Oklahoma district judge accused of ‘gross neglect of duty’ by Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma district judge is facing allegations of misconduct regarding past court cases.

On Wednesday, The Frontier reports that Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Douglas Combs filed a 27-page document regarding allegations against Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp.

DeLapp is accused of ordering people to jail for minor instances of courtroom misbehavior, like talking in court.

In one instance, the Frontier claims that a 19-year-old woman was a spectator in court when she was heard talking to another visitor and asked to leave. After leaving the courtroom, she allegedly motioned through the window to another spectator that she was going downstairs.

At that point, DeLapp ordered the woman to spend 30 days in the Washington County Jail. When she was handcuffed, she said that the handcuffs hurt. Court documents say that is when DeLapp increased her jail time from 30 days to six months.

In the documents filed on Wednesday, Chief Justice Combs claims that DeLapp has falsified court records in order to justify the sentences.

Combs says that his “use and application of direct contempt ignored each individual’s due process.”  He also said that DeLapp’s “complete disregard of applicable laws and fundamental rights demonstrates a gross neglect of duty.”

He asked that DeLapp be removed from judicial office. DeLapp will now go before a panel of judges to determine whether he should be removed from the office.

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