The case against retired Montgomery County family court Judge Patricia Warner will be resolved publicly, but it remains unclear if she will have a full and exhaustive trial.
Warner, who retired abruptly just days before the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint against her, has opted to use a relatively new procedure that allows judges to resolve the case out of court.
Warner could also be affected by an appeal pending before the Alabama Supreme Court that questions whether it is legally appropriate for the commission to prosecute a judge who is no longer a sitting judge for actions committed while in office. The case before the state’s high court involves a retired judge in Houston County.
“We’re in a new field and the legal question is whether the court of the judiciary can do anything beyond once a judge leaves the bench,” John Wilkerson, secretary for the Court of the Judiciary, said Tuesday.