Judge finds himself in contempt for cellphone interruption

April 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM

IONIA, Mich., April 15 (UPI) -- A Michigan judge imposed a $25 contempt of court fine on himself after his cellphone made noise during closing arguments of a jury trial.

Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia County 64A District Court said his new touchscreen smartphone was in his shirt pocket during the Friday afternoon arguments when it loudly requested commands for voice dialing, the Ionia (Mich.) Sentinel-Standard reported Monday.

"I'm guessing I bumped it. It started talking really loud, saying 'I can't understand you. Say something like Mom,'" he said. "My face got as red as a beet."

Voet, who said the phone is new and he is still learning how to work it, said he decided to hold himself in contempt of court and fine himself $25 because he wouldn't accept excuses from anyone else whose phones caused disturbances in court.

"If I cannot live by the rules that I enforce, then I have no business enforcing these rules," Voet said.

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