Clark County Family Court Judge Rena Hughes could face disciplinary action. The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline filed a formal statement of charges on Oct. 10.
Two counts stem from a court hearing that occurred last June. The I-Team obtained video from the hearing and reported on an interaction between Judge Hughes and a 12-year-old girl last November.
The child’s parents were in a custody battle. Judge Hughes had ordered the mother of the child to bring her daughter to court. According to the formal statement of charges, Hughes ordered everyone to leave the courtroom except for the child and addressed the child alone with no parents or advocates present for nine minutes. Judge Hughes made the decision the child would go home with her father, instead of her mother.
Here is an excerpt from the video:
Girl: “Please no…. (crying). I want to be with my mama. Please. I don’t want to be with him.”
Judge Hughes: “I’ve made my decision. I’ve already told you that.”
Girl: “I beg of you.”
Judge Hughes: “You don’t need to beg. I’ve made the decision for your best interest.”
Girl: “How do you know my best interest? You don’t know me.”
Judge Hughes: Because I told you. “I’m a grown-up, and you’re a child.”
Girl: “Please, please, please, please, please.”
Judge Hughes also threatened to lock up the child if she did not comply. The I-Team is not identifying the child.
Here’s another excerpt from the hearing:
Judge Hughes: “If you have any difficulties, _______will go to Child Haven. It’s not fun in Child Haven. In fact, they put you in a holding cell, just like it would be jail.”
Child: “Can I please see my mama?”
Judge Hughes: “You already saw her.”
Child: “You don’t understand. I love her, and I’m gonna miss her. Please don’t do this to me.”
Judge Hughes is accused of abusing her power, breaking the law, and failing to be patient, dignified, and courteous to the child and her mother, along with also not giving them a chance to be heard.
The I-Team reached out to Judge Hughes for a comment.
“Her attorney, Bill Terry, said they intend to deny all of the allegations and proceed to a hearing.”