Labrador judge accused of misconduct

Rosie
Rosie Mullaley
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The provincial government has filed a formal complaint of misconduct against a provincial court judge in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

John Joy is shown in this Telegram file photo from 2004.

The Telegram has learned that the director of public prosecutions filed the document today against Judge John Joy.

The complaint objects to comments he made in a memo he sent to the Crown prosecutors office, the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission and a few private lawyers.

In the 21-page memo, Joy criticizes the Crown and Legal Aid for such things as not providing enough services to the public and clients, and acting unethically. He also complained about Legal Aid lawyers failing to meet with clients and leaving them to wait too long to discuss their cases.

When contacted by The Telegram, provincial Chief Judge Mark Pike opted not to comment, since he is the chairman of the Judicial Complaints Review Committee, which will ultimately decide if punishment is warranted for Joy.

The complaint, filed under Section 22 of the Provincial Court Act, has been forwarded to the director of court services, Shelly Organ, who in turn, forwards it to the Complaints Review Committee, which will first decide whether there is enough grounds to proceed to a hearing.

Besides Pike, the committee is comprised of Newfoundland Supreme Court Justice Alphonsus Faour, alternate Justice Gillian Butler and Shannie Duff, former St. John’s deputy mayor, representing the public.

Pike said the committee is guided by the Judicial Code of Ethics. While he would not comment on this particular case, he said punishment for violating the code could range from a warning to a suspension, to a permanent loss of position.

Pike, who is in Vancouver this week, couldn’t say when the issue would be dealt with, but said he will review it as soon as he can.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission, Judicial Complaints Review Committee

Geographic location: Vancouver

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Peter Duchemin
    March 28, 2014 - 08:47

    Judge Joy is showing real character, and calling the disfunctional system out for it's misconduct. THis "misconduct" charge is nothing but a passive aggressive attempt to drive him out of the profession, initiated by precisely those folks who are most invested in business as usual. This is pre-emptive misdirection, and that's about all. Way to go John! Do not back down! Good people in positions of authority are too rare these days. I am glad you are such an example. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Respect.

  • Innu
    March 27, 2014 - 14:17

    Whether its disorganized court circuit or soft on sex offenders like pedophiles and rapists who got away or even repeat offenders who kept coming back doing as they pleased...bring it on!!!...inquiry is definitely needed to clarify and repair the loopholes...

  • Nulijuk
    March 27, 2014 - 13:44

    I agree with anyone critizing our justice system but before you do take a look at your own baggage and your ethics I and my wife witnessed a judge standing on the courthouse steps during lunch break of a trial of an impaired driving causing death case. Chatting and laughing with the defence lawyer. I also witnessed a judge having lunch at a local restaurant with a local gentleman who had an assault case with his ex wife and she would be standing in front of the same judge. I personally think that our whole justice needs a public inquiry !

  • Mary
    March 27, 2014 - 12:00

    If this judge gets himself in trouble for telling the truth,there should be a public outcry, maybe he should run for politics,we NEED some truth and transparency,here.

  • Former HVGB Crown
    March 27, 2014 - 11:38

    After years of prosecuting in NL, including time in Labrador, and on occasion, in Judge Joy's court, I am quite satisfied that his criticisms were harsh, but also well-founded. I seriously doubt that Judge Joy would make personal attacks on individual lawyers or stakeholders, and I trust his criticisms were on the institutions and quality of service. I too wish that Mr. Molloy would spend more time concerned with the quality of the prosecution service in Labrador than targeting a frustrated judge. Hey Donovan, how many crown positions are there in Labrador, and how many of them are filled? What are you doing about that?

  • Jim
    March 27, 2014 - 11:23

    Judge Joy deserves a thank you and a pat on the back for picking up for the public; ; not criticism or punishment.

  • Nain Gal
    March 27, 2014 - 10:27

    families are waiting for family court for one year. Yea!! the truth is being let out. Affecting so many Inuit Families.

  • Elizabeth Nuna
    March 27, 2014 - 09:35

    Very much like & agree with Natasha Hurley s comment he is right and happened to be a long memo do to legal aid aid failing their clients , I do very much agree to what happens to be the truth judge joy has spoken upon and to the legal aid prosecuters lack gathering information and coming into contact with their clients their are needs to make a difference and add penalties to the system not just to the legal aid commissioners but also to the clients who also lack to give information that is needed . Judge joy has spoken the truth and the pro gov wants to prosecute him ? Yes the truth hurts but you have to deal with it your system is just not working !

  • Glenn Stockley
    March 26, 2014 - 20:02

    A judge being accused of misconduct for telling the truth ????????

  • Be,
    March 26, 2014 - 19:51

    A judge that care for the accused... But will have to pay the price for his caring.

  • Wejitu
    March 26, 2014 - 19:33

    If he wants, I will be a witness to Crown Prosecutors making fun of a Legal Aid Lawyer one time, through comments and laughter...I am sure he remembers it and it probably was one of the many reasons for him penning his letter.

  • Daphne
    March 26, 2014 - 19:07

    Finally someone is standing up for Labrador justices and our justices system is wanting to punish him for doing so. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  • Natasha Hurley
    March 26, 2014 - 18:36

    You have to remember that although he is a judge, he is also a member of society and is exercising his right of freedom of speech. Why should he even be considered to be reprimanded when he is giving a voice to those that remain unheard around the issue/s he has raised. We always tend to blow things way out of proportion when we get called on "things".. Take this as an opportunity to learn and make positive changes.

  • Mark
    March 26, 2014 - 17:18

    @ Rosie - Could you please clarify whether you actually read Joy's 21 page memo and whether or not it has been made public. I don't think this is the first time Judge Joy has criticized bureaucratic conduct in relation to the administration of justice.

  • BAYMAN
    March 26, 2014 - 16:43

    If Judge Joy is a WHISTLEBOWER. then good for him !. We need more.

  • EDfromRED
    March 26, 2014 - 16:24

    So he's accused of misconduct for being concerned that legal aid is failing their clients!!? Is this NL or the Twilight Zone? Is there a iota of common sense left in Government!? They should give this concerned judge a raise/promotion, instead of prosecuting him. Kafka would find NL bureaucratic insanity an endless source of inspiration.

  • Crown and Anchor
    March 26, 2014 - 16:18

    We should peel back the layers of the onion to see what is going on here. If Mr. Molloy was as concerned with ensuring his crown attorneys were up to snuff and administering justice than ensuring the department's reputation was covered, I would feel more comfortable with the Justice system in our province. Yikes.

  • Don II
    March 26, 2014 - 15:56

    In Newfoundland and Labrador, when you try to fix a broken system, they shoot the messenger and no good deed goes unpunished.