A judge almost charged a man with contempt of court after he logged into his court hearing on Zoom with the username “Buttf***er 3000”.
Judge Jeffrey Middleton in St Joseph County in southern Michigan said “bring this fool in” before the defendant popped up on the screen with his rather improper username.
“Good morning, sir, what’s your name?” The judge asked.
“My name is Nathaniel Saxton, sir,” the defendant said after realising that the judge was speaking to him. There were at least eight others in the Zoom meeting.
“Your name’s not Buttf***er 3000, you yo-ho, logging in to my court with that as your screen name,” the judge said and later added: “What kind of idiot logs into court like that?”
The defendant said he didn’t believe he had typed anything like that as his username.
“Well, that’s what it says,” the judge retorted.
The defendant was in court on a drug paraphernalia charge from the city of Three Rivers, described in the court proceeding as an alleged violation of a city ordinance, which could lead to as much as 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Saxton pleaded not guilty at first but the prosecutor wouldn’t change course, arguing that Saxton was found with a used syringe with traces of meth on it.
When Judge Middleton noted that the fine for this offence is normally $200, Saxton appeared to change his mind, admitting to being in possession of the syringe and other paraphernalia. He received a fine of $200.
Saxton tried to apologise for his username, to which the judge said: “Yeah, you should.”
“I’m going to put you in the waiting room, you can sit in limbo for a while and think about what you call yourself online,” Judge Middleton said before briefly ejecting Mr Saxton from the Zoom meeting.
The man later popped up on the screen with the name “Nathaniel Saxaon,” seemingly misspelling his own name.
Upon his return to the court proceeding, he said: “Your honour, if I may explain, my sister was the one who set up my Zoom account or whatever,” claiming that it was an inside joke.
“It’s not what you think, I’m embarrassed. I’m sorry,” Mr Saxton added.
After being handed the fine for taking “responsibility” for the paraphernalia, the judge asked the defendant if his sister was near by.
“No, unfortunately, she is not,” Mr Saxton said.
“Tell her she almost got you put in jail for contempt of court,” the judge added.