Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations Judge Ramona Taylor is censured by the Supreme Court of Virginia today for thwarting a juvenile defendant’s right to appeal the judge’s bond ruling.
In 2007, Taylor denied bond for a 15-year-old repeat offender who admitted assaulting a younger boy. Taylor then wrote in her bond order that the order was “non-appealable” and emphasized that language when the clerk inquired about the issue of appeal.
Noting that, under Virginia law, every bond decision is appealable, a five-member majority of the Supreme Court holds that Taylor violated the judicial canons when she acted to prevent an appeal of her order. “A judge may not prevent the appeal of his or her own decisions,” Justice LeRoy Millette wrote for the majority.
The defendant was in detention for 9 days until a circuit court ordered the matter appealed.
By Peter Vieth