Judge Cited Hundreds of People for Contempt, Quits With 'Clear Conscience'

By William Vogeler, Esq. on August 24, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If there were an Emmy for the Most Contemptuous Judge, television Judge Jeanine Pirro would probably get the nod this year.

After all, she had a screaming match with Whoopi Goldberg and dropped so many f-bombs producers couldn't broadcast the segment. But there is no such award, not even in real life.

However, Judge Curtis DeLapp is the odds-on favorite for handing out the most contempt citations ever. He sent more than 200 people to jail for offenses as petty as leaving sunflower seeds in his courtroom.

Two Years, 200 Contempts

DeLapp wasted no time earning his reputation as a despot. He racked up more than 200 contempt orders since 2016, according to a petition for his removal from the bench.

In one case, he jailed a woman for four days after she left sunflower seeds in the courtroom. He then ordered her to return to court 20 more times over a two-year period.

In another instance, he gave a woman a six-month sentence for talking in his court. Imagine what would have happened if she dropped an f-bomb?

After pressure from state authorities, including the Oklahoma Supreme Court, DeLapp tendered his resignation. He also agreed to never seek judicial office again.

A Clear Conscience

In a letter, DeLapp said it was an honor to serve as a judge for 27 years. Prior to his judicial service, he was an assistant district attorney.

"It is with a heavy heart, but clear conscience that I announce my resignation and decision to not seek re-election," DeLapp said.

He was leading in the election, which was set for a run-off in November. Linda S. Thomas, who was second, will take his place.

Randa Ludlow, who suffered the judge's wrath for talking in court, was released by order of the Supreme Court after her attorney uncovered the judge's contemptuous history.

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