Former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Angela Stokes, currently under investigation for ethics violations, has claimed in papers recently filed with the Ohio Supreme Court that the suspension of her law license violates her rights to Due Process and Equal Protection under the U.S. Constitution.
In November of 2014, the Ohio Disciplinary Counsel filed a motion for an Immediate Interim Remedial Suspension of Stokes, claiming that she presented a substantial risk of harm to the public, due to her mistreatment of bailiffs, attorneys, criminal defendants, and members of the public. The motion is here.
On December 18, 2014, the Court issued an immediate interim remedial suspension.
In addition to claiming that the information in Disciplinary Counsel’s motion is inaccurate, Stokes now claims that the suspension violates Stokes’ due process rights because it does not afford an opportunity for a post-suspension hearing. Stokes further claims that in at least six prior disciplinary cases, all of which involved white male judges, the court sanctioned the attorneys with penalties less harsh than suspension. View the full brief.
Disciplinary Counsel has responded by stating that Stokes continues to represent a threat to the public, that she was not denied due process or equal protection, and that in any event, due process and equal protection claims fall outside the parameters of an attorney disciplinary proceeding. Disciplinary Counsel’s brief is here.
Cleveland.com also covered the story.