Fla. justices won't hear judge's Facebook appeal

Posted at 4:38 AM, Feb 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-15 04:38:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A judge's removal from a criminal case will stand because he and the prosecutor are Facebook "friends."


      The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday voted 5-2 against hearing an appeal of the removal.


      A three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach had ordered Circuit Judge Andrew Siegel off the Broward County case.


      The panel acted after Siegel turned down defendant Pierre Domville's request to recuse himself.


      District Judge Robert Gross wrote that judges "do not have the unfettered social freedom of teenagers."


      The appellate panel cited a judicial advisory panel's 2009 opinion that the code of ethics for judges prevents them from friending lawyers on social networking sites if the attorneys appear in their courts.