Americans live in a litigious society. In one sense, this is a good thing - if people believe they have been wronged or mistreated, they can bring their grievances before the courts. But as has been proven, the impulse to file charges or suits against others can easily get out of hand.
Thankfully, a local judge has seen fit to protect people in certain occupations from unnecessary legal skirmishes. Chief District Court Judge Joe Buckner, who oversees magistrates in Orange and Chatham counties, is working to filter out frivolous charges brought against police officers, journalists, teachers and paramedics.
Buckner told The (Raleigh) News & Observer that he wants the cases of people in these professions to receive review from the office of District Attorney Carl Fox before magistrates can file misdemeanor warrants.
Such a review would mirror a system already in place in Durham. It should cut down on the number of needless or unreasonable charges that come to fruition, and it should eliminate the public embarrassment of those who don't deserve it.
According to the N&O, Buckner's proposed policy comes on the heels of a Durham case in which an N&O reporter's potential source charged him with making harassing phone calls.