15 Oct 2005

The Dumbest Judge Ever

Posted by dumpendebat

Is District Court Judge Richard A. Palumbo the dumbest judge ever, or is he just a major-league asshole? You decide. Here’s what happened:

Three weeks before Yvette Cade was doused with gasoline and set on fire, allegedly by her estranged husband, a Prince George’s County judge dismissed the protective order Cade had against him, despite her objections that he was violent.

During a Sept. 19 hearing, she told District Court Judge Richard A. Palumbo that her husband was intimidating and had been violating the protective order, according to an audio recording of the proceeding.

She said she had pictures of some property he had vandalized. “I want you to look at these pictures because I don’t want him to continue,” she said.

Palumbo suddenly interrupted her, saying, “Uh, this case is dismissed.”

Her estranged husband had asked the judge to lift a restraining order so that the couple could go to marriage counseling; she wanted a divorce and warned the judge that her husband was violent. He told her where to get off, basically:

At the Sept. 19 hearing, which lasted about 10 minutes, Cade, 31, told the judge she wanted “an immediate and absolute divorce,” according to the recording.

“I’d like to be six-foot-five,” Palumbo responded. “But that’s not what we do here. You have to go to divorce court for that.”

Note: she didn’t want the judge to grant her a divorce then and there, she was telling him she didn’t want to go to marriage counseling (the putative reason why her husband wanted the protective order lifted), and in fact didn’t even want to be married to the guy. The judge went ahead and lifted the order, telling her, “[Marriage counseling] might not be a bad idea if you want to save the marriage.” Guess what happened next, readers?

On Monday morning, Hargrave walked into the crowded T-Mobile store in Clinton where Cade was at work, threw gasoline on her and set her on fire with a match, police said. Half her upper body, including her entire face, suffered third-degree burns, the most serious level. A customer in the store extinguished the fire with a towel.

Way to go, Judge Asshole! Way to go!

(UPDATE, 2008/07/02) — Even after two and a half years, this post is still getting comments. If you’re interested, please note that there was a follow-up to this post: Judge Palumbo, sadly, attempted to explain that it was all a “clerical error.”

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28 Responses to “The Dumbest Judge Ever”

  1. This judge is a disgrace to the legal system and should be permanently removed from the bench. He shouldn’t be a judge on any bench. He did appear to be on the side of the abusers. In the case of Ms. Cade he didn’t even let her speak before he removed the protective order. If he had given her time to speak she could have told him and maybe have convinced him that her life was in danger. All because her estranged husband Hargarave wrote a letter full of lies to the judge the protective order was removed. I don’t know how he can sleep at night or look himself in the mirrow since because of his actions this young beautiful girl is scarred for life. I hope that she can legally sue him for damages and maybe she can afford some corrective surgery for the damage that he caused. Remove this judge ASAP!

     

    K. Hoatson

  2. Since first hearing about this incident I have read numerous articles about this judge and his unbelievable disregard for the law. According to many others he has continually made disparaging comments against and rude comments to women over the years. There was once a woman in his court who had had her voice box crushed by her ex-husband and the judge told her to “speak up”. He has had speeding tickets voided by state troopers by threatening that he knew their bosses. He fled the scene of an accident and had that dismissed and was ultimately fined $100 for speeding. He caused another collision which he was not cited for because he used his position as a judge to get out of it. He is supposed to reside in the county over which he presides and he does not. He violated laws in building the driveway for his custom built home by not having permits and extending it into protected wetlands. Etc., etc., etc. In the case with the woman who was set on fire by her estranged husband, the woman was telling him to please look at the photos she had showing the vandalization of property by her estranged husband, the judge interrupted her saying, “This case is dismissed at the request of the petitioner”. PERIOD. The “petitioner” didn’t even bother to show up at the hearing. How could anyone in their right mind, let alone a judge who is supposed to be interested in justice and protecting the innocent, blatantly ignore anyone, let alone a defenseless woman with a child, begging him for help because she felt her life was being threatened? Now, after all this happened and he was confronted about his decision in this case he stated that he did not mean to dismiss the protective order, that it had simply been a clerical error. I heard the taped transcript of the hearing. He could not have been any clearer. He is a disgusting man who has no business being in ANY position of power or authority because he has continually abused his position. Now it nearly cost a woman her life. For this “judge” to be allowed to continue working in any legal capacity is a perversion of justice. He should be in jail because he is nothing more than a “white collar” criminal. People in other positions who do the same types of things he has done repeatedly throughout his career get fired or go to jail. He should be held to an even higher standard. I just cannot express my absolute disgust with this man and his actions. This man needs to be taken off the bench completely and placed in jail for his crimes against the very people he was charged with protecting. The even sicker thing, though, is that it will not happen. He will be moved somewhere else and allowed to continue doing precisely what he’s done his entire career.

