When Kelly Ballentine was given several parking tickets, she lucked out by getting a lenient judge: herself. The Lancaster Magisterial District Judge dismissed a no-parking ticket and an expired registration ticket in December and a no-parking ticket in January.
It is an astonishing violation of judicial ethics.
She is not alone, however, as the article below discusses, judges in Michigan and New Jersey have been accused of fixing their own tickets or those of friends. One such judge is Michigan Jackson County District Judge James M. Justin who was suspended after he dismissed nine traffic cases against himself and his wife. He marked the tickets as “dismissed after explanation” — presumably to himself. Among the tickets were speeding tickets for his wife, Kim R. Justin.
Ballentine was elected as a magisterial judge in 2006. She had speeding tickets before taking the bench but then decided to handle such tickets herself after donning her judicial robes.
In May, Ballentine had to be reportedly removed from a courtroom by deputy sheriffs after a jury acquitted a man for various charges including burglary, indecent assault, and criminal attempt at a sex act. Ballentine charged that the man touched her leg in the middle of the night and that she fired at the man in her bedroom. The jury only found the man, Pedro Plata, guilty of trespass. Ballentine reacted badly to the verdict and had to be removed from the courtroom.