Is this Domestic Violence?

The  Judicial Qualifications Commission has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to suspend a Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith. Why is this showing up here? The reason they are requesting him to be suspended (temporarily with pay) is because of the charges placed against him. He has been charged with one count of battery and two counts of simple battery.

According to the article he has been accused of a Domestic Violence charge, in that his ex-girlfriend Rachael Oliver has accused him of pushing her down, throwing her off a porch, and dragging her.  Oliver admits they had been drinking prior to the argument.

Smith has countered that he did not hit Oliver. His attorney says he will not voluntarily step down from the bench.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/8367134/detail.html

Is this Domestic Violence? This is a case that will play out in court. The article I referenced did not include anything but the victim’s statement and did not reference any evidence found on the persons or at the scene. But they evidently found enough to cause them to file charges against a presiding judge. That says something to me. But I am not here to be judge and jury. That question will be answered in court.

But one thing in the article did stand out to me. He didn’t hit her. I am thankful for that. But surely as a presiding judge, he knows that domestic violence consists of more than hitting.

Help Guide defines domestic violence as the following:(http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm)

  • pushing, throwing, kicking
  • slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
  • pinching, biting
  • holding, restraining, confinement
  • breaking bones
  • assault with a weapon such as a knife or gun
  • burning
  • murder
  • I also found another interesting article on domestic violence and what domestic violence consists of from the Nashville Investigative Bureau, that really breaks it down. It is easy reading, but lengthy so I am just going to provide the link:

    http://www.police.nashville.org/bureaus/investigative/domestic/symptoms.htm

    Domestic Violence affects the community. Certainly a lot of time will be vested in this trial. And then there is the battle over the suspension. If he is indeed suspended, then there will be some disruption of the court schedules. And if he isn’t suspended, then certainly that is going to provide some distrust in other domestic violence victims, who have cases coming before him. Can he be trusted to fairly judge in a case involving a domestic violence victim and the abuser?

    Not to mention what the victim Oliver will be going through. The emotional confusion cannot be discounted. Plus the time spent in making reports and going to the trial. Certainly, there are any personal fears to deal with, let alone the fears of confronting a sitting judge in the very judicial system she is accusing him.

    He didn’t hit her. I leave it to you. Is this domestic violence?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith did stand trial for the abuse charges in May 2006. I did find reporting on the trial, and he was aquitted of all charges. 11alive.com

    Many thanks to Charles Montgomery for bringing the update to my attention.

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    6 Comments

    1. March 31, 2006 at 8:36 pm

      I am guilty of not reading the links, but by what you wrote…YES…I feel it is domestic violence. It will be interesting how this will turn out though….wonder if they will have a judge that is not partial to his buddies. I just don’t trust some judges these days….

      It leaves me wondering if this hasn’t been happening prior to this complaint. Most of the time, abuse escalutes.

    2. Charles Montgomery said,

      December 15, 2006 at 1:25 pm

      There was NO abuse to begin with!
      Judge Smith was completely exonerated by a jury in less than 60 minutes. The jury concluded that the woman — Rachel xxx — had lied to the police and perjured (totally) herself in court!

    3. December 15, 2006 at 3:13 pm

      Charles, thank you for the update on this one.

    4. Becky J said,

      December 15, 2006 at 9:53 pm

      Regardless, whether he was guilty or not, it wouldnt have been dealt with fairly i dont think because they all watch out for each other, i have seen with my own eyes that they have each others back, i witnessed someone who judges people as there job,drive drunk and run 2 people over, thank goodness not killing either of them, was promptly taken to jail for drunk driving and hitting those two people, blow an alcohol test over the legal limit, and was found NOT GUILTY in the case!! so i absolutly have no faith in the justice system anymore on anything, but espically when it comes to domestic violence, at least in my town of Fort Dodge Iowa, most law officials try harder to find blame on the victim than they do the abuser. So i hope in the case stated above they do not allow him to judge on domestic violence cases because now he will be angry over his own problems and could possibly judge unbiasly.

    5. December 15, 2006 at 10:03 pm

      Becky, I am not going to deny that it happens. But not every time. Some courts are actually harder on persons in authority than on others.
      If you read the trial link above you may see where there was reasonable doubt there. Like so many DV cases, they are he said/she said, and absent any witnesses, if there is reasonable doubt- well you can’t really ignore that.

    6. Rachael said,

      January 23, 2007 at 6:17 pm

      The only lies told in this court were those of Judge Rucker Smith. He even lied about being arrested previously for possession and a previous DUI. That is perjury. The information is in the Georgia Crime Information System. He said he didn’t remember……….who doesn’t remember being arrested! What was the judge doing at the girlfriend’s house very visibly drunk, said the police? The girlfriend was not. Doesn’t most domestic violence involve alcohol and drugs. The person who said there was a cover up was right. They do look after each other. But I can assure he will strike again. I guess you realize this incident wasn’t the first.


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