Statistics

 

Since January 1975, when the temporary Commission commenced operations, 60,467 complaints of judicial misconduct have been considered by the temporary, former and present Commissions. Of these, 51,157 were dismissed upon initial review or after a preliminary review and inquiry, and 9,310 investigations were authorized. Of the 9,310 investigations authorized, the following dispositions have been made through December 31, 2019:

  • 1,164 complaints involving 871 judges resulted in disciplinary action (this does not include the 89 public stipulations in which judges agreed to vacate judicial office). (See details below and on the following page.)
  • 1,803 complaints resulted in cautionary letters to the judge involved. The actual number of such letters totals 1,660, 92 of which were issued after formal charges had been sustained and determinations made that the judge had engaged in misconduct.
  • 842 complaints involving 596 judges were closed upon resignation of the judge during investigation or in the course of disciplinary proceedings.
  • 623 complaints were closed upon vacancy of office by the judge other than by resignation.
  • 4,647 complaints were dismissed without action after investigation.
  • 231 complaints are pending.

Of the 1,164 disciplinary matters against 871 judges as noted above, the following actions have been recorded since 1975 in matters initiated by the temporary, former or present Commission. (It should be noted that several complaints against a single judge may be disposed of in a single action. This accounts for the apparent discrepancy between the number of complaints and the number of judges acted upon.) These figures take into account the 99 decisions by the Court of Appeals, 16 of which modified a Commission determination.

  • 171 judges were removed from office;
  • 3 judges were suspended without pay for six months (under previous law);
  • 2 judges were suspended without pay for four months (under previous law);
  • 359 judges were censured publicly;
  • 276 judges were admonished publicly;
  • 59 judges were admonished confidentially by the temporary or former Commission; and
  • 1 matter was dismissed by the Court of Appeals upon the judge’s request for review.
Court of Appeals Reviews
Since 1978, the Court of Appeals, on request of the respondent-judge, has reviewed 100 determinations filed by the present Commission. Of these 100 matters:

  • The Court accepted the Commission’s sanctions in 83 cases (74 of which were removals, 6 were censures and 3 were admonitions);
  • The Court increased the sanction from censure to removal in 2 cases;
  • The Court reduced the sanction in 13 cases:
  • 9 removals were modified to censures;
  • 1 removal was modified to admonition;
  • 2 censures were modified to admonitions; and
  • 1 censure was rejected and the charges were dismissed.
  • The Court remitted 1 matter to the Commission for further proceedings.
  • One request for review is pending.

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