Michigan judge fines himself after his own cell phone rings in court

LANSING, Mich. - The latest person to break a Michigan judge's ban on ringing cell phones in his courtroom is the judge himself.

The courtroom of Lansing District Judge High Clarke Jr. has a sign warning visitors to silence their phones, saying they'll be found in contempt if a phone rings.

Clarke was in the middle of a hearing Friday when his own cell phone rang. So he found himself in contempt of court, fined himself $50 and gave the money to his clerk.

He tells the Lansing State Journal it would have been hypocritical for him to treat his mistake any different from those of others who come to his court.

Clarke says he's imposed penalties for ringing phones five to 10 times since the policy began in May.