Commission: Judge Lisa Gorcyca guilty of misconduct

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission released its findings Friday that Oakland County Judge Lisa Gorcyca is guilty of misconduct in the Tsimhoni custody case.

The Commission released its report Friday citing that Gorcyca failed to establish, maintain, enforce and personally observe high standards of conduct in relation to the case.

The case drew international attention when Gorcyca remanded the Tsimhoni children to Children's Village for refusing to spend time with their father. The children were ages 9, 10 and 13 at that time. 

When remanding the children, Gorcyca said statements to Tsimhoni children like, “you’re supposed to have a high IQ, l which I am doubting right now." One of the issues raised was whether Judge Gorcyca was engaged in a civil or criminal contempt hearing with the children.

The last significant event involving the incarceration of the Tsimhoni children occurred on July 10, 2015, when Judge Gorcyca held an emergency hearing. 
 
At the July hearing, Gorcyca failed to take personal responsibility and offered a long mea culpa for what she did on June 24 and criticized the media by accusing them of causing a “hysteria” by breaking the story about the Tsimhoni children without getting the facts straight and by releasing the names and running pictures of the faces of the Tsimhoni Children. 
 
The Commission stated in its report that the disciplinary action which stands for the singular proposition that if a judge is going to use the inherent power of contempt, the ultimate “tool in the tool box” after years of “frustration,” the judge may wish may wish to consult the owner’s manual to make sure that she or he are using the tool properly before employing one of the penultimate tools of inherent judicial power, a contempt finding, to deprive any individual, or children in this case, of their liberty.

It is now up to the Michigan Supreme Court to accept the commission's findings and decide on any discipline or to reject the findings. 

A hearing is set for September. 

Findings from the Commission's report were used in this article

Findings on Judge Lisa Gorcyca by David Komer

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