A complaint filed by Maumelle attorney Teresa Bloodman against Judge Rhonda Wood, Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland and Joan Shipley was dismissed less than 48 hours later.
Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright dismissed the lawsuit by Bloodman, which was filed Wednesday. Hiland said he could not remember a case being thrown out by a judge so quickly.
Wood placed Bloodman in contempt of court and sent her to a holding cell during a case where Bloodman was representing a client. Bloodman had previously failed to show for court and had another attorney stand in for her in September.
In her complaint, Bloodman cited race as a factor in the contempt charge. Bloodman said that Wood nor Shipley had jurisdiction to seek to impose criminal contempt penalties.
“[Wood, Hiland and Shipley] have never pursued criminal contempt charges against other white attorneys, male or female, who have been unable to attend court or who had other attorneys stand in for them,” the complaint said. “The actions taken ... demean [Bloodman and] chill her right to be an aggressive and effective advocate for her clients.”
Bloodman had failed to appear in court in September in the case where she was representation, and she enlisted the assistance of another attorney, Media Wilkins, to appear in her behalf. According to the complaint, Wood told Wilkins in court that she did not trust Bloodman and she was going to hold Bloodman in contempt of court for her failure to appear.
Bloodman did not return phone calls.