Table 5.8

Judicial Discipline: Investigating and Adjudicating Bodies


FIPS State or other
jurisdiction
Investigating body Adjudicating body Appeals from adjudication
are filed with:
Final disciplining body Point at which reprimands
are made public
01AlabamaJudicial Inquiry CommitteeCourt of the JudiciaryCourt of Last ResortCourt of the JudiciaryFiling of the complaint with the Court of the Judiciary
02AlaskaCommittee on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtFiling of recommendation with Supreme Court
04ArizonaCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtWithin 15 days of formal charges being brought, unless a motion for reconsideration is filed
05ArkansasJudicial Discipline and Disability CommitteesCommissionCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtAt disposition of case
06CaliforniaCommission on Judicial PerformanceCommission on Judicial PerformanceCourt of Last ResortCommission on Judicial PerformanceUpon commission determination (a)
08ColoradoCommission on Judicial DisciplineCommission on Judicial DisciplineNo appealSupreme CourtAdjudication
09ConnecticutJudicial Review CouncilJudicial Review Council; Supreme Court (b)Court of Last ResortSupreme CourtPublic censure is issued at between 10 and 30 days after notice to the judge, provided that if the judge appeals there is an automatic stay of disclosure
10DelawarePreliminary Committee of the Court on the JudiciaryCourt on the JudiciaryNo appealCourt on the JudiciaryUpon issuance of opinion and imposition of sanction
12FloridaJudicial Qualifications CommissionJudicial Qualifications Commission (b)No appealSupreme CourtFiling of formal charges by Committee with Supreme Court Clerk
13GeorgiaJudicial Qualifications CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFormal Hearing
15HawaiiCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductNo appealSupreme CourtImposition of public discipline by Supreme Court
16IdahoJudicial CouncilSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtFiling with the Supreme Court
17IllinoisJudicial Inquiry BoardCourts CommissionNo appealCourts CommissionFiling of decision by Courts Commission
18IndianaCommission on Judicial QualificationsSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtAfter disciplinary charges are filed and case is tried or agreed resolution is accepted by Supreme Court
19IowaJudicial Qualifications CommissionJudicial Qualifications CommissionCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtReferral by the commission to the Supreme Court recommending formal sanction
20KansasCommission on Judicial QualificationsSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtReprimand is published if approved by Supreme Court
21KentuckyJudicial Conduct CommissionJudicial Conduct CommissionCourt of Last ResortJudicial Conduct CommissionOnce the judge has responded to the formal charges
22LouisianaJudiciary CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtThe lodging of the record of proceedings and a recommendation by the Judiciary Commission to the Supreme Court
23MaineCommittee on Judicial Responsibility and DisabilitySupreme Judicial CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFiling of report to Supreme Judicial Court
24MarylandCommission on Judicial DisabilitiesCommission on Judicial DisabilitiesCourt of Last ResortCourt of AppealsUnless confidential, upon filing of a response (or expiration of the time for filing a response) with the Commission
25MassachusettsCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme Judicial CourtNo appealSupreme Judicial CourtSupreme Judicial Court
26MichiganJudicial Tenure CommissionSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtFiling of formal complaint by commission with Supreme Court or upon filing in the Supreme Court a consent resolution to a matter
27MinnesotaBoard on Judicial StandardsSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFiling of formal charges by committee with Supreme Court
28MississippiCommission on Judicial PerformanceSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtRecommendation of Commission to Supreme Court
29MissouriCommission on Retirement, Removal and DisciplineCommission on Retirement, Removal and DisciplineCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtFiling of recommendation by Committee to Supreme Court
30MontanaJudicial Standards CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFiling of record by Committee with Supreme Court
31NebraskaCommission on Judicial QualificationSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtCommission may issue a public reprimand
32NevadaCommission on Judicial DisciplineCommission on Judicial DisciplineCourt of Last ResortCommission on Judicial DisciplineDiscretion of the Commission, upon filing of report by Committee and service upon judge
33New HampshireSupreme Court Committee on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtOn issuance of reprimand
34New JerseyAdvisory Committee on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtWhen reprimand is filed by Supreme Court
35New MexicoJudicial Standards CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtUpon recommendation of Commission to Supreme Court
36New YorkCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductCourt of Last ResortCommission on Judicial Conduct and Court of AppealsAfter a hearing at which a judge is admonished, censured, removed or retired, and after the judge is served
37North CarolinaJudicial Standards CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtPublic imposition of disciplinary action by the Supreme Court
38North DakotaCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtAt formal hearing
39OhioOffice of Disciplinary CounselBoard of Commissioners on Grievance and DisciplineCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtAdjudication
40OklahomaCourt on the Judiciary Trial Division CouncilCourt on the Judiciary Trial Division; Council on Judicial ComplaintsCourt on the Judiciary Division; no appeal from Council on Judicial ComplaintsCourt on the judiciary appellate divisionFiling with clerk of the appellate court
41OregonCommission on Judicial Fitness and DisabilitySupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtAllegations become public when the commission issues a notice of public hearing.
42PennsylvaniaJudicial Conduct BoardCourt of Judicial DisciplineCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtOnce a final decision has been made
44Rhode IslandCommission on Judicial Tenure and DisciplineSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtUnless private, after the commission files its recommendation with the Chief Justice
45South CarolinaCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtAdjudication
46South DakotaJudicial Qualifications CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFiling with the Supreme Court
47TennesseeBoard of Judicial ConductBoard of Judicial ConductCourt of Last ResortGeneral AssemblyFiling formal charges with Board of Judicial Conduct
48TexasState Commission on Judicial ConductState Commission on Judicial Conduct (d)Court of Last ResortSpecial Court of ReviewWhen issued by the Commission
49UtahJudicial Conduct CommissionJudicial Conduct Commission (e)Court of Last ResortSupreme Court10 days after filing appeal
50VermontJudicial Conduct BoardSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtSupreme Court
51VirginiaJudicial Inquiry and Review CommissionSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme CourtFiling of formal complaint by Commission with Supreme Court
53WashingtonCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtSupreme CourtAt termination of proceeding in CJC
54West VirginiaJudicial Investigation CommissionJudicial Hearing BoardCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court of AppealsUpon decision by Supreme Court of Appeals
55WisconsinJudicial CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFiling of formal complaint with Supreme Court
56WyomingCommission on Judicial Conduct and EthicsSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court or Special Supreme CourtUpon the recommendation of the Conduct and Ethics Commission and Order of the Supreme Court
11Dist. of ColumbiaCommission on Judicial Disabilities and TenureCommission on Judicial Disabilities and TenureChief Justice of U.S. Supreme CourtCommission on Judicial Disabilities and TenurePublic reprimands are issued with the judge's consent; orders of involuntary removal become public upon filing with the D.C. Court of Appeals
72Puerto RicoJudicial Discipline CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme CourtFiling of formal complaint to the Judicial Discipline Commission

Source:

National Center for State Courts, July 2022.

Key:

N.A. – Not applicable

Footnotes:

(a) Public admonishments or public censures are sent to the judge describing the improper conduct and stating the findings made by the commission; these notices are made available to the press and the general public.
(b) For suspensions in excess of one year or removal from office, the Judicial Review Council makes a recommendation and the Supreme Court makes the decision.
(c) The Judicial Qualifications Commission investigates and makes recommendations to the Supreme Court for discipline or removal.
(d) Decision by the conduct commission cannot be implemented until reviewed and approved by the Supreme Court.
(e) Commission has the authority to issue sanctions, but recommendations of removal must be brought before the Supreme Court.