     

    JaynDoe

  3. I know mistakes in the legal system happen. We count on our judges to be fair and just when called on to protect citizens. I ask how many other judges sitting in judgment take as cavalier an attitude as Richard A. Palumbo. I can’t put the title Judge in front of his name, it would be a lie. It now appears he should have never been given the title. He has to live with his poor judgment in this case. I just hope he does not put his lawyering hat on and try to point blame on anything or anyone else. Character should be a part of being a judge, so it would be no surprise if he does try placing the blame for his action elsewhere. It is obvious character is not a part of his make up based on his hanging judge actions in this case. His judgment reflected his total lack of sympathy for Yvette Cade’s fears and wishes. Justice for Yvette would be to have Palumbo face a Hanging Judge to decide his punishment in addition to her Ex going to Jail for life.

     

    Jake Nolan

  4. I would like to know his political affiliation, since everyone else’s in the articles were given, and not his, why? He seems to have the slave mentality of some White Supremist trash who do in the dark what he does in the open, without fear or remorse. I keep a record on this kind of news with the political and religious affiliations. And beyond this, I can only say and believe:

    “Vengence is Mine and I will repay…”, saith the High and Lofty One Who Alone inhabits eternity and does not lie!!!

     

    Aleeta Marie

  5. I don’t understand why the Judge DID NOT keep Yvette Cade’s restraining order open, he should be FIRED I don’t feel that he deserves to be well paid doing administrative duties, he is the biggest example of bad judges in the courtroom he needs to be petitioned to be FIRED!! PERIOD.Yvetee’s life may not have been changed had it not been for his bad judgement…He’s a fool…Judge Palumbo and her ex-husband…

     

    Donna

  6. This Judge Palumbo is a son of a bitch. He is just as responsible for her burning as the monster who committed the crime. Hell, he should share prison cells with this other guy. It’s an outrage that this could ever happen. Judges are supposed to protect the victims not help hurt them.

     

    Leslie

  7. Personally, I feel more outraged towards the judge than I do towards the low-life who set his wife on fire. Judge Palumbo stated the restraining order against Miss Cade’s estranged husband was not renewed due to clerical error. He also stated he is a victim of a “character assasination.” At least be a man enough to admit his mistake. For crying out loud, his sarcastic remark against Miss Cade taped and heard by people across the nation.

    Supposedly, Judge Palumbo is retiring soon due to
    health complication. It unfortunate that he couldn’t
    retire lot sooner before this event took place.

     

    Ian Park

  8. This cocky son-of-a-bitch should be set on fire, then made to stand trial as an accomplice to commit murder, and be sentenced to death via the electric chair immediately following the sentencing. The American people should not have to pay for him to live one minute longer than it takes to throw the switch nor endure his presence ever again. And his title as a judicial figure should be stricken from all records and his name should carry shame from now to throughout eternity. All the richardś I´ve ever met were cocky, dismissive assholes.

     

    Beatrice

  9. Does anyone have this assholes address, I would love to send him a love letter

     

    james

  10. James, I was looking for this also. I couldn’t find one… This story re-aired on Oprah today. Apparently the judge retired before he had to appear in a misconduct hearing, so he’s getting off + he’s collecting his $80k pension + health benefits. This really upsets me, but there’s a punishment that the Creator can give that’s far greater than what we can imagine. I’m sure his dreams are haunted. He may not face any legal action, but he’ll have to life with the outcome of his actions forever…

     

    Monica

  11. The man is a sick, sorry bastard. My first instinct was to pen a letter to this disgrace of a human being. And tell me? How does a country that prizes freedoms and human rights allow a man like this to repeat blatantly bigoted and violating statements in a court of law. He makes me want to vomit.

    Please do what you can to get these neanderthals out of the courtroom.

    And, yes, lock him up with the murderers. He is a willing and wilful accomplice.

     

    Lori

  12. who does this jerckoff think he is. Richard is the right name for him because he is the biggest dick ever to dismiss a protective order to a young woman who was set on fire. He should not be upholding the laws and should be fired as fast as possible. He is a worthless usless person and has no place being a judge.
    Michelle Landry
    Naples Florida

     

    Michelle landry

  13. Anyone want to bet he’s a full-blown alcoholic? If you take a look at the http://www.thorburnaddictionreport.com and answer the Substance Addiction Recognition Indicator with just what we know, you will quickly arrive at an 80% likelihood of alcoholism. All that is needed to get to 100% is proof of addictive use. Anyone from his family care to spill the beans so that his victims will understand where the behavior comes from?

