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Court staff warned against extortion

Liberian judges are warning Court Clerks, Support Staff and Bailiffs to stop going around begging and extorting money or gas slips from party litigants (or people having matters in court) by falsely using the names of judges.

Delivering a charge on behalf of Judges at the opening of Circuit Courts on Monday, 13 November in Monrovia, Resident Court “C” Judge A. Blamo Dixon warned that Court Officers should not abuse or take advantage of the rotational system of circuit judges which is provided for in Section 3.9 of the New Judiciary Law of Liberia.

“Remain at your assigned Court and stop going to other Courts to hustle for the weekend. Stop using the names of Judges to beg, collect or extort money from Party Litigants because such act has the tendency to put Judges at loggerheads,” Judge Dixon warns in the charge.

He advises Court Staff against living above their income to destroy themselves and other innocent employees and Judges, adding “If you have a car that you owned or bought through an action from any other Court in the Temple of Justice and you are unable to service or maintain that car, sell it and stop going around and begging and extorting money and gas slips from Party Litigants…”

He had earlier commanded the Court Staff for trying their best as frontline commanders. Judge Dixon has also observed disunity among members of the National Trial Judges Association of Liberia, saying “we have become cowards” to the extent that judges are bypassing the Association and complaining one another directly or indirectly to the Chief Justice Mr. Francis S. Korkpor, Sr.
According to Judge Dixon, such action by Judges opens a floodgate for them to write against one another and wash their “dirty clothes outside.”

He reminds his colleagues of the mandate of the Association to speak with one voice and become a common front to liaise with the present Administration, to cater to the welfare of all judges and magistrates through dues collected from the membership and to to resolve issues or disputes among its members.

On behalf of his colleagues, Judge Dixon expressed gratitude to Chief Justice Korkpor and his Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, adding that the Korkpor bench is united, stable and unique.

The Circuit Court Judges condemned a recent attack against the residence of Associate Justice Sie – A – Nyene Yuoh, saying they are convinced that the attack was an attack against the respective residences of the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, Judges of subordinate courts and all employees of the judiciary.

By Winston W. Parley

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