Ex-justice barred from holding judicial office again
October 11, 2004
Longtime Sparks Justice of the Peace Paul Freitag, who is now retired, has been barred from ever holding judicial office in Nevada.
A Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline decision states that Freitag left a total of 48 cases undecided when he retired from the bench more than a year ago. That included 12 criminal cases and 36 civil matters, some dating as far back as 1993.
One of the cases involved a bond forfeiture left unresolved since January 1999 in which more than $50,000 was at stake. Other civil cases involved sums totaling more than $83,000.
The disciplinary commission found that Frietag’s “willful failure” to decide so many cases over more than 10 years denied the litigants – especially in criminal matters – their rights. Those cases were left hanging despite repeated inquiries by many of those involved in them.
“Nothing presented by the respondent by way of mitigation or extenuation could begin to account for, much less explain, good reasons for this many cases to have been ignored,” the ruling states.
It says, given Frietag’s failure to do his job while a justice of the peace, “there is simply no step short of a permanent ban on his access to judicial office in Nevada that will protect the integrity of the system.”
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The judicial discipline commission ordered Freitag permanently barred from seeking or holding judicial office in Nevada, and ordered him to pay $2,000 in fines to the Washoe County Law Library and write a written apology to the litigants in the neglected cases.