Crane, In re

Decision Date03 May 1984
Docket NumberNo. 68356,68356
PartiesIn re CRANE.
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Phillip J. Walsh, Atlanta, for appellant.

Ralph T. Bowden, Jr., Sol., Linda S. Finley, Asst. Sol., George P. Dillard, Decatur, for appellee.

DEEN, Presiding Judge.

Robert Crane was found guilty of contempt of the State Court of DeKalb County and sentenced to 20 days in jail and a fine of $200.

Judge Ralph Carlisle had appellant arrested for contempt of court after the accused made a series of telephone calls to the judge's secretary and the deputy clerk of court. Crane used vulgar and insulting language to the women because the judge would not speak to him about a default judgment which had been entered against him.

1. The evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction for criminal contempt. Indirect criminal contempt consists of contumacious conduct outside the presence of the court which amounts to an obstruction of the administration of justice. Clark v. State, 90 Ga.App. 330, 83 S.E.2d 45 (1954). As stated in City of Macon v. Massey, 214 Ga. 589, 592, 106 S.E.2d 23 (1958), "The time has not yet arrived in Georgia when a person dissatisfied with the results of a judicial proceeding may with impunity require the judge to discuss the matter with him by telephone, in his office, or elsewhere and thereafter, as a result of the refusal of the judge to discuss the case ... challenge the judge to engage in a physical encounter or brawl." We believe, in the instant case, court personnel need not be subjected to abusive and frightening language because the judge refuses to discuss a party's case. Crane did not go to the judge's office, but he did send his wife. The judge's secretary informed her that they needed to have their lawyer handle their problem, as the judge could not discuss it with them. Unwilling to accept this refusal, the Cranes continued to telephone the judge's office demanding to speak to the judge. Mr. Crane called the secretary vulgar names when she refused to put the call through to Judge Carlisle, and he referred to the judge as "a son-of-a-bitch." The secretary testified that both Crane and his wife identified themselves when they called, that their conversations referred to their previous calls, and that the language used by appellant was offensive and of such a nature as to incite a person to violence. The clerk of court testified that she received calls from Crane requesting to "speak to that son-of-a-bitch Carlisle." The secretary also testified that after arraignment on the contempt citation, appellant continued calling and requesting to speak to the judge, and that she again explained the judge could not discuss a pending case.

The notice issued by Judge Carlisle on August 26, 1983, was adequate. It stated the time of the hearing and the nature of the charges against Crane. Crocker v. Crocker, 132 Ga.App. 587, 208 S.E.2d 602 (1974).

Voice identification is analogous to visual identification, and the certainty of such evidence is a question for the trier of fact. Wallace v. State, 156 Ga.App. 525, 275 S.E.2d 110 (1980). Here the witness stated her reasons for believing the caller to be Crane, and the trial court was justified in finding that Crane was the caller.

We further find that an indirect criminal contempt was proved by a...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2 cases
  • Crane, In re
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • 7 Enero 1985
    ...a default judgment which had been entered against him in that court. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. In re Crane, 171 Ga.App. 31, 318 S.E.2d 709 (1984). We granted Crane's application for the writ of certiorari to consider whether the judge should have disqualified himself in ......
  • Crane, In re, 68356
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • 8 Marzo 1985
    ...George P. Dillard, Co. Atty., for appellee. DEEN, Presiding Judge. This court entered a judgment in the above-styled case at 171 Ga.App. 31, 318 S.E.2d 709 (1984), affirming the judgment of the trial court. The judgment of this court was reversed on certiorari by the Supreme Court in In Re ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT