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Top Judge Bars Thomas From Old Courtroom

A courtroom confrontation between two Los Angeles Municipal Court judges failed to materialize this morning when Judge George W. Trammell posted marshals to deny Judge Maxine F. Thomas access to the jurist’s entrance of Division 1.

Despite a 57-13 recall vote by her colleagues Wednesday, Thomas insists that she is still the presiding judge of the municipal court, whose responsibilities include calling the master calendar in Division 1. (Story in Part II.)

But court administrators and fellow judges say that under the court’s rules, Assistant Presiding Judge George W. Trammell has automatically succeeded her in the supervisory post.

Trammell, who took the bench at 9:01 a.m., said later that marshals “were ordered to prohibit her from coming through (the judge’s entrance) to take the bench.” If she had “waltzed in” through a public entrance, he said, he would have stepped aside to avoid a confrontation.

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Thomas, who indicated she may file legal action next week to try to void the recall results, said she returned to her office to avoid a public scene after discovering the marshals in the way and a door to the courtroom locked.


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