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Michigan judge reprimanded by state Supreme Court for jailing woman with tart tongue


NILES, Michigan — The Michigan Supreme Court has reprimanded a judge whose high bond forced a woman to jail for 10 days for cursing in a courthouse.

The court says Berrien County Judge Dennis Wiley agreed to the censure for committing misconduct in December 2012.

Wiley took action against LaRue Ford solely on his own after overhearing court employees in Niles talk about her tart tongue. Ford was upset over fines and a hold on her driver's license.

Wiley accused Ford of contempt of court, although he didn't witness her behavior. She spent a night in jail. Two weeks later, Wiley raised her bond to $5,000, and Ford spent another 10 days in jail, including Christmas.

Another Berrien County judge released Ford when the American Civil Liberties Union intervened.

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