U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciary
F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman
For immediate release Contact: Jeff Lungren/Terry Shawn
September 20, 2006 202-225-2492
Courts Subcommittee Hearing Thursday on Whether
Impeachment Articles are Warranted for U.S. Judge Real
What: Legislative Hearing on H. Res. 916, a resolution impeaching Manuel L.
Real, a U.S. district judge of the Central District of California, for high
crimes and misdemeanors
Who: Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property Rep.
Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex.), Chairman
When: 9:00 a.m., Thursday, September 21, 2006
Where: 2141 Rayburn Building
In February 2000, Judge Real allegedly interceded on behalf of a defendant known to him in a
joint bankruptcy and California state unlawful-detainer action. According to published reports, Judge
Real received ex parte communications from the defendant and through third parties about the matter
before he took action. He was also supervising the defendant as part of her probation in a separate
criminal case in which she had pled guilty to perjury and loan fraud.
Judge Real withdrew the complaint from the bankruptcy court and enjoined the state eviction
proceeding. He allegedly gave no reasons for his assertion of jurisdiction over the case or his rulings.
The defendant was allowed to live rent-free in the home for a period of years. When the trustee appealed
by mandamus to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Real transferred the case to another district judge. The trustee
eventually reclaimed the property on appeal but lost at least $35,000 in rent during the proceedings.
Attorneys fees were in the tens of thousands of dollars.
A Ninth Circuit Judicial Council is investigating for the third time Judge Reals behavior in
this case. A report issued yesterday by a Judicial Committee headed by Justice Stephen Breyer found
that the complaint was mishandled the two previous times by the Ninth Circuit. More information about
Judge Reals conduct is available at http://judiciary.house.gov/Printshop.aspx?Section=306 .
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED...
T What are the facts surrounding Judge Reals behavior when he became involved in the Canter
T What relevant impeachment precedents exist for review by the Subcommittee?
T Is the commission of a serious crime an essential requirement for impeachment? What is the
purpose of impeachment?
T Has the Ninth Circuit handled its investigation of Judge Reals behavior appropriately?
T Are there other actions that the House of Representatives or Congress can take regarding Judge
Reals behavior short of impeachment?
WITNESSES: The Honorable Manuel L. Real, U.S. district judge for the Central District of California;
Andrew Smyth, attorney for Deborah Canter (the defendant in the unlawful detainer and bankruptcy
actions); Arthur Hellman, Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; and Charles Geyh,
Professor, Indiana University School of Law