Magistrate under investigation for inappropriate behavior

For a while now, the Magistrate’s Court countrywide has been short of magistrate’s and several magistrates have had to commute on a daily basis to other parts of the country to lessen the load brought down on the already congested and backed up system.   But with the recent suspension of a magistrate, the problem has elevated.   We have been able to ascertain and confirm that effective yesterday, June 2, 2015, one magistrate has been placed on a one month suspension.    The reason for his suspension came on the heels of a very serious allegation brought against him for inappropriate behaviour.  Reliable sources tell us that the incident stems from an incident in 2013 when a mother took a matter to family court to get her husband to pay maintenance and apply for reduction and variation of access to their child.   But reports are that the magistrate ended up having a relationship with the female who took the matter to court; and this, allegedly while the matter was still before the court.   Further allegations are that the magistrate later decided to continue with the case although instructions were given for him to recuse himself from the matter.  Then in the aabsence of any of the parties involved, he took the case and gave varied orders including  maintenance order and access order.  Reports are that the husband tried to see the magistrate about his court order even though he was in a relationship with the mother. The matter reportedly escalated when the magistrate made a report against the gentleman; and the gentleman was placed in lock down for an entire weekend but never charged with any wrong doings.    An official report was made which we understand has led to the suspension of the magistrate.   Presently there is no Magistrate for the Cayo Magistrate’s Court or Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. The last magistrate posted in Cayo was Narda Morgan who resigned suddenly and went back home to her native country of Jamaica.  And in Belize City, there are only four active magistrate’s posted at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court.  Today, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith travelled to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court to deal with matters that side.

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