A Scott County judge has been reprimanded for his behavior in court — and it’s not the first time.
The Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards on Tuesday publicly reprimanded Judge Rex Stacey, saying he had made “accusatory, hostile and discourteous comments” to litigants in two separate cases.
“The effect of conduct such as Judge Stacey’s is to cause litigants to lose confidence in the fairness of the judicial system,” a memorandum from the board said.
According to the board’s findings, in March 2015 Stacey told a woman seeking a protection order against the father of her children that she needed counseling.
“Your kids are suffering,” Stacey said. “Not because of [the father]. Because of you. Because you don’t see the truth in things.”
About a year later, he told a man seeking custody of his child that he was “pumping this child for dirt on their mother” and “should be ashamed.”
As part of the reprimand, the board issued a series of conditions for Stacey that basically warn he could face additional discipline if he repeats the conduct.
Because Stacey didn’t request a formal hearing, the public reprimand is the final action.
Stacey was appointed to the bench in 1996.
Since then, he’s been reprimanded both publicly and privately for a series of incidents involving courtroom behavior that the board’s memorandum describes as “a pattern of personal attacks on litigants as well as other misconduct.”
In 2007, the Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Stacey for dismissing a traffic ticket issued to a court clerk’s husband.
In 2014, he was privately admonished for walking out during cross-examination at a trial, and then later saying to the attorneys, “Do whatever you want. This is nothing but a cat fight, slinging mud. I am no longer participating in it. Have at it.”