Miami judge 'abused authority to promote herself' when she filmed a reality TV show that featured real domestic abuse victims, disciplinary panel finds

A Florida judge abused her authority by filming a reality TV show called 'Protection Court' using real people involved in domestic-violence cases, a disciplinary panel  has concluded.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly oversees the county’s family division. According to the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission's ruling, she violated numerous judicial ethics rules by participating in the television project.
'In so doing, you lent the prestige of your judicial office to advance the private interests of yourself or others,' the commission said in its five-page 'Notice of Formal Charges.' 
Miami judge features in real life courtroom show Protection Court
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Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly is accused of violating multiple ethics rules by filming 'Protection Court' reality TV show
Kelly has been on the bench for 22 years and oversees county¿s family division
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly is accused of violating multiple judicial ethics rules by filming 'Protection Court' reality TV show
'Protection Court' premiered in syndication last fall and its episodes are still airing
'Protection Court' premiered in syndication last fall and its episodes are still airing 

The show premiered in syndication last fall, and episodes of it are still aired to this day, as Miami Herald first reported. 
The program was co-produced by Trifecta Entertainment, whose CEO Hank Cohen described Kelly as 'the real deal' and talked about how their audience 'will love being a fly on the wall watching her deliver justice across a wide array of interesting, heartfelt and meaningful cases,' according to the site Broadcasting+Cable. 
In a statement to the trade website in May 2019, Kelly said: 'I am excited to welcome America into my courtroom to see what really goes on - with real cases and real human conflict. It is sometimes dramatic, sometimes lighthearted and humorous, but always compelling. Most importantly, it serves to protect victims and those in fear.'
Courtroom shows like the The People’s Court and Judge Judy, have been around for years, but those programs are actually closer to arbitration for small claims cases rather than real courts. 
'Protection Court' featured people involved in domestic-violence cases who were given minimal notice about the show, according to a Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission's ruling
'Protection Court' featured people involved in domestic-violence cases who were given minimal notice about the show, according to a Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission's ruling
Judge Kelly allegedly misled the chief judge to secure her permission to take part in the show
Judge Kelly allegedly misled the chief judge to secure her permission to take part in the show
The judicial disciplinary panel said in its filing to the State Supreme Court on Wednesday that 'Protection Court' featured people involved in domestic-violence cases who were given minimal notice about the show when a producer asked them to sign appearance release forms, just before entering their hearings. 
Even litigants who didn’t consent were still filmed, the commission said.
According to the judicial commission, in order to secure permission from Eleventh Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Bertila Soto to participate in the filming of 'Protection Court,' Clark made 'misleading statements' indicating that she had obtained assurances that her involvement in the show would not violate any Code of Judicial Conduct rules. 
Kelly could face disciplinary actions from the State Supreme Court (pictured with a dog on the bench)
Kelly could face disciplinary actions from the State Supreme Court (pictured with a dog on the bench) 
Kelly’s lawyer, David Rothman, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. She now has 20 days to file a written response to the charges against her.
The Florida Supreme Court will review the charges and make a decision on possible discipline.
According to her biography on the court's website, Kelly earned her law degree from the University of Miami in 1989 and has been on the bench for the past 22 years. 
Miami judge 'abused authority to promote herself' when she filmed a reality TV show that featured real domestic abuse victims, disciplinary panel finds Miami judge 'abused authority to promote herself' when she filmed a reality TV show that featured real domestic abuse victims, disciplinary panel finds Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:34 Rating: 5

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