Skip to main content

Judge holds himself in contempt over his Windows Phone going off in court

Believe it or not, there are some settings where you shouldn't have your smartphone around. Places like a doctors appointment, job interview, or court hearing are fairly obvious places where you should leave it in the car or at least put it on silent. So what happens when the professional across the table breaks this rule, especially if it's your own? In the case of a Michigan judge, you hold yourself in contempt. No, this not the Onion. 

Judge Raymond Voet has a policy in his courtroom that any smartphone disturbance results in citation for contempt. If you aren't working on your law degree or don't care for Judge Judy and have no clue what it means to be in contempt of the court, we've got you covered. It basically means you've been disrespectful or disobedient in a court setting. So what made Judge Voet hold himself in contempt? Something that most of you are probably familiar with. We'll let him explain: 

I'm guessing I bumped it. It started talking really loud, saying "I can't understand you. Say something like Mom."

You've probably accidently bumped the power button of your phone while it's in your pocket followed by an accidental long press of the Windows logo. That's right, Judge Voet has a new Windows Phone that made him break his own court rule.  

He came over from a BlackBerry and wasn't familiar with his newfangled touch screen device. Over the years Judge Voet has taken away phones from police offices, attorneys, spectators, and witnesses over his courtroom rule. When he broke it himself he said not even a judge is above the law, cited himself and paid the $25 fine.  

No word on which Windows Phone Judge Voet uses. I'm guessing a Lumia 920 with that super sensitive screen. What do you guys think? Either way, you're one of us now Judge Voet.   

