EN Tried to Get A Better
Picture of the Judge, but
He Confiscated the Film
EN editor Steve Miller, midway through the preparation of this article, wanted a more current picture of East Fork Township Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl. So Miller traveled to the Douglas County Justice and Detention Center, entered the back of the justice court hearing room, and from a seat there, discretely and without any flash, took two pictures of EnEarl sitting on the bench.
However, on the second instance a court assistant heard the camera's shutter mechanism, and informed EnEarl, who -- after ordering a deputy sheriff present in the hearing room to detain Miller -- called the journalist up before the bar, asked his identity and why he was taking the pictures.
After Miller answered those questions, EnEarl stated no one could take pictures in his courtroom without his permission. Miller pointed out that there were no notices posted anywhere in the court house or the hearing room to that effect, said he was unaware of any such law and asked EnEarl to tell him what Nevada statute was the basis of his assertion.
EnEarl refused to cite any such authority, but merely repeated his assertion, this time adding the demand that Miller turn over the film from his camera.
Under the threat of further detenton, Miller complied. Then, after EnEarl had the deputy take Miller's driver's license and run a check for outstanding warrants, the journalist was permitted to leave.
"I'm grateful to EnEarl for the story," said Miller later, "but he shouldn't have confiscated the film. I did not understand I was committing an infraction, if indeed I was, and I've subsequently learned that other judges handle that situation in a much more civilized way."
Miller said Electric Nevada will be filing a complaint with the Nevada Judicial Commission regarding both the Judge's conduct and the coerced theft of the news journal's private property.