Former judge Len Kachinsky charged with violating restraining order

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Former Fox Crossing Municipal Judge Len Kachinsky is facing new charges in Winnebago County after allegedly violating a harassment restraining order.

A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News shows Kachinsky was charged April 22 with three counts of Knowingly Violating a Harassment Restraining Order.

In 2018, a Fox Crossing court manager was granted a restraining order against Kachinsky. Under the order, Kachinsky was to have no contact with her outside of work and all communications "shall be limited to what is necessary to perform the functions of the Village of Fox Crossing Municipal Court."

Last July, prosecutors charged Kachinsky with Stalking. In response, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Kachinsky from the bench.

On Dec. 10, a jury found Kachinsky not guilty of felony Stalking.

Kachinsky decided not to run for re-election as Fox Crossing Municipal Judge.

The restraining order against Kachinsky was set to expire May 1. That was the last day of his judicial term.

On April 2--the date of the election for Municipal Court Judge in Fox Crossing-- Kachinsky sent an email to the woman about an "oath of office reminder":

"In addition, Judge-Elect Hogan needs to sign an order appointing [court manager] or someone else as a court manager effective upon him taking office either indefinitely or for a set period of time. I explained to Judge-Elect Hogan what his options were in a memo I sent him last night following the vote count covering that and other issues.”

On April 9, Kachinsky sent the court manager an email with a Fox Crossing Police Department Facebook post regarding school bus citations. Despite no longer being a judge, he sent her one of his past decisions on school bus citations.

The woman sent copies of the emails to police as evidence of violation of the restraining order.

Police went to Kachinsky's home in Fox Crossing on April 10. Kachinsky told an officer that the emails were "part of running the Municipal Court."

The officer told Kachinsky that the former judge had "no role in the running of the Municipal Court and, therefore, the emails were in violation of the injunction."

On April 12, Kachinsky sent the following letter to a human relations staffer. He copied Fox Crossing Police Chief Tim Seaver:

"The suspension of my authority to make judicial orders and conduct marriages on July 3, 2017 [sic], did not suspend my obligation to forward information to the court that might be essential to the operation of the court but unknown or likely forgotten by the Court Manager. Following the election, I sent two emails to the Court Manager on appointment issues and a rather obscure issue regarding bus stop signs that was prompted by a FB Post by the FC Police Department regarding the issuance of two citations. I regarded those emails as permissible under the terms of the injunction as essential to the operation of the court. This email is not intended to be a complete explanation of my decision to send the emails. They are self-explanatory if you read them. No personal or snarky comments. All business and no monkey business."

On April 16, Chief Seaver arrested Kachinsky for violating the restraining order.

The violation charge is a misdemeanor. Each charge comes with a possible sentence of a $10,000 fine, nine months behind bars, or both.

Kachinsky mad his initial appearance May 14.

Cash bond is set at $1,000.

Kachinsky, a former attorney, was featured in the Netflix series "Making A Murderer." He served as Brendan Dassey's attorney following Dassey's arrest for the murder of Teresa Halbach.