A Florida judge abused her authority by filming a show called “Protection Court” using real people involved in domestic-violence cases, a state commission has ruled.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly oversees the county's family division, the Miami Herald reported. She violated numerous judicial ethics rules by participating in the television project, the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission said Wednesday in a filing to the state Supreme Court. The show was supposed to debut last fall, but it wasn't clear if it ever aired.
Courtroom shows like the The People’s Court and Judge Judy have been around for years, but those programs are actually closer to arbitration for small claims cases rather than real courts. The judicial commission said “Protection Court” featured people involved in domestic-violence cases who were given minimal notice about the show when a producer asked them to sign appearance release forms, just before entering their hearings. Even litigants who didn't consent were still filmed, the commission said.
Kelly's lawyer, David Rothman, didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The Florida Supreme Court will review the charges and make a decision on possible discipline.