May 1, 2009
The Honorable Durwood G. Moore
Dickson County General Sessions Judge
Post Office Box 217
Charlotte, Tennessee 37036
In re: Complaint of Benjamin J. Marchant vs. Judge Durwood G. Moore
Dear Judge Moore:
This shall serve as a public censure pursuant to your agreement with the Investigative Panel of this Court. This censure relates to your conduct as General Sessions Court Judge on January 2, 2009.
On this date at approximately 1:30 p.m. Mr. Marchant was a spectator in your courtroom. He had come to observe the court proceedings as he had a friend who had court business and he was there to provide that individual a ride at the conclusion of your court proceedings. While he sat in your court you observed him and ordered your bailiff or police officers in the courtroom to take Mr. Marchant into custody and to administer a drug test on his person. Mr. Marchant was neither a litigant, a defendant or a person who had business before the Court and was a citizen observer. Mr. Marchant at your direction was seized by police officials and required to provide a urine sample which was drug tested. When the drug test was revealed to be negative Mr. Marchant was released.
The ordering of the seizure of Mr. Marchant and this testing were illegal and neither statutory nor constitutional basis existed for your conduct.