Mark Fuller

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Mark Fuller
Mark-E-Fuller.jpg
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #3
Station:   Montgomery, AL
Service:
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   11/26/2002-Present
Chief:   2004-2011
Preceded by:   Ira DeMent
Past post:   District attorney, Alabama's 12th Judicial Circuit
Past term:   1997-2002
Personal History
Born:   1958
Hometown:   Enterprise, AL
Undergraduate:   University of Alabama,1982
Law School:   University of Alabama Law, 1985

Mark E. Fuller is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Fuller served as the chief judge from 2004 to 2011. He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. Prior to joining the court, Fuller was a district attorney for Alabama's 12th Judicial Circuit.[1]

Education

Fuller graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with his undergraduate degree in 1982 and his J.D. degree in 1985.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Middle District of Alabama

On the recommendation of Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, Fuller was nominated to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama by President George W. Bush on August 1, 2002, to a seat vacated by Judge Ira DeMent as DeMent went on senior status Fuller was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 14, 2002, and received commission on November 26, 2002. He served as chief judge of the court from 2004 to 2011.[2]

In the news

Fuller arrested, charged with domestic violence

On August 9, 2014, Judge Fuller was arrested and charged with domestic violence. Police arrived at the Ritz Carlton on 181 Peachtree Street in response to a call. Officers questioned the victim who stated she had been assaulted by Fuller, her husband. Officers also noted the victim had sustained injuries.[3]

Fuller was charged with misdemeanor battery and spent the night in jail. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Stephanie C. Davis and was released on a $5,000 signature bond. His next hearing, on probable cause, took place on September 5, 2014.[4][5]

This is not the first time Fuller has been accused of domestic violence. Fuller's divorce records from a prior marriage, accused Fuller of domestic violence, drug abuse, and engaging in extramarital affairs.[6]

Update September 2014

Fuller accepted a plea deal on September 5, 2014, whereby he may have his misdemeanor battery charge dismissed and his record expunged contingent upon the completion of a 24-week court program. The program will include a domestic violence program, court-approved counseling, and alcohol and substance abuse testing.[7][8]

Upon accepting the plea deal, Fuller stated:

I reached this difficult decision after consulting with my family, and deciding that it was in everyone's best interests to put this incident behind us. While I regret that my decision means that the full and complete facts regarding this incident will likely not come out, I have no doubt that it is what is best for all involved.[8][9]

Response from public officials

In September 2014, members of Alabama's congressional delegation called on Judge Fuller to resign from the court, regardless of the results of the investigation by the Eleventh Circuit. Representative Terri Sewell released a statement calling for the resignation of Judge Fuller. In the statement, Rep. Sewell said:

All acts of domestic violence are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. No one committing such abusive acts should get a pass. This is especially true for those charged with upholding and enforcing the law. Judge Fuller has violated the public trust and should resign.[10][9]
Both Alabama Senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, also called on Fuller to resign.[11] Sewell gave Fuller until November 12, 2014, (the date Congress reconvened) to resign. Sewell stated, that if Fuller had not resigned by then, she would take action to start the impeachment process.[12]

Update November 2014

On November 12, 2014, Representative Terri Sewell sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee urging for an investigation as to whether or not Fuller should be impeached. She further stated that she is prepared to file an impeachment resolution in January at the start of the 114th Congress.[13] The full text of the letter can be read here.

Update January 2015

An evidentiary hearing has been scheduled for February 2015 in the matter of Fuller's domestic violence arrest. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has conducted its own investigation of Fuller since the arrest. A federal appeals court has the authority to investigate and discipline federal judges in their circuit, but they do not have the authority to remove them from the bench.[14]

A special committee comprised of Judge Gerald Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, two other circuit judges, and two district court judges have been appointed to conduct the investigation. The committee may hold hearings, take testimony, and receive evidence. Fuller may have his counsel present at the hearing, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses.[14]

Special committee findings with recommendations for discipline are usually then sent to the circuit's Judicial Council. If the council finds there is actionable misconduct which calls for impeachment they may then send the matter to the national Judicial Conference, who may then send it up to the United States House of Representatives for a potential impeachment hearing.[14]

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mark Fuller Biography from the Federal Judicial Center
  2. THOMAS, "Mark Fuller USDC, MDAL confirmation:PN2062-107"
  3. Decaturish.com, "Judge arrested in ATL on domestic violence charges," August 10, 2014
  4. CNN.com, "Federal judge spends night in jail after alleged domestic dispute," August 11, 2014
  5. Associate Press via AL.com, "Alabama judge who presided over Siegelman, Scrushy trials entering treatment after domestic violence arrest," August 20, 2014
  6. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, "Montgomery circuit court seals file in U.S. district judge's divorce proceedings," May 29, 2012
  7. Kansas.com, "Judge accused of hitting wife enters court program," September 5, 2014 (dead link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 AL.com, "Federal judge Mark Fuller accepts plea deal in domestic violence case; could have arrest record expunged," September 5, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. Congresswoman Terri Sewell, "Congresswoman Sewell Calls for Resignation of U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller," September 16, 2014
  11. The Washington Post, "NFL fallout: Alabama lawmakers call for removal of federal judge charged with domestic violence," September 19, 2014
  12. The Washington Times, "Deadline set for arrested judge’s resignation," October 17, 2014
  13. AL.com, "U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell calls for Mark Fuller's impeachment, says failure to resign 'the height of arrogance'," November 12, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Daily Report, "Judicial Discipline Evidence Hearing Set for Alabama Judge Arrested for Domestic Abuse," January 16, 2015
Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Ira DeMent
Middle District of Alabama
2002–Current
Seat #3
Succeeded by:
NA