A Niles woman put in prison for cursing in December was back in court Tuesday after her lawyer filed a motion to disqualify the judge from hearing the case.
Last December LaRue Ford, 49--a woman with no criminal history-- was put in prison for 11 days for cursing in the Berrien County Clerk’s Office. Now, the county’s chief judge has been asked to review the controversial decision to hold Ford in contempt and place her behind bars.
According to the Herald Palladium, in early December Ford was overheard using profanity while trying to take care of an old traffic ticket.
Ford posted her bond that same day, but she ended up spending 11 days in jail when the judge changed her bond from 10-percent of $5,000 to the full amount when she could provide no proof of a permanent address in Indiana.
It was not until a second judge intervened that she was finally released on Dec. 28.
Ford and her lawyers are challenging the presiding judge because he is too closely connected to those testifying. Her lawyer said witnesses to the alleged swearing were Judge Dennis Wiley’s subordinates, therefore Wiley should disqualify himself from the case because he took the statements as an affront to the court.
Judge Wiley refused to dismiss himself, but he is allowing another judge to offer a second opinion on the ruling.