Ellen Morphonios

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Judge Ellen James Morphonios (September 30, 1929 – December 22, 2002) was a Dade County, Florida Circuit Judge, best-remembered for having prosecuted rock star Jim Morrison (The Doors) for allegedly exposing himself. She was nicknamed "Maximum Morphonios" for the long sentences she routinely handed down.

A native of Hyde County, North Carolina, Morphonios was a former model and beauty queen who passed a Florida exam that allowed her to enter law school without an undergraduate degree. She was also a member of Mensa.[1]


She wrote an autobiography, Maximum Morphonios: The Life and Times of America's Toughest Judge (ISBN 0688091555).


Morphonios retired following a series of corruption allegations that targeted a number of Dade County judges. No allegations against Morphonios were substantiated. She returned briefly to the bench in 1997.[2]


Ellen Morphonios died on Sunday, December 22, 2002 from stomach cancer. She is survived by her two sons; Dale and Dean Morphonios, and her four grandchildren; Jake Morphonios, Jade Morphonios Sanders, Kimberly Morphonios Long, and Matthew Morphonios.


  1. ^ "Prominent Mensans". Mensa International. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  2. ^ Sutherland, John (2003-01-06). "John Sutherland on Judge Ellen "Maximum" Morphonios". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 

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