ROBE RAGE: Update on courtroom drama of Judge Joan Davenport charged with assault of Judge Sharon Elaine Goodie
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A hearing was held in District of Columbia Superior Court on May 17, 2016, with Judge Rhonda Reid Winston presiding over the case of Judge Joan Davenport charged with assault of Judge Goodie, her superior. Condition set for the release of Judge Davenport were that she not assault, threaten, harass or stalk Judge Sharon Elaine Goodie.
Attorney Jason Downs represented the defendant – Judge Davenport – who entered a plea of not guilty. A drug test was ordered, and the case was continued by mutual request. On Sept. 30, 2016 a replacement judge for Judge Rhonda Reid Winston was ordered and Judge Robert Salerno replaced her to preside over the case, making one less female judge in the Judicial Hen House and cutting down on the possibility of more cantankerous catfights in the court.
The court record notes that on Oct. 24, 2016, Judge Davenport was sent off to community service where she could work in the public library, wash police cars, pick up trash in a public park or other types of community service typically ordered for criminal defendants.
On Nov. 8, 2016, the record shows that the City of Washington was improved by the completion of whatever community service was required of Joan Davenport and the criminal charges against her were dropped on Nov. 14, 2016.
ROBE RAGE: District Judge Joan Davenport charged with assaulting another Judge in District Courthouse office
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Order in the court, the Judge is eating beans, or perhaps, is simply off her meds. WJLA reports that Judge Joan Davenport has been arrested on a charge of assault on Judge Sharon Goodie.
ABC 7’s Sam Ford reported that a police report states that Judge Davenport lunged at Judge Goodie and attempted to choke her. The wrestling match and take-down of Judge Goodie was completed with Judge Davenport managed to give her a chest butt and knock her to a squatting position against a courtroom wall. Judge Davenport, who was the subject of a bench warrant, turned herself into the 1st District Police Station.
Judge Davenport is set to appear in court to face the assault charges in May, before another Judge. There is no report that Judge Bruiser has been suspended pending her trial. Judge Goodie is Davenport’s superior however Judge Davenport has been ordered to stay away from her until the trial Judge can get the gals to shake hands and come out fighting in court.
There are two sides to every good courthouse catfight between Judges. What may have been a simple office beef between two well-educated but bellicose jurists may have simply ended with a case of Robe Rage.
The Washington Post delved deeper into the story than the TV reports. Peter Hermann reported the following:
In the court document, Davenport told police, “Well, I tried to” when asked whether she had attacked the victim’s neck. In a written statement provided to police, Davenport said she was speaking to a witness in a case when her colleague started to bang on the door.
“The defendant did not open the door and did not ask the person that was knocking to enter, however, the banging continued,” the affidavit says. Then, Davenport said in her statement, her colleague “stomped in with case files.”
Davenport said in her statement that her colleague had not been invited into her office “nor did she have the right to open the door.” Davenport said the judge threw the files down, backed up against a wall and started “yelling that the defendant was attacking her.”
A witness who was holding Davenport’s arm told her, “Joan, it’s not worth it,” police said in the affidavit. An attorney for Davenport could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Both judges work for the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. Davenport presides over cases involving public benefits, rehabilitation services, and public works, according to the agency’s website that contains her biography.
The Office of Administrative Hearings provides this background of Judge Davenport, who lives in Baltimore and works in D.C.:
Administrative Law Judge
Judge Davenport was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge to the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings in August 2005, and currently presides over public benefits, rehabilitation services and public works cases. Judge Davenport previously worked with the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights where she served as a Hearing Examiner from 2001 until 2005.
Before working with the District of Columbia government, Judge Davenport worked with the Baltimore Police Department and was a Scholar Attorney for the Montgomery County Office of the County Attorney. Judge Davenport was also a community representative for Howard University School of Law Dean Kurt L. Schmoke when he was elected Mayor of Baltimore City. Upon graduating law school, Judge Davenport clerked for the Honorable Kenneth Lavonne Johnson of the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.
Judge Davenport has taught business law at Coppin State University since 1997 and has previously taught intellectual property and business law at the Johns Hopkins University, and at Strayer University.
Judge Davenport is a board member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, and was a founding member of the District of Columbia Association of Administrative Law Adjudicators, serving as its first president. Judge Davenport is active with the American Bar Association, and with the National Judicial College where she has served as Group Facilitator.
Judge Davenport earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Baltimore and is a licensed member of both the District of Columbia and Maryland Bars.