Source: AP

  • haha, sweet. all press is good press I guess..
  • Hmm, not too sure on that. I can see the positive side; hey even judges are using WPs now! On the other hand, maybe more so for us who are already in it, it shows again one of the common issues some people have.
    Maybe not you, but some want either an easy profile setter OR easier management of voluet controls. See, I press the volume button and then switched it to "vibrate" leaving volume at 30. So now all sounds except the ringer will blast, even the voice search.
    Lower the main volume all the way down and the "ring+vibrate" becomes just vibrate. So now all sounds are lowered includeing the ringer. So.. it's kind of lopsided and some people I'm sure can latch on to this (hey! I comented on it! go figure).
  • I don't think that's the issue the judge had, it sounds more like he accidentally activated voice controls by holding the start button.
  • Quite, I agree. But what I was getting at is regardless of accidentally doing it, the outcome differs if you're new to the device and don't realise a few things.
    So I should have been clear and pointed to the similarity to one of my first instances with my 920. Headed to class, pressed volume down to bring up the controles, pressed the vibrate only button. Sat with it in pocket and halfway through lecture... "I couldn't understand you. Try saying mum or pizza".
    So, I found out that the volume controls are a little off, and tapping vibrate doesn't mean everythings down. Was simply suggesting that this too could have been the case for him as he stepped into court thinking it was on vibrate. A bit of a stretch yes, but just pointing it out.
  • i had the same thought.  the judge could have set it to vibrate but not knowing it only affects the ringer.  so the ringer is silent/vibrate but all alarms and voice prompts could be at full volume.  volume control options is one of the most voted on feature on Uservoice forum.  i'm hoping for it on the next update!
  • Maybe the judge can mandate the update.
  • What's fair to one is fair to all, right? Someone has to be the example to everyone else!
  • Good Guy Judge: Makes rule, breaks rule, respects rule. 
  • Lol exactly
  • Seriously, very unheard of this very hypocritical society of ours.
  • He's a smart guy he knows which phone to have(l920)
  • Sam, your articles are always insightful, but moreover hilarious! and insightful. awesome stuff.
  • I have to respect the fact that he applies the law to himself.
    But on the windows phone design I think we really do need a better way to silence the device when at certain locations, maybe a NFC charger plate that can send the instruction to set all volumes to zero while it is on there would be good?
    Or have an option to silence it for certain hours during certain days of the week, either way having to manually change it every time always causes me missed calls.
  • If only all judges, figure heads, celebrities, and anyone in role of power, influence, or authority would follow this man's footsteps.
  • This is why I added a pin for my lockscreen. It prevents my leg from pocket dialing/etc. Never had a problem once I set a pin.
  • While that's good and all, I've had my phone lock itself out while it was in my pocket because of that. xD
  • Lol wat xD
  • Out of curiosity, what happens when it locks out? Do you just have to wait a specific amount of time before you can try again?
  • Yeah a minute
  • Why would anyone not have a PIN on their phone?
  • I only need a PIN to stop pocket dialing. I never leave my phone laying around & never loose my phone. So, a PIN only becomes an extra step to access my phone. If it weren't for the pocket dialing issue of capacitive touch screen devices, I'd never use a PIN. Never did in the 10+ years I used resistive touch smart phones before.
  • Sounds like a good guy.
  • He might return the phone now. Smh
  • That's what I was thinking.
  • Yep. "Don't get a Windows Phone! It went off in court on me and made me break my own rule!"
  • That's embarrassing
  • Good guy judge for sure! Please don't return the phone though :P
  • Haha yea that's what I'm worried about too
  • It may be past the reurn time window.  
  • But it'll never be past the "Don't get this phone!" window.
  • Someone write to him and tell him he can actually turn off speech when phone is locked. There is an option under speech settings! Also Sam, sort him out a WPCentral ID. He needs to visit us often ;)
  • It's off by default on my 920, so perhaps he's using a different model?
  • That's a saver. I didnt realize that tellme can be activated while in your lockscreen. Thanks! Disabled it just now.
  • Cool
  • Funny shiit!!!
  • Lol xD I agree
  • Microsoft should be held in contempt for not giving us ringer options that were available in 2009.
  • Good one bro. /s
  • Do you think the GDR3 update will have it?
  • Totally agree!
  • Liar Instagram isn't coming soon lol.
  • 1999 - Fixed that for you.
    Every phone I had before my Windows Phone had profiles that were adjustable in EVERY way. Settings for every sound (call, text, email, keypress, vibrating  - and what time, continious, repeating, pattern etc) and very clear names (that you could change, and you could create new profiles), so that you could have different ringer settings for every situation you need. And they were easily selectable and very clear, you always knew which one you had selected and if you didn't, you just select the one you want even if it may already be selected.
    What does this "Smart"phone have? Nothing. One button that says silent/ringing and to this day, even after using it hundreds of times, I NEVER know if it's silent or not. I don't know if, if the "button" says silent and I press it, I am switching to silent or that it is already silent and switching it would turn on the ring. Even now I can't remember, I would have to try it out again and check when the silent symbol comes on next to the battery. This is such a clusterfuck.
  • Agree with your point 100% but the icon is VERY clear... a bell if ringer is on and wavy lines if it's on vibrate. Not sure how that could be confusing. But we need the damn profiles.
  • No I get the confusion. It's Like the shuffle button on a Zune and possibly other mp3 players-- before I got used to it, I'd hit play and sometimes wonder, if I see the shuffle icon is it on shuffle it do I need to hit that icon to turn shuffle on? And yeah, the volume situation on WP is pathetic. And the people who defend it by saying simple is better and more options would go against the Windows Phone design philosophy are ridiculous.
  • HI-larious
  • Instagram is coming soon.. Very soon!
  • Lol. Is this the obligatory "Instagram post" every article seems to have or do you know something the rest of us don't?
  • Just trust me and be patient. It's coming very soon!
  • Liar! Instagram isn't coming soon! Lol.
  • No lie.. I'm 100% sure that it is coming soon. Just wait!
  • $25 is better than having a $400+ device taken away....did he give them their phones back?
  • Should have thrown himself in federal prison for 5 years! I hate police, judges, lawyers. 99% of them are dirty.
  • That's a unjust opinion. Yes, in EVERY occupation there are "bad apples" so you can't just put down the law enforcement.
  • Wow... I think you have a distorted view of reality. 95% corruption would really be something.
  • If you think about it, if 95% of something is corrupt, that would make it normal. The remaining 5% would be considered corrupt or irregular. However, I'm just a simple caveman, frightened by these tiny magic boxes you have. Often called, cellphones. 
    Edit: RIP Phil Hartman.
  • Hmmm... I don't think that follows.  "Corrupt" doesn't mean "abnormal" or "irregular".  It means "guilty of dishonest practices".  So if 95% of people were dishonest, they would still be corrupt even if they were considered "normal".
  • Should have thrown himself in jail for being a judge? Either you're joking or just very stupid.
  • I'm stupid
  • Nice!
  • In the movie Law Abiding Citizen the judge has a no phones rules. She then breaks her own rule and answers her phone. It doesn't end well for her
  • All press is good press, right?
  • Here's another Windows Phone related embarassing moment in the court room.
    Familiar soundbyte at 2:50 mark. Watch the whole video too, it's pretty funny.
  • "I'm Judge Voet and my Windows Phone"
  • "I couldn't leave my Windows Phone outside the courtroom. I peak at the Live tiles during pauses in diliberation and get all of the latest updates from my favorite people. Just make sure you silence yours in my courtroom or I'll hold you in contempt!"
    (pays fine)
    "I'm Judge Voet and my Windows Phone"
  • ^ awesome
  • ✔ +1
  • Perfect ad. LOL.
  • That's called integrity. +1 for him
  • Awesome.
  • I love how he cites himself. I have respect for someone who follows their own rules.
  • Lol
  • LOL
    Well, as someone who has a Law Degree and knows how Judges normally are, I honestly salute this judge's bravery on punishing himself. Most of them would just ignore the incident IF not actually break session to look at the phone. (Oh and yeah, 90% of the judges have their cellphones with them during Court. Actually, everyone normaly has them lol)
  • Cool judge is Cool.
  • If u believe this as a true story then u have never been before a magistrate/Judge
  • I hope to stay that way.
  • Amen
  • I don't have any of these issues with my Lumia 820. :/
  • lol true story or not.. This is hilarious :P
  • The voice command can be deactivated while the screen is locked. The Judge should try that :D
  • Wow
  • I find the most annoying thing when im texting in class and accidentally hit the speech button
  • Haha, that's hilarious... Really enjoyed this story.