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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Motion seeks to delay retired judge's trial

By LANCE GRIFFIN published in The Dothan Eagle
Published: February 18, 2011

A retired local judge accused of numerous ethical violations while serving in Houston County is asking to have his trial date delayed.

Former Houston County District Judge John Steensland, Jr., was charged with 60 violations of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics by the Judicial Inquiry Commission in December of last year. His trial date in front of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary is scheduled for March 2 in Montgomery.

A motion filed by Steensland’s son on behalf of Steensland states that numerous other complaints against Steensland have been filed since the original complaints were made public, are currently under review by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and could trigger more official charges. Therefore, Steensland argues the trial should be delayed until all matters have been resolved and all charges can be faced in one proceeding.

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission staff and executive director have engaged in a course of conduct encouraging said individuals to file new complaints in an effort to further humiliate, intimidate and prejudice Steensland,” attorney John Steensland III wrote in the motion to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary filed Feb. 17. “The desired effect of JIC’s conduct relating to the new complaints is simple. The outcome of the trial in the present matter notwithstanding, Steensland will be forced to endure the entire process again.”

“Steensland is entitled to have all charges, complaints, documents, materials and witnesses against him combined and consolidated so that all alleged mIsconduct can be adjudicated in the same proceeding,” Steensland wrote.

The court has until Tuesday, Feb. 22, to rule on Steensland’s motion.

Motion seeks to delay retired judge's trial