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Jackson – The Michigan Supreme Court says a Jackson County judge was irresponsible for communicating privately with prosecutors in disputed cases and then vilifying prosecutors when they informed defense counsel.

In 2017, Judge Joe Filip sought briefing by lawyers on key issues in a few cases, a common practice in any court. But Filip also emailed prosecutors and suggested they look at certain appeals court decisions as they prepared their briefs for him.

The judge didn’t tell defense lawyers what he had done.

Filip held a hearing after prosecutors informed the defense. He called one prosecutor a “fool” and another a “cancer.”

In an order Friday, the Supreme Court censured the judge for misconduct. Filip had no objection. His conduct reached the court after an investigation by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

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