A Rowan County District Court judge held a local attorney in contempt Wednesday for reading a men’s magazine during a court session, according to a contempt order filed in the Rowan County Clerk of Court’s Office.
Judge Kevin Eddinger found Salisbury attorney Todd Paris in contempt after he saw him reading a Maxim magazine with “a female topless model” on the cover, according to the order.
When Eddinger gave Paris a chance to respond he apologized and “stated in his view the magazine was not pornography, was available at local stores and that he did not intend contempt,” the order said.
Eddinger fined Paris $300, gave him a 15 day suspended jail sentence that remains in effect for a year and placed him on unsupervised probation, according to the order.
Although I can understand the judge’s ire, this seems like an overreaction to me. Is Maxim really so shocking so as to:
“interrupt the proceedings of the court and impaired the respect due its authority. In addition, the contemnor’s actions were grossly inappropriate, patently offensive, and violative of Rule 12 of the General Rules of Practice. Courtroom staff, law enforcement, members of the Bar and the general public shall be able to conduct courtroom business in an atmosphere free of the display of offensive material as demonstrated by the contemnor, thus necessitating this action.”