Judge Holds Self in Contempt for His Smartphone

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  • IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge whose smartphone disrupted a hearing in his own courtroom has held himself in contempt and paid $25 for the infraction.

    Judge Raymond Voet has a posted policy at Ionia County 64A District Court stating that electronic devices causing a disturbance during court sessions will result in the owner being cited with contempt, the Sentinel-Standard of Ionia and MLive.com reported.

    On Friday afternoon, during a prosecutor’s closing argument as part of a jury trial, Voet’s new smartphone began to emit sounds requesting phone voice commands. Voet said he thinks he bumped the phone, and the embarrassment likely left his face red.

    “I’m guessing I bumped it. It started talking really loud, saying ‘I can’t understand you. Say something like Mom,’” he said.

    Voet has used a Blackberry mobile phone for years, and said he wasn’t as familiar with the operation of the new touchscreen, Windows-based phone.

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