District Judge suspended after complaint filed
by James Phillips
Mar 16, 2013 | 8554 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Judge Henry Allred
Judge Henry Allred
Walker County District Judge Henry Allred was suspended earlier this week after a complaint was filed against him with the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

An attorney, whose name is listed in the complaint as Lawyer A, alleges Allred made public statements on Facebook and via email about a contempt proceeding he initiated against her in March 2012 as well as other events and actions related to the contempt proceeding.

Allred confirmed Friday that he was currently suspended.

“The suspension is procedural and not punitive,” Allred said. “I’ve already worked out an agreement on the complaint. That’s about all I can say right now.

“As soon as I find out what I can say on the issue, I want the people of Walker County to know as much as possible,” Allred added. “I’m simply waiting on the courts right now.”

Allred said he was awaiting a hearing before he can return to the bench, which he expects will happen within two weeks.

According to the complaint, Allred initiated a contempt proceeding in a small claims court case after Lawyer A did not attend a January 2012 court docket. In March 2012, Allred found the attorney in contempt and sent a deputy with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to the lawyer’s office to arrest and transport her to the Walker County Jail.

Only a few days later, Facebook postings from Allred about the attorney and the case surfaced, according to the complaint.

The complaint also includes information regarding a contempt hearing in late March 2012 when the attorney was sentenced by Allred to 60 days in the Walker County Jail on four contempt charges.

According to the complaint, the Court of Civil Appeals reversed the contempt order on grounds that Allred failed to disqualify himself from hearing the charges as required by law and remanded the case to the presiding circuit judge of Walker County. The complaint also states the contempt charges against the attorney remain pending.

All four charges listed against Allred in the complaint are related to his public comments via Facebook and email. Those charges include, a judge should:

• Abstain from public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court.

• Conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary.

• Observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved.

• Avoid conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which brings the judicial office into disrepute.