From Pine View Farm

Celled 3

How can anyone not sympathize with the judge, even if he did sort of go off his nut?

A US judge who jailed an entire courtroom because no one would cough to being the owner of a ringing mobile phone has been removed from the bench by a commission on judicial conduct.

Judge Robert Restaino, 48, was hearing a domestic violence case in Niagara Falls on 11 March 2005 when he heard the offending phone and “snapped”, as the BBC puts it.

According to the commission’s report, he told the courtroom: “Every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now. If anybody believes I’m kidding, ask some of the folks that have been here for a while. You are all going.”

After security officers unsuccessfully tried to find the device, Restaino ordered a short recess. When he returned to the bench, he asked the phone’s owner to ‘fess up. Receiving no reply, he “ordered that the entire courtroom audience of 46 people be taken into custody and set bail at $1,500”.



  1. Hilary

    November 29, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    any high school teacher can empathize with this judge’s plight. no one gets dismissed for lunch until….

  2. Karen

    November 30, 2007 at 8:01 am

    I still want one of the ‘disruptors’ that the Times had the article on.

  3. Opie

    December 2, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Maybe it was the judge’s phone that was ringing and he didn’t realize it.