Complaint dropped against Wayne Circuit judge

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
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A judicial misconduct complaint has been dismissed against Wayne Circuit Judge Richard B. Halloran Jr., who was accused of not following rules in divorce proceedings. .

Halloran has been under investigation for the past year by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission on complaints he “granted judgments of divorce without taking the statutory proofs establishing the court’s jurisdiction and/or establishing that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship.”

In its formal complaint against Halloran, the commission found his actions could have affected 400 divorce cases between June 2013 and Jan. 14, 2015.

In November, a fact-finder cleared Halloran of any wrongdoing after hearing formal arguments in the case. The complaint was dropped earlier this month.

In his eight-page report, jurist John O’Hair, a former Wayne County prosecutor, concluded Judge Halloran “did no wrong.”

O’Hair found Halloran had “discussed at length with the attorneys his desire to use the (shortened) procedure. He further asked the attorneys if they had concerns or objections to the (brief) procedure and none were ever voiced.”

O’Hair said Halloran used “the precise language statutorily mandated by the Legislature. While Halloran used the “abbreviated” court procedure, he used it to “modernize and expedite the trial procedure to establish court jurisdiction and the grounds for divorce.”

Halloran’s attorney, Philip Thomas, a former prosecutor for the tenure commission and executive director of the state’s Attorney Grievance Commission, has said the tenure commission “got it wrong” while O’Hair “got it right.”

“I don’t think there’s anywhere for the case to go other than being closed down,” Thomas said in November. He did not want to comment on the tenure commission’s decision to dismiss the complaint other than to say he and Halloran are happy it’s over.

(313) 222-2027.

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