Gavel Grab

Judges Seek Better Protection Against Threats

Two groups representing Social Security and immigration judges have asked the U.S. government to take new steps to protect them from the threat of violence.

Judge Dana Leigh Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, offered some of the worst horror stories at a session in Washington, according to an NPR report:

“One colleague reports that the brake lines to her car were cut while in the parking lot at work.”

“Another colleague reported that there was gang graffiti in her courtroom. During the anthrax scare, an immigration judge received a letter containing white powder. Another judge was grabbed by the robe by an irate respondent. Another judge experienced someone attempting suicide, right there, in the courtroom.”

Moreover, Randall Frye, president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, said about 200 threats have been recorded in the past four years against Social Security Administration hearing offices. One example that he gave was of an administrative law judge who was struck by a claimant wielding a chair; the judge was forced to take disability retirement as a result, according to the Blog of Legal Times.

An average of one threat is made each week against personnel of Social Security offices, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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