Cleveland judge under fire accused of abusing staff and defendants

Cleveland judge under fire accused of abusing staff and defendants

Is Judge Angela Stokes fit for the bench?

The Ohio Supreme Court is investigating and some of the evidence is caught on camera.

When you walk through the doors of Judge Stokes' courtroom you had better be on your best behavior, your phone better be off, and you'd better not be wearing perfume or cologne.

Those observations are among 49 pages of documentation in support of discipline against Judge Stokes.

19 Action News obtained exclusive video of a case involving a woman named Novella Black. She was in Judge Stokes' courtroom and got a continuance of her case. A misdemeanor. As she leaves, the courtroom door accidentally bumps the wall and the judge goes off!

"Bring her back into the courtroom. Go get her I've had it," yelled Judge Stokes. "Miss Black I'm gonna hold you in contempt for slamming those doors the courtroom. You place her in the holding cell. When you decide you can conduct yourself properly in this courtroom you notify the bailiffs, they'll bring you back into this courtroom. I am not going to tolerate. Take her into custody."

"What is it I did," asked Mrs. Black.

"For slamming the doors and being rude to this court. Take her into custody --- don't say another word to this court or you'll go to jail for 3 days," answered Judge Stokes.

After three hours in the holding cell the woman was back.

"If you cannot apologize to the court for your conduct then they'll take you right back and I'm gonna hold you in jail for three days. You cannot disrespect yourself you cannot disrespect this court or courtroom. Now if you need more time to think about it they will be more than happy to take you back to the holding cell," stated Judge Stokes.

"I apologize," said Mrs. Black.

"I accept your apology," Judge Stokes said.

The arm of the Supreme Court that sent the case to the disciplinary counsel reviewed dozens of hours of the Judges days in court before recommending the case be heard.

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