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In re Trigg

Supreme Court of Kansas

April 6, 2018

In the Matter of Linda S. Trigg, District Magistrate Judge, Respondent.

         ORIGINAL PROCEEDING RELATING TO JUDICIAL CONDUCT

         Original proceeding in discipline. Findings of the hearing panel are affirmed.

          Todd N. Thompson, of Thompson Warner, P.A., of Lawrence, argued the cause for the Commission on Judicial Qualifications.

          No appearance by Linda S. Trigg, respondent.

          PER CURIAM

         This is an uncontested original disciplinary proceeding against the respondent, Linda S. Trigg, former District Magistrate Judge of the 10th Judicial District, sitting in Johnson County. The matter was investigated by Panel B of the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications (Commission), following which that panel docketed a notice of formal proceedings and formal complaint on July 10, 2017, against respondent and gave due notice. See Supreme Court Rule 611(b) (2018 Kan. S.Ct. R. 475) (discussing procedure for filing of formal proceedings). The complaint alleged respondent committed various violations of Canons 1 and 2 of the Kansas Code of Judicial Conduct (the Code), as will be discussed below. See Supreme Court Rule 601B (2018 Kan. S.Ct. R. 425) (containing the Code). Respondent did not file an answer to the complaint.

         The matter was heard on October 6, 2017, by Panel A of the Commission. Respondent received and acknowledged receipt of proper notice and notified the Panel by email the day before that she would not attend the hearing. At the hearing the Commission's examiner presented evidence and argument in support of the formal complaint. Upon conclusion of the hearing, Panel A made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, together with its recommended disposition to this court:

"FINDINGS OF FACT
"1. On September 7, 2016, Respondent presided over a hearing in Johnson County Magistrate Court Department M-2 involving Case No. 10TR604, State of Kansas v. Brandi Heather.
"2. The district attorney's office appeared through Zavier Andrews. Brandi Heather appeared pro se.
"3. The transcript of the hearing on September 7, 2016, provides in its entirety:
'THE COURT: Court will call 10TR604 State of Kansas v. Brandi Lee Heather. Are you Brandi Heather?
'THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
'THE COURT: Show Mr. Andrews for the State. Defendant appears in person, in custody, pro se.
'There's a motion to revoke your probation for failure to comply on file for various reasons. I find that sufficient. I revoke your probation and remand you to the custody of the Sheriff's Office to serve the balance of your sentence.
'We're adjourned. Parties may withdraw.'
"4. The investigative panel requested Todd N. Thompson, Examiner, to investigate the matter. Respondent failed to respond to numerous efforts by the Examiner to contact her.
"5. On March 24, 2017, the investigative panel issued a cease and desist order. Respondent received the order on March 25, 2017, but failed or refused to either (1) agree to comply with the order, or (2) refuse to accept the order.
"6. Pursuant to Rule No. 611, Respondent was deemed to have refused the order and Panel B instituted formal proceedings.
"CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
"1. The Notice of Formal Proceedings alleges that Respondent's conduct violated the provisions of Canon 1 and Canon 2 of the Rules of [the] Supreme Court [Relating] to Judicial Conduct.
"2. CANON 1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 601B, provides:
'A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.'
"3. RULE 1.1, 'Compliance with the Law, ' provides:
'A judge shall comply with the law and the Kansas Code of ...

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