Ethics Charge: Judge James W. Palmer Jr. Tries to Avoid Paying Child Support by Pressuring, Intimidating Child Support Officer

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Family Court Judge tries to avoid paying child support by pressuring, and intimidating child support officer now faces a formal complaint, ethics charges. 

(Somerset County, New Jersey: 1/22/2018) – Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr., who sits in the Civil Division in Ocean County, faces ethics charges for allegedly referring to his position as a judge in an attempt to reduce his child support obligation with the Somerset County Probation office that is handling his case.

Judge Palmer is desperately trying to avoid paying child support and is willing to emancipate his child so that he no longer has any financial obligation to her. During the incident, Judge Palmer bitterly complained about the cost of living increase included in child support, implying that he is unable to pay because voters failed to raise his annual salary of $165,000 (that includes tenure).

The formal complaint can be read here: Complaint James W Palmer Jr, Judge of the Superior Court

Judge Palmer is charged with violating the rules of judicial conduct;  of which one of the rules states that judges should “avoid lending the prestige of their office to advance a personal interest.” The violation included name dropping himself as a judge, and exerting pressure when Judge Palmer tried to reduce his child support payment and encourage the emancipation of a child who is the custody of his ex-wife. Should the child be emancipated, Judge Palmer would no longer be legally obligated to pay any child support.

During the incident, which happened on March 21, 2o17, Judge Palmer argued with a caseworker at the Probation for 20 minutes before a supervisor was called to deal with him. Judge Palmer told the supervisor that he objected to a cost of living increase in his child support payment “because you voted that I don’t get a raise.”, complaining about his annual salary of $165,000 (that includes tenure). 

By law, Judge Palmer will have an opportunity to answer the complaint and then a public hearing will be scheduled. After the hearing the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct will recommend to the state Supreme Court what, if any, public discipline should be imposed judge.

Read More: 

Ocean County judge faces ethics charges in his own Family Court case in Somerset County


About Emily Court

It takes "Just Us" To Fight Injustice in Family Court. I blog to raise awareness about problems existing in the family court system, and use my own story as a personal example of how the systemic failures in family court, and the Guardian ad Litem Program, affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform. Written by a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness working to create a better life for her children, in a stable home free of violence. In her efforts to rebuild her life, she has not only encountered harassment and intimidation from her alleged abuser but faced systematic failures in family court that have empowered her alleged abuser and put her children at risk. She has spent over a decade trapped in family court until her children finally aged out of the system. Through writing and blogging, FCI is working to raise awareness about domestic violence, and the urgent need for family court reform. She is currently working on a memoir titled "'Til Prayers Are Answered".
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