain that stern words will be aimed in your direction.

But McKoskis a pussycat compared with Bart. Last year in traffic court, Bart was presiding over a car-insurance case. A father was present to testify on his sons behalf. But the real problems started when Dads cell phone rang. Dad headed for an exit to take the call.

In this case, relying on voice mail would have been the wiser option. Bart had his deputies intercept him, handcuff him, and charge him with contempt.

Dad was then frisked, fingerprinted, and jailed for the next four days.

One only can imagine what Bart would have done had Dad been found watching stock updates on a WAP-enabled cell phone.

In suburban Chicago, the wireless revolution stops at the courtrooms door.

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