OGDEN — A judge has found attorney Mike Boyle in contempt of court for his performance during the June trial of the Ogden Trece injunction.
Second District Judge Ernie Jones said at the conclusion of the Trece trial that he was thinking of possible jail time as a sanction for Boyle. He scheduled a July 25 contempt hearing.
But in issuing his ruling this week, the judge opted instead to fine Boyle $500. He suspended a 30-day jail term upon payment of the fine.
Jones complained that on several occasions during the trial Boyle simply left the courtroom for hearings elsewhere in the courthouse.
“No apology, no explanation … there are at least six attorneys involved in this trial, and you just get up and leave,” Jones said at the June 14 conclusion of the trial. He also chided Boyle for not appearing at a May 4 motion hearing on the case. Calls to Boyle’s office that day found staff there did not know where he was.
At the July 25 hearing, Boyle apologized to the judge, calling his behavior a lapse in judgement.
“The court finds that attorney Boyle had the ability to comply with the trial and motion hearing dates,” Jones wrote in the decision that found Boyle missed more than four hours of the Trece trial. “The court finds that attorney Boyle willfully and intentionally failed to comply.”
Boyle is one of three local attorneys who have worked pro bono for the most part to represent Trece members in contesting the injunction as unconstitutional, joined by the Utah ACLU chapter. A first for Utah, the injunction bans Trece members from associating in public, being in the presence of guns, drugs or alcohol, or staying out past an 11 p.m. curfew.
Still considered temporary, the injunction has been in place since September 2010 to crack down on the city’s oldest street gang. The trial was required before the injunction can be made permanent.
A decision is still pending.