Television Judge

Judge Joe Brown Released After Spending Five Nights In Jail

Judge Joe Brown was released on Tuesday after spending five nights in a Tennessee jail. Last year, the former television judge was arrested and charged with contempt after arguing with a juvenile court magistrate. Although he appealed the magistrate’s decision, the Court of Appeals upheld the sentence and Brown was ordered to report to jail.

As reported by WREG, the incident occurred during a 2014 child support hearing before Juvenile Court Magistrate Harold Horne.

During the hearing, Judge Joe Brown, who represented the defendant, reportedly asked for a dismissal. When the magistrate refused, Brown proceeded to berate the magistrate in open court.

“On what authority do you sit by the way? As a former judge here, we have a rule in the 30th judicial district that says every single magistrate, referee has to be unanimously approved by every circuit, chancery, and criminal court judge. I don’t recall that your name’s ever been submitted sir!”

Although the magistrate ordered Brown to cease his rant, and threatened jail time, the former judge argued that Horne did not “have the jurisdiction” to charge him with contempt.

Despite his protests, Judge Joe Brown was physically removed from the courtroom and placed under arrest. He was later charged with contempt and sentenced to five days in jail.

Following a failed appeal, Brown turned himself in and served his time. As reported by People, the former television judge said jail was “like being in slave quarters.” However, he does not regret his behavior in Magistrate Horne’s courtroom.

“A citizen was being gravely mistreated. I couldn’t allow that to happen. I had an opportunity to stand up for her and I took it.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Judge Joe Brown attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his undergraduate and J.D. degrees.

Following graduation, Brown moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was appointed to serve the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Legal Services organization. He later went on to become Memphis’ first black prosecutor and director of the Memphis Public Defender’s office.

As reported by Fandango, Brown was appointed as a Shelby County Criminal Court judge in 1990. Eight years later, Judge Joe Brown made his television debut.

Brown starred in the self-titled television program from 1998-2013. Although he announced his retirement two years ago, the former judge said he is currently working on a new legal television program titled True Verdict with Judge Joe Brown.

[Image via Vince Bucci / Getty Images]

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