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.

JB Bronson

Saw the video. Bailiff did his job. If a lawyer cannot abide by the decorum of a court room, what business do they have working a case where someone else has not followed the rules of society?



said every nazi to the last man at nuremburg

Kaiser Bill

Law enforcement is out of control in this country, with their rampant Stasi-style spying on civilians, military hardware used against the public, and strong arm tactics like seen in this video.


all the thumbs down are nazis


The attorney may have been out of line verbally but it appears deputy over reacted

The attorneys behavior does not appear to have risen to the level that would require or justify throwing her to floor. From the video it appears that deputy suddenly grabbed her wrists and she reacted moments later by pulling her arms away.

Only the people around her who heard comments can give us an idea of what was being said and if the force was justified.

Did the deputy try and defuse the situation? Why not request the Judge to find her in contempt? Why the rush to a physical confrontation.

This does not look good for the deputy. What is his history and past job performance? Is he a hot head who was sent to bailiff duty to mellow out?

Many questions? Few answers


Even if the officer had the right to do what he did it doesn’t make it right. Going from zero to throwing an old lady on the ground is completely nonsensical — even if she was throwing a temper tantrum. Whatever happened to pragmatism and common decency being the go to, and force being the absolute last resort. I’ve always found that if you treat people like animals, they’ll behave as such.


Which is how she was treating the bailiff. Why do you not hold her to the same standard as you have made up for the bailiff?


“Which is how she was treating the bailiff.” — Exactly, but by their job definition aren’t leos supposed to be held to a higher standard? He may have been within his rights to do what he did, but i personally believe it would have reflected better on his position and the department had he been the bigger person and saved such a dramatic use of force as a last resort.


She is the bigger person. She is an assistant Attorney General. He is a bailiff. She should have listened. Her actions caused this. No one else’s.


Without a doubt the ag’s tantrum contributed to the escalation and outcome of the situation, but the bailiff had more than 1 option too. Do you want to live in a society where force is employed before tact (btw, as i’m sure you’re aware things have never gone all that well for societies where this has become the case). What if this woman was your wife, mother, or daughter? How would you feel about the deputy’s response then?


Respect whose authority? Sheep go blindly……States attorneys prosecute! He is screwed!


lol. thanks for euphemistically calling the bailiff dumb as a post. i guarantee you his iq is not above 80


That’s right, she is an assistant attorney general and his is a BAILIFF. He is supposed to follow instructions from the judge, and other than that he is to perform his duty, which is to enforce the law. That’s it. It’s not his courtroom, and the discussion between the attorneys was not his damn business. Who the hell do cops think they are nowadays?


Which is how she was treating the bailiff. Why do you not hold her to the same standard as you have made up for the bailiff?


Ah, because her behavior was verbal and his was physical? See the difference? Verbal is not the same as physical.

They were both officers of the court and this bailiff totally over-reacted. This wasn’t some criminal defendant mouthing off. This was an attorney on the attorney side of the bar with 3 other attorneys. He went after her.

Watch it. You’ll see.


I’ve seen the video. She is being told to stop. Three times. Then she hits him before he arrests her and takes her into custody. It became physical because she didn’t listen. I do not feel sorry for her. ESPECIALLY after the judge admonished her for this behavior. Do you think the bailiff would even care if it wasn’t a precedent set by the judge? Nope. Attorneys act awful to each other every day. But if the judge tells them to STFU that’s the rule.


burning books would be cool too.


The bailiff will care when the charges are filed! He is so screwed……and it is because he chose force when he had other options. Our officers across this country are under the impression that force is the first and most effective choice they have……dirty shame.


Great! Now I know why there are 5, count them 5 LEOs in the courtroom during these hearings…….to take out the States Attorneys! Unbelievable! One guy couldn’t do it? It took 5 of Ian’s finest. Surprised she came out alive…..just sayin’.

Mr. Holly

If you touch the police you are probably going to go to jail.

Unfortunately the Queens’s rule don’t apply outside of the ring. One of 2 things is going to happen. First the officer is going to get injured or killed if he loses. Then unfortunately if he “wins” he will be accused of overreacting.


So this woman presented a threat to the officer?


clearly he was in fear for his life……reminds me of ernst rohm’s s.a. brownshirts….


Here’s a link to the video:

Please, watch it and then tell me that was an appropriate use of force. That bailiff had no justification for putting his hands on her, at all. She was speaking and gesticulating, that’s it. Another power tripping cop.


In a Court Room recessed or not everyone is supposed to be respectful and QUIET…

The Bailiff was correct in taking her down after she “resisted.”

She was told to calm down and be quiet.

If anyone posting here did that they’d already be in jail / paroled ?


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


Damn Kelly. Calm down. You won.

You’re taking your job way too seriously. Don’t you understand, you work for the state. The state will through you under the bus any time need be and sleep like it never happened.

Welcome to working for the man.


One should never resist a LEO unless they are willing to kill and/or be killed in the process. It is impossible to win that fight. She clearly resisted and apparently assaulted the bailiff. When a judge in his court room says shut up you just shut up.


The judge was not even in the courtroom when this incident happened. The Tribune had a different take on this this morning, and during a recess you addressed the opposing attorney and the bailiff took charge of the situation. The TT article sort of indicates the bailiff may have crossed the line. We’ll see as her supervisor was in the courtroom and no employment action has taken place. She has 20 years with the agency and has a good track record. Welcome to SLO!


The heck with the Trib!

They threw a brickbat at AG Planning Commissioner and look how THAT turned out! They’re more interested in making the news than reporting the news these days.

Seriously, their circulation is IN THE TANK and it’s no wonder why.

Jorge Estrada

Give her a break, it could have been the moon or facial hair that overtook her self control. I’m just glad that she didn’t injure him.

Jorge Estrada

Truthfully you don’t give a law enforcement officer lip anywhere not even in the courtroom. If the officer is out of order there are remedies for that but we do have a cultural problem, a flagrante disregard of authority that starts in the home.


You nailed it Jorge.


uhh….because you are dumb as a post with a badge doesnt make you an authority jorge…it makes you part of a gang of thugs.


“Authority”. This is a free country and we don’t have ENOUGH disregard for “authority.” RESPECT towards other people is what is lack, not regard for authority.