Awesome Judge Holds Himself in Contempt of Court After Answering His Cellphone

There aren’t many things more annoying than a ringing cellphone in a place where there shouldn’t be a ringing cellphone. At the movies, at the symphony, in the doctor’s office ... and in court.

Judge Hugh Clarke, of Lansing, Michigan, got so annoyed with cellphones in his court room that he enacted a new rule last May: Turn off your phone or silence it before coming inside. Violators have their phone confiscated and are subject to a $50 fee for its return.


Last week, Judge Clarke was sentencing a man for unlawful use of credit cards when the man’s phone went off. It was, of course, dealt with as the judge took his phone. A few minutes later, Clarke’s own cellphone started ringing!

What’s a defender of the law supposed to do in such a situation? Uphold the law. Judge Clarke held himself in contempt, pulled $50 out of his pocket, and gave it to a court officer. “Why would I treat myself any different?” he asked. “That would make me a hypocrite.”

Bravo, good man! It’s nice to see people in positions of authority holding themselves to the same standards as everyone else and not abuse their power.

It seems like Clarke has a good sense of humor too. He told the Lansing State Journal, “What’s the moral of the story? Leave my damn phone in the office.”

Where’s the most inconvenient place your phone has rung?

Image via moodboard/Corbis

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