Man Caught Driving During Virtual Court Hearing About Suspended License

Two weeks ago, a Michigan man, Corey Harris, virtually joined his Ann Arbor court hearing about his suspended license—while driving. The move left the judge in disbelief.

On May 15, 2024, Harris joined a Zoom call court hearing from his phone while he was behind the wheel. Since June 2023, Michigan’s “hands-free” state law makes it “illegal to manually use a cell phone or other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle on Michigan roads.”

Judge Driving
Judge Cedric Simpson and defendant Corey Harris on a Zoom court hearing on May 15, 2024. The Zoom cal went viral for its ironic content.


Presiding Judge J. Cedric Simpson straightforwardly asked the defendant, “Mr. Harris are you driving?” To which Harris replied, “Actually, I am pulling into my doctor’s office,” adding, “so just give me one second, I’m parking right now.”

Nearly a minute later, Harris informs the court that he is stationary.

After looking through the paperwork, which includes Harris’ record, Simpson says, “Okay, so maybe I don’t understand something, this is for driving while license suspended?”

“That is correct, your honor,” the defendant’s lawyer, Washtenaw County Assistant Public Defender Natalie Pate confirmed.

“And he was just driving. And he didn’t have a license,” Simpson said. He appears to smile and hold back a laugh.

Moments later, Simpson shook his head in disbelief, saying, “I don’t even know why he would do that. So, defendant’s bond is revoked in this matter.” He added that Harris must turn himself in to Michigan’s Washtenaw County Jail that evening.

Throwing his head back, Harris says, “Oh my God” in response to Simpson’s ruling. According to the Michigan Court’s online database, Harris was originally charged with a misdemeanor in October 2023, for driving with a suspended license in Pittsfield Township. His next pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 5 at 9 a.m., with Judge Simpson.

Newsweek reached out via email to Washtenaw County’s Deputy Law Clerk on Wednesday. Newsweek tried to call the Washtenaw County Public Defenders after hours on Wednesday.

The video has received widespread attraction on X, formerly Twitter, with social media users laughing about the irony of the situation. News accounts, like SkyNews and the Belarusian outlet Nexta TV, as well as individual users, have posted video segments of the hearing.

Collin Rugg, co-owner of Trending Politics, a conservative-leaning outlet, posted a video segment of the hearing on X, calling it “the funniest video I’ve seen in a long time.” His post has received over 4.7 million views and reshared nearly 10,000 times.

User Juanita Broaddrick replied to Rugg’s post: “funniest court video of the year. Unbelievable. Will surely be on ‘World’s Dumbest Criminals’.”

Chris Evans, a small-business owner and movie commentator, posted a video segment on X with the caption: “IM LITERALLY SCREAMING”.