Skip to comments.Judge orders Moncier jailed briefly
Posted on 11/17/2006 7:06:52 PM PST by SmithL
A federal judge today briefly ordered Knoxville attorney Herbert S. Moncier jailed for an allegation of contempt of court in Greeneville.
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer ordered deputy U.S. marshals to take Moncier into custody on whats known as a summary contempt charge after the prominent defense attorney allegedly disrupted a hearing by repeatedly interrupting the judge, speaking loudly in an attempt to silence the judge and being, in the judges view, overly argumentative.
By leveling a summary contempt charge, the judge essentially opined that no other course of action would restore order in his court. The move came during a rare closed-door hearing at which the judge was to review evidence apparently placed under seal.
That hearing was part of a larger public hearing at which the judge was set to decide what punishment convicted cocaine dealer Michael Vassar, 35, should receive.
Vassar was convicted by a federal jury in June of charges he sold the drug to an informant and conspired with others, including former Cocke County school bus driver Dewey Lynn Phillips, to peddle the drug.
After briefly jailing Moncier, Greer allowed attorneys Ralph Harwell and John Rogers to appear on Monciers behalf and set a bond for the defense attorney. Greer has set a Dec. 11 hearing date at which Moncier must "show cause" why he should not be convicted of misdemeanor contempt of court, which carries a maximum 30-day jail term.
The incident comes just days after Moncier was cited on an assault charge after he grew angry at the slow pace of a drive-through at a McDonalds on Cumberland Avenue and demanded a refund.
A McDonalds employee contends the attorney elbowed him as the employee tried to grab back from Moncier a form the attorney had picked up from the eatery counter. Moncier denies striking the employee and instead contends he was cursed at by the store manager and assaulted by the manager and employee.
Greers use of a summary contempt charge signals that the judge believes Monciers behavior in court was beyond the bounds of mere discourtesy. Rules require that such a charge be lodged on when alleged misbehavior occurs in view of the judge and represents a "material disruption or obstruction" of the judicial process.
Attempts to reach Moncier were not immediately successful. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith, who prosecuted Vassar, declined comment.
Moncier is a 99 percenter.
His hobby is suing public officials to get his name in the paper.
I doubt he is as popular up in Greene County as he is in Knox County. This one should be interesting indeed.
In your dreams vox...