     

    Doug Thorburn

  14. I am heartbroken over this so-called “officer of the court”. I had a completely different experience with the court system, while divorcing my abusive ex.
    I know what it’s like to be afraid of someone and to need help. I can’t believe the kind of things this man would say to these women. They weren’t even allowed to speak, not even given a chance to ask for help.
    Yvette was finally brave enough to free herself from her captor and that stupid excuse for a human being of a judge gave that SOB she was divorcing a match and a bottle of gas. I hope that there really will be a great big pile of fire in hell just waiting for both of those guys.

     

    Janet Taylor

  15. This judges’s friends say what a nice guy he is and how he often makes fun of himself. The judge’s answer to Miss Cade, “I’d like to be 6’5″ tall”, was revealing. Many people make fun of themselves in an attempt to cover up their short-comings and feelings of inferiority. There’s more (or less) to the judge than meets the eye.

     

    Ray Flournoy

  16. This judge is going to rot in hell! Mark my words when he dies it will be a long sickness where he will be in excruciating pain. He will cry out to God but God has already turned his back on this Demon from the pits of Hell. Not only will his physical body and mind face great consequences but his sin will pass through all of his generations — his family will not prosper mentally, physically, financially or emotionally. He only served as a judge to benefit his financial pocket — may that all be taken away from you and generations to come.

     

    Angry in TN

  17. I happen to know Judge Palumbo, although I haven’t spoken to him in several years. I really don’t understand why people are so outraged about him. Even years later, I hear more anger directed at the Judge Palumbo than at the monster who set this poor woman on fire! I can vouch for Palumbo that he’s not a bad guy, he just doesn’t have any “filter” and he can sometimes make light of things inappropriately. A lot of district judges are guilty of this due to the volume of B.S. they hear from people on a daily basis. These protective orders are particularly tricky because it is often a he said/she said.

    The important thing is this: do you really think the protective order would have prevented this? the husband was clearly insane! What makes these idiots think that a man who would not obey the laws against setting people on fire would obey the law with respect to a protective order. People are so stupid sometimes.

     

    Mike from MD

  18. Oh, and he doesn’t serve as a Judge to “serve his financial pocket.” The guy made a lot more money off the bench.

     

    Mike from MD

  19. Mike from MD

    The reason people are more upset at Judge Palumbo is Yvette went to him for protection! She was going for help! She followed the “rules” of what to do if you’re fearful for you safety. And your “not a bad guy” judge didn’t just make an inappropriate remark, he didn’t even take the 30 seconds to look at evidence presented. And there was no “he said/she said”in this case, HE wasn’t even present!! To be cutoff mid-sentence and dismissed like that was horribly offensive to everyone who heard the tape. I’m sure if you had a daughter or wife that was trying to get protection from someone and the judge refused to listen to them and dismissed them so rudely, you would be all up in arms too!

    Whether it would have made a difference or not, the lack of respect he showed to someone going to his court for help is the reason so many people are, and will continue to be, outraged.

     

    Lisa

  20. I can totally understand people being upset about his apparent lack of respect. That makes sense to me. But you read these comments like “he should burn in hell” and “he should go to prison” and that seems a little excessive for someone being discourteous don’t you think? The bottom line is there is no way he could have protected her from this. Also, if you’ve ever spent a day in these courts (District Court is the bottom rung here: traffic, small claims, rent disputes, etc.) you would know that a lot of participants go on and on and have to be cut off if the court is going to do its business for the day. I heard the recording and we have no idea if this was after 30 seconds or after 5 minutes. It’s just a sound-byte, not the whole hearing.

     

    Mike from MD

  21. […] restraining order.  Three weeks later, Yvette is doused in accelerant and set ablaze.  Bravo, Judge Richard Palumbo. Bravo. The judge later said the dismissal was a “clerical error.” Whatever […]

     
  22. palumbo rules!

    if your afraid at home – get a gun. problem solved.

     

    btl

  23. Wow. I shuttered when I read the evil some of you have wished upon Judge Palumbo. Yes, I too believe he dropped the ball & also pissed me off with his flip remarks. He made a serious mistake by not LISTENING to Yvette & another huge mistake by not granting her the order of protection she needed & deserved.

    BUT, to wish him a long, painful death? To wish his family mental, physical & emotional short comings?? To pray he burns in Hell??? And to say he was the one who gave Yvette’s ex a match & a gas can??? C’mon people! Her ex was an abusive animal who would’ve gotten his hands on her regardless of an Order of Protection!! Surely you KNOW that!!

    Some of the hate filled posts are scary, & it makes some of you as rash & angry as the man who lit Yvette on fire. STOP IT. Fault the judge for not taking necessary action, be angry with him for coming across as a pompous jerk, but don’t blame him for the actions of Yvette’s sick and deranged ex.

