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A judge overreacts

A Times Editorial
Published September 13, 2006

[Times photo: Julia Kumari Drapkin]
Nichole Delameter waits for Circuit Judge Stanley Mills to move his car. He blockaded her vehicle in his reserved spot.

Sue Carlton: Don't park there, 'cause here comes the judge
Judge sentences car in his spot to lockdown (Sept. 12)

It's Your Times: What do you think?

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge Stanley Mills just flunked driver education.

His parallel parking job at the West Pasco Judicial Center Monday morning blocked in a scofflaw who had taken the judge's reserved space. Attempting to teach the woman a lesson in parking lot etiquette is understandable, but Mills' over-the-top response required the driver to spend the morning in his courtroom and forced her to make other child care arrangements for three young children.

Mills' solution for judicial inconvenience smacks of parking lot rage. Mandating that motorist Nichole Delameter sit in the judge's courtroom for three hours as he worked his way through his calendar is tantamount to illegal house arrest. The judge could have allowed Delameter to leave the first time he sent his judicial assistant outside to move his Cadillac so other judges had a clear path to travel. Continuing to block her in was vindictive, particularly after she had been ticketed for illegal parking.

Mills said a reserved parking spot and private rest room are the two perks to his job. He was unapologetic, characterizing people who take reserved spaces as lazy and uncaring of other people's rights. But this driver's mistake doesn't justify the judge's overreaction. Let's hope nobody uses his restroom.

[Last modified September 13, 2006, 01:59:21]

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