Greene County Judge Calvin Holden is permanently stopped from running his Domestic Abuse Court after a ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District.
The decision comes in a lawsuit filed by Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson that alleged Judge Holden did not follow proper procedures.
The court’s ruling could be appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.
Patterson and his attorney’s main contention is that the Domestic Abuse Court has not been established as a “treatment court” under Missouri Law. This meant that Holden did not have the authority to place offenders into the program putting treatment court stipulations on the offenders.
Patterson also said Holden acted outside his authority in meeting with criminal defendants without their attorneys present, holding meeting about offenders with a “Domestic Abuse Court Team”, and in sentencing offenders to that court.
Patterson told OI on Saturday that Holden’s court actually held up the processes of justice in the 31st Judicial Circuit and that the additional domestic violence court was not needed because of already established courts.
“The important thing to note is that our office does and has been a long-time supporter of property established and run treatment courts,” Patterson told OI in a phone interview. “We have in Greene county an adult treatment court which handles substance abuse and mental health issues, and a veteran’s court, that is very robust. [Holden’s court] wasn’t set up properly under the law as the court of appeals said and was very redundant and put a strain on our criminal justice resources.”
Patterson also noted to OI that several of the cases that were placed into Holden’s Domestic Abuse court should have been handled by the adult treatment court.
Holden has previously established other treatment courts in Greene County.
Patterson said he does not know if Holden will appeal the decision.
Judge Holden has been under fire from several community groups in recent months because of sentences handed down to those convicted of sexually based offenses. Local sexual assault survivor support group Me Too Springfield has launched a petition drive calling for the removal of Judge Holden from the bench.
Here is the ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District:pattersonvholden