    The hatred towards Judge Palumbo only ripples & it does NOTHING to help Yvette or her recovery. Instead of wishing fire & brimstone on anyone, perhaps you should pray for them, for their mind and their clarity. Before you spew venom, just remember that time when you made that terrible decision & acted inappropriately. Did it lead to disaster? Or did you (& anyone else involved) just happen to dodge a bullet??
    “There but for the grace of God go I.”

     

    J in Jersey

  24. Can anyone say **little man complex?**and as for the dumbass # 22 poster- if Ms. Cade had owned a gun she would not have been able to gain a concealed weapons permit to legally carry it and thereby protect herself from that human waste of a monster that attacked her since he did it in PUBLIC. DUMBASS. Are you a little man too ? or do you just have a teeny weeny? obviously you have some serious insecurity issues yourself, oh well you can still buy some pussy even if the chicks arent giving it up to you.(not that I blame them)

     

    your daddy

  25. Dear J in Jersey,
    Until you have had a moment to sit with someone that has been critically burned to this degree (which i have) I suggest you take your holy roller attitude to a new forum. Did you see this woman on Oprah? Shame on you. Shame on you shame on you. Look at your perfect skin in the mirror and preach to yourself. Because there is a young woman out there with a child whom can be the only judge of this situation and guess what she has forgiven him. You dont have that right. So sit down and retire the soap box. We are not listening… i pray for you…

     

    Wanda

  26. TO BLOGGER J INI JERSEY AND MIKE THE MD, YOU ARE BOTH AS”HOLES, AND SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO EVERYTHING THIS POOR WOMAN WAS SUBJECT TO, THEN COME BACK AND LET US HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. SHAME ON YOU IMBECILES, YOU MUST BE WIFE ABUSERS YOURSELF, BECAUSE ONLY AN ABUSER WOULD DEFEND WHAT THIS PRICK JUDGE PALUMBO DID. THIS WOMAN COULD HAVE LOST HER LIFE. AND THE ONLY EXPLAINATION THIS DEMON SEED JUDGE GIVES IS THAT IT WAS A CLERICAL ERROR. ITS TRAGIC WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS WOMAN. SHE APPEARS TO BE A NICE LADY, SHE DIDN’T TAKE THE LAW INTO HER OWN HANDS AND BUY A GUN, SHE DID WHAT YOU ASSHOLES ALWAYS SAY ABOUT THOSE YOU HATE FOR THEIR SKIN COLOR DON’T DO, SHE FOLLOWED THE LAW, DID EVERYTHING ACCORDING TO THE BOOK AND WHAT HAPPENED, THE COURT SYSTEM FAILED HER. WHAT ELSE IS NEW,WHEN YOU HAVE IDIOTS ELECTING AS”HOLES INTO POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY. MAY THIS JUDGE RICHARD A.PALUMBO GET HIS ASS KICKED TO HELL AND BACK!!!

    MAY GOD BE WITH THAT POOR LADY WHO WAS BURNED. THERE IS NEVER ANY EXCUSE FOR ANY MAN TO ABUSE A WOMAN, EVER! NOT EVER! ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS WITH OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS THAT WE NEED MORE FEMALE JUDGES. ANOTHER PROBLEM IS THAT ONCE THESE JUDGES TAKE THE BENCH, THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE DECISIONS OR MISTAKES THEY MAKE. ALL JUDGES SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CASES THEY MAKE DECISIONS JUST AS THE REST OF WORKING SOCIETY IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE IN THEIR JOBS. SHOULD JUDGES NOT BE BE SUBJECT TO ANNUAL EVALUATION AND PERFORMANCE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THEY VIOLATED THE LAW THEMSELVES. THERE SHOULD BE A SYSTEM IN PLACE FOR ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EVERY LAST JUDGE ON THE BENCH, AS THIS IS NOT THE FIRST JUDGE WHO’S IDIOTIC RULING HAS CAUSED THE DEATH OF ANOTHER INNOCENT PERSON. JUDGES ARE NOT GOD AND THEIR RULING RECORD, THE DECISIONS THEY MAKE WHILE ON THE BENCH SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO YEARLY REVIEWS.

     

    Kai

  27. Who does he think he is kidding with that ridiculous excuse? A clerical error! I bet he gave that excuse to his gullible wife or friends and they believed him, but I don’t know him and I know exactly how these holier than thou judges can be and they just make decisions without giving “The People” a second thought. He is a woman hater and that is why he dismissed her protection order for all it was worth. I can’t believe all they did to him was pull him off the bench. They should have disbarred him too! He’s an asshole.

     

    Terri

  28. Search for Palumbo Law Group. He started a law firm and guess who they defend…people accused of spousal abuse!! How sick is that. This guy should spend his time serving.victims of abuse.

     

    bebebravo

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