A Dearborn judge was barred Tuesday from any unusual asset transfers while a former court employee tries to collect more than $1 million awarded after she claimed she was wrongly fired.
Judge Mark Somers had no objection to the order, and U.S. District Judge David Lawson described it as a "pretty routine" move. There was no suggestion that Somers was trying to keep assets out of the reach of Julie Pucci.
Somers has paid only $420 since a jury in 2011 ruled in favor of Pucci, who claimed her rights were violated when her job as deputy administrator in 19th District Court was eliminated and she wasn't promoted.
Pucci complained that Somers sent religious messages on court stationery and was proselytizing from the bench. Pucci was awarded about $1.2 million, including $420,000 in legal fees, although the figure continues to grow with interest.
It is still uncertain who's on the hook for the judgment: Somers or Dearborn taxpayers who finance the city's District Court. That dispute likely is headed to Wayne County Circuit Court.
Lawson said he has no jurisdiction over who pays the bill.
Pucci, who is married to another judge at 19th District Court, eventually got a new job with the city of Dearborn.