Zoom screen name irks Michigan judge, mortifies defendant

May 13, 2021, 7:19 AM

Well, that's awkward.

When the histories of this cursed era are written, let's hope someone spares a thousand words or so for the utter weirdness of doing public business on Zoom. 

The online meeting/conferencing tool was virtually unknown before the pandemic, but found overnight success as we sought to conduct meetings, court hearings, psychotherapy and exercise classes safely and online. But the road to virtual life has not been smooth.

A St. Joseph County man was the latest victim of Zoom, when, unbeknownst to him, he logged into a district court hearing in Centreville Tuesday with the screen name "Buttfucker3000." 

The judge was not amused. The Detroit News has the story:

During a defendant's virtual arraignment at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday in 3B District Court in Centreville, Judge Jeffrey Middleton asked him his name after reading the name tag for the Zoom account he used to log into the hearing: "Buttf-----3000."

"Good morning, sir. What's your name," Middleton asked

"It's Nathaniel Saxton, sir," the man replied.

Middleton asked: "It's not Buttf-----3000 ... logging into my court with that as your screen name? What kind of idiot logs into court like that?"

Middleton booted Saxton to the Zoom waiting room and told him to reconsider his life choices. When he returned, he was more conventionally identified in the tiled array of faces in the online courtroom. Saxton explained his sister had set up his Zoom account, the name came from a Bluetooth speaker and "it's an inside joke." 

Saxton pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and was fined $200. 

Read more:  The Detroit News

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