Judge Accused of Drunkenness Fines Town Marshal $500 and Sends Him to Jail
August 10, 1907
The Town Marshal in custody of the Sheriff for contempt of court, and the County Judge under arrest for assault and battery, on a charge preferred by a prominent citizen, and also smarting under the odium of a charge of over-indulgence in liquor, is a condition prevailing in Susanville.
The trouble broke loose with a street altercation between Judge F. A. Kelly of the superior court and Humboldt Ward, a minor, who clerks in a store owned by the sheriff. City Marshal Arthur E. Long separated the combatants by seizing hold of the person of the judge and throwing him to the sidewalk in the scuffle. This was more than the dignity of the judge would stand for, and he Issued an order for the arrest of the city official.
Following is Judge Kelly’s complaint and decree in the case:
“That said Arthur E. Long did on the 11th day of August 1907, at and in the city of Susanville, state and county of California, willfully, maliciously and contemptuously seize F. A. Kelley, the judge of said court, and jerk and throw said judge down upon the plank sidewalk in front of the Emerson hotel in a vicious, violent, inhuman and cruel manner, dragged him violently upon said plank sidewalk, lacerating his right ear, bruising the left side of his head and spraining his left wrist.
“And then and immediately thereafter, in a loud and angry tone of voice, when said judge remonstrated, did threaten to confine him in the county jail and contemptuously said to said judge that he was not now in court and could redress his wrongs as he see fit.
“That each, every and all of said acts was made, said and done In an intentionally contemptuous manner and way and was intended to and did bring said court and judge into public disrespect, ridicule and contempt, and thereby tend to prevent and interfere with the future trial of causes In said court.
“Wherefore, it is ordered, adjudged and decreed that said Arthur E. Long is guilty of contempt of said court and judge and that judgment of the law and sentence of the court is that he be confined in the county jail for the period of five days and that he also be fined the sum of $5OO, and that in default of the payment of said fine he be imprisoned in said county Jail for a period of 250 days in the proportion of one day’s imprisonment for every two dollars of said fine.’’
The marshal has appealed to the district court In Sacramento for a writ of habeas corpus, and in addition to denying any exhibition of contempt for the Lassen court, states his side of the case quite fully, and adds: … “That he believed, and still believes, that a drunken judge, on a Sunday afternoon, on the public streets of an incorporated town, should be dealt with by the marshal of said town in exactly the same manner as any other drunk and disorderly person.”
Ward went before a justice of the peace and swore to a warrant charging Judge Kelly with assault and battery, for striking him, and the judge was accordingly placed under arrest.