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 Judiciary

Filing of the complaint with the Court of the Judiciary

02AlaskaCommittee on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Filing of recommendation with Supreme Court

04ArizonaCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Within 15 days of formal charges being brought, unless a motion for reconsideration is filed

05ArkansasJudicial Discipline and Disability CommitteesCommissionCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

At disposition of case

06CaliforniaCommission on Judicial PerformanceCommission on Judicial PerformanceCourt of Last ResortCommission on Judicial Performance

Upon commission determination (a)

08ColoradoCommission on Judicial DisciplineCommission on Judicial DisciplineNo appealSupreme Court

Adjudication

09ConnecticutJudicial Review CouncilJudicial Review Council; Supreme Court (b)Court of Last ResortSupreme Court

Public 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 Judiciary

Upon issuance of opinion and imposition of sanction

12FloridaJudicial Qualifications CommissionJudicial Qualifications Commission (b)No appealSupreme Court

Filing of formal charges by Committee with Supreme Court Clerk

13GeorgiaJudicial Qualifications CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Formal Hearing

15HawaiiCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductNo appealSupreme Court

Imposition of public discipline by Supreme Court

16IdahoJudicial CouncilSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Filing with the Supreme Court

17IllinoisJudicial Inquiry BoardCourts CommissionNo appealCourts Commission

Filing of decision by Courts Commission

18IndianaCommission on Judicial QualificationsSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

After disciplinary charges are filed and case is tried or agreed resolution is accepted by Supreme Court

19IowaJudicial Qualifications CommissionJudicial Qualifications CommissionCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Referral by the commission to the Supreme Court recommending formal sanction

20KansasCommission on Judicial QualificationsSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Reprimand is published if approved by Supreme Court

21KentuckyJudicial Conduct CommissionJudicial Conduct CommissionCourt of Last ResortJudicial Conduct Commission

Once the judge has responded to the formal charges

22LouisianaJudiciary CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

The 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 Court

Filing of report to Supreme Judicial Court

24MarylandCommission on Judicial DisabilitiesCommission on Judicial DisabilitiesCourt of Last ResortCourt of Appeals

Unless 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 Court

Supreme Judicial Court

26MichiganJudicial Tenure CommissionSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Filing 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 Court

Filing of formal charges by committee with Supreme Court

28MississippiCommission on Judicial PerformanceSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Recommendation of Commission to Supreme Court

29MissouriCommission on Retirement, Removal and DisciplineCommission on Retirement, Removal and DisciplineCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Filing of recommendation by Committee to Supreme Court

30MontanaJudicial Standards CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Filing of record by Committee with Supreme Court

31NebraskaCommission on Judicial QualificationSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Commission may issue a public reprimand

32NevadaCommission on Judicial DisciplineCommission on Judicial DisciplineCourt of Last ResortCommission on Judicial Discipline

Discretion of the Commission, upon filing of report by Committee and service upon judge

33New HampshireSupreme Court Committee on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

On issuance of reprimand

34New JerseyAdvisory Committee on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

When reprimand is filed by Supreme Court

35New MexicoJudicial Standards CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Upon recommendation of Commission to Supreme Court

36New YorkCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductCourt of Last ResortCommission on Judicial Conduct and Court of Appeals

After a hearing at which a judge is admonished, censured, removed or retired, and after the judge is served

37North CarolinaJudicial Standards CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Public imposition of disciplinary action by the Supreme Court

38North DakotaCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

At formal hearing

39OhioOffice of Disciplinary CounselBoard of Commissioners on Grievance and DisciplineCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Adjudication

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 division

Filing with clerk of the appellate court

41OregonCommission on Judicial Fitness and DisabilitySupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Allegations become public when the commission issues a notice of public hearing.

42PennsylvaniaJudicial Conduct BoardCourt of Judicial DisciplineCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Once a final decision has been made

44Rhode IslandCommission on Judicial Tenure and DisciplineSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Unless private, after the commission files its recommendation with the Chief Justice

45South CarolinaCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Adjudication

46South DakotaJudicial Qualifications CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Filing with the Supreme Court

47TennesseeBoard of Judicial ConductBoard of Judicial ConductCourt of Last ResortGeneral Assembly

Filing formal charges with Board of Judicial Conduct

48TexasState Commission on Judicial ConductState Commission on Judicial Conduct (d)Court of Last ResortSpecial Court of Review

When issued by the Commission

49UtahJudicial Conduct CommissionJudicial Conduct Commission (e)Court of Last ResortSupreme Court

10 days after filing appeal

50VermontJudicial Conduct BoardSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Supreme Court

51VirginiaJudicial Inquiry and Review CommissionSupreme CourtCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court

Filing of formal complaint by Commission with Supreme Court

53WashingtonCommission on Judicial ConductCommission on Judicial ConductSupreme CourtSupreme Court

At termination of proceeding in CJC

54West VirginiaJudicial Investigation CommissionJudicial Hearing BoardCourt of Last ResortSupreme Court of Appeals

Upon decision by Supreme Court of Appeals

55WisconsinJudicial CommissionSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court

Filing of formal complaint with Supreme Court

56WyomingCommission on Judicial Conduct and EthicsSupreme CourtNo appealSupreme Court or Special Supreme Court

Upon 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 Tenure

Public 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 Court

Filing 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.