Complaint filed against judge who jailed kids for not seeing their dad

She drew national criticism after sending three siblings to juvenile detention for refusing to go out to lunch with their dad.

Now the Michigan Judicial tenure commission filed a formal complaint against Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca.

Gorcyca presided over the bitter dispute between Maya and Omer Tsimhoni over custody of their three children - ages, 14, 11 and 10.

Back in June, Gorcyca held the children in contempt for refusing to have lunch with their father - then ordered them locked away at Children's Village.

It was a move that drew International outrage and has now earned Gorcya a formal complaint from the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

"The judge has the lives and fates of any number of people in his or her hands at any time," said Paul Fischer, a Michigan Judicial Tenure Examiner. "If a judge has done something significant enough to result in ethical charges, yes it's a serious matter."

Fischer will be trying the case against Gorcyca. He can't comment specifically on the allegations against her. But in the complaint she's accused of telling the oldest child his behavior is the worst she's seen in 46,000 cases.

She also tells the children they will be locked away at Children's Village until they are 18 and forced to go to the bathroom in public. She also said the oldest child is like Charlie Manson's cult and circling her finger around her temple as if to indicate he's crazy. She also told the children they had been brainwashed.

Attorney Tom Cranmer represents the judge.

"We're disappointed that the Judicial Tenure Commission has decided to issue a formal complaint," he said. "But we're excited about the opportunity to have the whole story come out in a formal hearing, which will occur probably several months from now."

One piece of evidence could be the court video from the hearing where the children were held in contempt.

It is alleged in the complaint that during that hearing Gorcyca used a raised or angry voice, laughed at the children and was sarcastic - even misrepresented the law.  If true this constitutes misconduct in office and a host of other charges.
The State Supreme Court ultimately hands down the punishment.

"The sanctions involving a judge committing misconduct can range anywhere from a public censure," Fischer said. "Which would be the Supreme Court telling the judge she had done something wrong. To a possible suspension without pay, to the ultimate penalty in the judicial system for judges which would be a removal from office."

"Until the evidence has been brought, nobody should judge anybody."

Gorcyca's attorney says she remains on the Tsimhoni case - which is still in the courts - with the father continuing to have full custody of the children.

There also is the possibility that no penalty may get handed down, Fischer said. The entire process could last as long as a year and a half.

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