NB judge unknowingly serves 15-year criminal sentence

Fredericton — Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Paulette Garnett learned this week that she had been serving a criminal sentence for the past 15 years as punishment for her history of “very late” court decisions.

Since her appointment in 1998, Garnett has made a habit of tardy decision-making. People appearing in Garnett’s courtroom could expect to wait months, even years, for a ruling. For her first case, Garnett took almost 13 months to deliver her judgment. Other decisions made some people wait over 2 years.

Finally, in 2013, a complaint brought Garnett’s habits to public attention, sparking outrage in New Brunswick. In the weeks following Garnett’s bad publicity, New Brunswickers tweeted their reactions to the news, many of them demanding Garnett pay for her crimes. However, reports surfaced this week showing that Garnett had in fact been serving a criminal sentence since 1999.

According to the reports, the judicial council issued a “secret” sentence to Garnett, forcing her to wait up to 25 years to find out she’d done anything wrong. Yesterday marked an early end to sentence.

When asked why Garnett’s time was cut short, the council replied, “Well, she found out.”

The Manatee‘s news staff asked Garnett to comment on her unconventional sentence. She has yet to get back to us.

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