Judge Alexis Krot Apologizes for Berating Cancer Patient After 200K Sign Petition

A judge who berated a 72-year-old cancer patient last week for failing to maintain his property in suburban Detroit has apologized, after more than 200,000 people signed an online petition calling for her removal.

"I made a mistake," 31st District Judge Alexis G. Krot said in a statement Thursday. "I acted intemperately. I'm very embarrassed that I did so. I apologize to the person who appeared before me and to our entire community for having failed to meet the high standards that we expect of our judicial officers, and that I expect of myself."

Krot said she "self-reported" her conduct to the Judicial Tenure Commission, although she had "no legal duty" to do so.

"When someone appears before me and has made a mistake, I expect them to own up to it," she said. "I expect nothing less of himself. No ifs, ands or buts: that is the reason I self-reported my behavior."

The judge added that she reported her behavior "because, like apologizing to the community, it was the right thing to do."

She added: "I will continue to hold myself to the standards I set for others."

More than 231,000 people have signed a petition calling for Krot to be removed, after she told Burhan Chowdhury, of Hamtramck, Michigan, during a Michigan state court appearance over Zoom on January 10 that he should be "ashamed" of himself for being unable to keep his yard in good shape.

Chowdhury audibly struggled with his breathing as he told Krot that his cancer treatments made him very weak.

"You should be ashamed of yourself!" Krot said. "If I could give you jail time on this, I would." Chowdhury, who was diagnosed with lymph node cancer in 2019, was issued a $100 fine with a February 1 deadline.

"You've got to get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate," Krot told Chowdhury, who responded that he was "very sick."

"The neighbors should not have to look at that," Krot told him, repeating: "You should be ashamed of yourself!"

His son, Shibbir Chowdhury, who sat beside him during the virtual court hearing, explained that he usually helped his father maintain his yard as cancer treatments have affected his father's mobility.

The 33-year-old said the alley became unruly when he was out of the country for three months last year. Chowdhury told him upon his return that a ticket had been issued on August 2. The yard was immediately cleaned up after his return from Bangladesh, he told Krot.

"She was telling my father, a sick person, that he should go to jail. That's ridiculous. You can't give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley," he told The Washington Post. "I was really shocked by it. I didn't expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation.

Krot was appointed in August 2016 by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and was reelected in 2020. Krot has been criticized over her conduct in recent years, according to multiple Google reviews.

"Worst experience I have ever had with a judge!!" one user wrote last year, giving Krot a one star review. "Alexis Krot heard my case today via Zoom (because of Covid-19) and she was abrupt and ignorant with me right from the start."

Another reviewer, who gave Krot a one star review in 2018, said: "Worst judge for the city of Hamtramck in my opinion."

"Being a judge for a city with mostly immigrants from all over the world but saying in court 'you guys think you can do anything you want here', 'you guys' referring to foreigners from countries & here' as in the city (Hamtramck) or USA," the user added.

"I have been in her courtroom several times and the way she basically criticizes people who don't know the judicial system is very disrespectful. Ashamed to have a judge like her in Hamtramck."

Another wrote, "Unfair, and no compassion."

Other reviewers praised Krot as a "passionate" judge who is "fair and efficient."

"Even though it's a busy court she listens and treats everyone with respect," a reviewer wrote.

The online petition "Remove Judge Alexis Krot!!!" is steadily gathering signatures.

Newsweek has contacted Krot for additional comment.

Virtual court meeting on Zoom
31st District Judge Alexis G. Krot berated a 72-year-old cancer patient last week for failing to maintain his property in suburban Detroit. More than 230,000 people have signed an online petition calling for her removal. SCREENGRAB/INSTAGRAM/Getty Images