Labrador judge accused of misconduct

Rosie Mullaley
Published on March 26, 2014
John Joy is shown in this Telegram file photo from 2004.

The provincial government has filed a formal complaint of misconduct against a provincial court judge in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The Telegram has learned that the director of public prosecutions filed the document today against Judge John Joy.

The complaint objects to comments he made in a memo he sent to the Crown prosecutors office, the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission and a few private lawyers.

In the 21-page memo, Joy criticizes the Crown and Legal Aid for such things as not providing enough services to the public and clients, and acting unethically. He also complained about Legal Aid lawyers failing to meet with clients and leaving them to wait too long to discuss their cases.

When contacted by The Telegram, provincial Chief Judge Mark Pike opted not to comment, since he is the chairman of the Judicial Complaints Review Committee, which will ultimately decide if punishment is warranted for Joy.

The complaint, filed under Section 22 of the Provincial Court Act, has been forwarded to the director of court services, Shelly Organ, who in turn, forwards it to the Complaints Review Committee, which will first decide whether there is enough grounds to proceed to a hearing.

Besides Pike, the committee is comprised of Newfoundland Supreme Court Justice Alphonsus Faour, alternate Justice Gillian Butler and Shannie Duff, former St. John’s deputy mayor, representing the public.

Pike said the committee is guided by the Judicial Code of Ethics. While he would not comment on this particular case, he said punishment for violating the code could range from a warning to a suspension, to a permanent loss of position.

Pike, who is in Vancouver this week, couldn’t say when the issue would be dealt with, but said he will review it as soon as he can.