Bailiff accused of battering state attorney

November 17, 2015

justice 2The San Luis Obispo Tribune has obtained video footage of a bailiff wrestling a female deputy attorney general to the floor of a SLO courtroom.

On Oct. 20, the bailiff, a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy, arrested state attorney Jennie Mariah Kelly for resisting or obstructing a peace officer. The incident occurred during trial in a wrongful termination case against the California Men’s Colony and Atascadero State Hospital.

During the case, Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera admonished Kelly several times about her courtroom demeanor. When LeBarbara called a 15 minute recess on Oct. 20, Kelly began shouting and acting in an unprofessional manner toward the opposing attorney, Timothy V. Magill, according to a sheriff’s office report.

In the video recording, Kelly is seen waving her pen and speaking at Magill. The bailiff then approaches Kelly, and the two begin arguing.

The bailiff appears to grab both of Kelly’s hands and hold onto them for a few seconds until Kelly jerks away. Kelly and the bailiff then struggle, and the deputy takes her to the ground.

Kelly reemerges into the video screen shortly later with her hands cuffed behind her back

The Tribune obtained the footage through a public record’s request. There is no audio in the video tape.

The district attorney’s office has not filed formal charges against Kelly, as of Monday evening. Prosecutors have not completed their investigation into the incident, though, a DA’s spokesman said.

Kelly has retained attorney Kara Stein-Conway who said the bailiff battered her client.

Stein-Conway said the incident was a gross and unjustified overreaction to lawful conduct by Kelly. The bailiff battered her, forced her to the ground and pressed her head up against a metal rail, Stein-Conway said.

The sheriff’s office says Kelly refused the bailiff’s attempt to calm her.

LaBarbera canceled court for the remainder of the day following the arrest. Kelly was back in court defending the state on the following day.

The trial ended Nov. 9 with a judgment that favored the state.



  1. demiseofslo says:

    Haha! You should see how they treat people in the holding tanks at the slo county jail!! Don’t ask for a blanket!!

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Gordo says:

    Because we don’t have any audio, we don’t know what was said between the bailiff and the attorney.
    It is possible the deputy told her to leave the courtroom following because she continued to harangue the other attorney after being told to stop by the judge.

    I know nobody thinks they have to listen to these “lowly, officious, stupid, nazis”, but guess what? They do have to listen and follow their direction.

    In fact under California law you cannot resist an arrest, even if it is illegal!

    I doubt the D.A. will file charges, but then again, they might… Undoubtedly the attorney will file a lawsuit, so from the county’s perspective they might as well file charges and either take it to trial or negotiate a plea deal.

    Could this thing have been handled better by the deputy? The answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean he was entirely wrong in how he chose to handle the situation.

    I know some on this forum think they get to act like an asshole whenever and wherever they want, but you don’t; especially in a courtroom.

    My only other question is where was the deputy’s supervisor? Surely they dont leave them unsupervised at the courthouse?

    If this attorney was a known problem why wasn’t a supervisor present while she was in court to help resolve this very type of incident?

    (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  3. MaryMalone says:

    Sufferin’ jesus, I just saw the video. The bailiff”s response was WAY beyond what was called for. Did you see the reaction of the two women in the courtroom? They were clearly horrified by the violence visited on the attorney.

    I hope that bailiff is accused with battering and loses his job. We don’t need thin-skinned, troglodytic thug bailiffs beating up anyone else.

    (0) 16 Total Votes - 8 up - 8 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      How can you possibly make a judgement call like you have, WITHOUT hearing any of the audio. That is key to this case. Your rush to judgement is a bit myopic at best.
      Within a judges courtroom, respect, and decorum is expected…especially by those who have been trained in law.
      I have heard the audio, and clearly the state attorney chose to ignore the judges orders and she got EXACTLY what she should have expected.
      Thank you baliff for doing your job.

      (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down
      • abigchocoholic says:

        I have heard the audio
        Where? Post it.

