Monday, February 9, 2009

Magistrate J Michael James - Sentenced - Van Buren County



On February 09, 2009, Magistrate J Michael James [South Haven District Court] pled guilty to impaired driving. The Magistrate had been arrested on December 05, 2008 on the drunk driving charge [during a domestic violence investigation regarding injuries his wife received during 'a fall'].

Also See:
Magistrate J. Michael James - DUI - Van Buren County

     


Ex-magistrate pleads guilty to impaired driving
Published: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:28 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:31 AM
By Paula M. Davis
Kalamazoo Gazette
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/02/exmagistrate_pleads_guilty_to.html

ALLEGAN -- A former Van Buren County magistrate who retired after his arrest for drunken driving pleaded guilty Monday to driving while impaired.

J. Michael James, 61, of Bloomingdale Township, was originally charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated but pleaded to the lesser charge of impaired driving. Both violations are misdemeanors.

James was sentenced to three to six months of probation.

As part of his sentence, Allegan District Judge Joseph Skocelas ordered James to submit to random alcohol testing and substance-abuse assessment. James also is expected to pay $815 in fines, court costs and other fees, a court official said.

Police arrested James Dec. 5 after he followed an ambulance carrying his wife to Allegan General Hospital. Police were called to the hospital on reports that James was being disorderly in the waiting room.

James' wife was treated at the hospital for severe trauma to the head and upper torso area, according to a police report. James told an officer that she was injured in a fall, the report said.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz has been appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the injuries to James' wife.

Paul Hamre, chief judge of the Van Buren County Circuit Court, suspended James with pay after his arrest in December. James then retired, effective Monday.













Ex-magistrate pleads guilty to impaired driving

Mickey Ciokajlo
MLive
February 10, 2009, 12:28AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/02/exmagistrate_pleads_guilty_to.html

ALLEGAN -- A former Van Buren County magistrate who retired after his arrest for drunken driving pleaded guilty Monday to driving while impaired.

J. Michael James, 61, of Bloomingdale Township, was originally charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated but pleaded to the lesser charge of impaired driving. Both violations are misdemeanors.

James was sentenced to three to six months of probation.

As part of his sentence, Allegan District Judge Joseph Skocelas ordered James to submit to random alcohol testing and substance-abuse assessment. James also is expected to pay $815 in fines, court costs and other fees, a court official said.

Police arrested James Dec. 5 after he followed an ambulance carrying his wife to Allegan General Hospital. Police were called to the hospital on reports that James was being disorderly in the waiting room.

James' wife was treated at the hospital for severe trauma to the head and upper torso area, according to a police report. James told an officer that she was injured in a fall, the report said.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz has been appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the injuries to James' wife.

Paul Hamre, chief judge of the Van Buren County Circuit Court, suspended James with pay after his arrest in December. James then retired, effective Monday.


                   









Former magistrate pleads guilty
James gets six months probation and $815 fine for Dec. 5 driving while impaired arrest
Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:00 am
Updated: 8:16 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
ANDREW LERSTEN
H-P South Haven Bureau The Herald-Palladium
http://www.heraldpalladium.com/localnews/former-magistrate-pleads-guilty/article_1ed35edc-ff86-5593-a67d-09bbc6f53fb7.html

SOUTH HAVEN - Former Van Buren County magistrate J. Michael James pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge in an Allegan County drinking and driving case.

James, 61, had been charged with driving while intoxicated Dec. 5 in the city of Allegan. He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of driving while impaired, Allegan District Court officials said.

James had been on paid administrative leave from his magistrate's job since his arrest, but late last month announced his resignation, which was effective Monday. He had been the District Court magistrate at the South Haven courthouse for 20 years.

He was sentenced to three to six months of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $815. He was ordered to have substance abuse counseling and refrain from alcohol. He will also have to participate in a victim impact panel through the courts.

James told Allegan police he had been drinking the night of Dec. 5 before he drove to Allegan General Hospital, where he was arrested. His wife had been taken to the hospital by ambulance that night with severe trauma injuries, and he followed in his car, police said.

The Jameses live near Gobles, about 6 miles from the hospital.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the hospital visit to see if domestic assault charges may be warranted against James.

Allegan police said James' wife claimed she had fallen at home, causing her injuries, but officers said they weren't sure if her injuries were consistent with a fall.

Fitz was assigned the case after Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps recused himself. Fitz said he may make a decision on his review later this week.

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