BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge whose unusual behavior preceded her mysterious removal from a string of cases was ordered to get treatment for alcoholism so severe a colleague believes she cannot take care of herself.

Court records released Thursday say the chief judge for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi of Louisiana to complete at least 90 days of substance abuse treatment due to the severity of her alcoholism.

Minaldi has been on medical leave since December.

Last month, a federal magistrate who's a longtime friend of Minaldi filed a lawsuit challenging her mental and physical capacity to manage her personal and financial affairs.

Court officials haven't explained why Minaldi was pulled off several cases, including one marred by mistakes in routine trial procedures.


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