        It’s difficult to imagine what, other than an all out physical violence threatening tirade, what would justify her being slammed to the ground.

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • joseywales says:

      preventing attorneys from arguing is for our safety……LOL

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  4. joseywales says:

    According to the bailiff there shall be no arguing in court! LMFAO.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  5. willieslo says:

    “Bailiff accused of battering state attorney”
    She should be held in contempt for lying
    If she filed charges, she should be prosecuted for making a false report
    like anyone else!

    (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
  6. JB Bronson says:

    SLOBIRD: I disagree. Your argument is like saying I can be an asshole in a church or any place of worship because a service is not in session.

    If there isn’t social structure in a courtroom, regardless of it being in session, then there is no holy ground anywhere and anything goes any where, any time.

    That the society we increasingly have already. I don’t want that kind of society.

    (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
    • joseywales says:

      being that our legal system is so fair and based on the constitution or money?

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • jms3211 says:

      Holy Ground? Our you kidding me? Have you not watched the travesty of justice in this county? This county is more like “It’s not who you know or who you blow…’s how you blow who you know”!

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • abigchocoholic says:

      If there isn’t social structure in a courtroom,
      There’s all the difference in the world between social structure and slamming an attorney in court to the ground in a courtroom over her words.

      All this bailiff had to do was stay calm. Instead he tried to grab the attorney’s hands and then when she instinctively pulled back he slammed he to the ground. She was all defense. It took him about 2 seconds to lose control and resort to extreme violence. It was ridiculous. Beyond anything I’ve ever heard of a bailiff doing to an attorney in court. It made national news it was so left field.

      Watch the video. There were 4 other attorneys standing in the same attorney area as this attorney. None of them were moving. No one was trying to escort them out. This attorney had every right to be exactly where she was and a bailiff is not the attorney word police during a court recess. And if he did have some right I’m not aware of to be the attorney word police, he doesn’t get to slam her to the ground because he doesn’t like her words. That was way over the top. He could have just maintained his ground and told her to leave the courtroom and escorted her and if she continued to refuse he could call other deputies to escort. She would undoubtedly have felt overwhelmed and complied.

      Instead he slammed her to the ground on a second’s notice. Just ridiculous. He’s probably going to get sued. And ironically, the State attorney may sue the county for the assault and battery too. It all depends on how big of a deal the state attorney wants to make over this blatant assault.

      (7) 19 Total Votes - 13 up - 6 down
  7. SLOBIRD says:

    Everyone needs to remember: Court was not in session, the Judge had left the Court and the argument (discussion, etc) was between the two attorneys and none of the attorneys were attacked by the attorney. Why did the bailiff go after her with force?

    (12) 32 Total Votes - 22 up - 10 down
  8. Citizen says:

    After looking at the “feel good” video of the local bailiff taking down the big shot attorney from the State Attorney General’s office for disrupting the court, harassing a local attorney , and not obeying the bailiff’s orders, I can say that in the future, other attorneys from the A.G.’s office may treat our court with a little more respect. Good deal!

    (-3) 33 Total Votes - 15 up - 18 down
    • joseywales says:

      you must think that videos of jews being gassed can be described as “feel good” as well….the bailiff is just a nazi pig who works with a huge gang of thugs.

      (-2) 12 Total Votes - 5 up - 7 down
      • Citizen says:

        Yelling or making rude remarks to the local attorney is a form of intimidation, especially when an attorney from the Attorney General’s office does it. She’s a bully, trying to intimidate the opposition in order to win her case.

        Then, she thinks that she doesn’t have to obey the Bailiff?

        This is a case of the Attorney General’s Office pushing their weight around, something that can’t be allowed if people in this county want a fair trial.

        Your Nazi comments are completely out of line and disgusting. If you don’t have the IQ to discuss something without calling everyone a Nazi, then just crawl back to your hole.

        (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down

Leave a Comment