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Friday, July 26, 2013

Did you know Plainfield settled suit with former judge for $100K in 2012?

Former Municipal Court Judge Paulette Brown.

 Did you know that Plainfield settled a lawsuit brought by former municipal court judge Paulette Brown in her favor for $100,000 in January 2012?

According to a story by Sergio Bichao in today's Courier (see online here), the settlement with Plainfield (for the false warrant) and Fanwood (where Brown was arrested) was uncovered by open-records activist John Paff and detailed on his blog NJ Civil Settlements (see here) on Wednesday.

The court documents are online (see here, PDF), as posted by Paff.

Two questions come to mind immediately --

  1. Were Plainfielders informed of the settlement by Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson at the time it was made? Settlements almost always contain confidentiality clauses (as this one does), but does that mean that a settlement and its amount do not have to be revealed? A check of City Council agendas from January through April 2012 turns up no reference to a settlement. Are there others of which we know nothing?; and

  2. Secondly, the bench warrant in the matter that led to Brown's arrest evidently never should have been issued. Given that the Council is being asked to approve hiring a firm to chase down unpaid fines, I'm wondering how many lawsuits such as this one are lurking in Plainfield's future.
Bichao points out that Brown is affiliated with a prestigious Madison law firm and was nominated earlier this year to become president of the American Bar Association in 2015.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Council have to approve this settlement and would it not have appeared on Council Agenda?

Anonymous said...

I heard Dave Wynn got his job back temporarily by way of Sharon. Is this true??