Statistics

 

Since January 1975, when the temporary Commission commenced operations, 61,971 complaints of judicial misconduct have been considered by the temporary, former and present Commissions. Of these, 52,541 were dismissed upon initial review or after a preliminary review and inquiry, and 9,430 investigations were authorized. Of the 9,430 investigations authorized, the following dispositions have been made through December 31, 2020:

  • 1,191 complaints involving 886 judges resulted in disciplinary action (this does not include the 97 public stipulations in which judges agreed to vacate judicial office). (See details below)
  • 1,839 complaints resulted in cautionary letters to the judge involved. The actual number of such letters totals 1,694, 92 of which were issued after formal charges had been sustained and determinations made that the judge had engaged in misconduct.
  • 889 complaints involving 615 judges were closed upon resignation of the judge during investigation or in the course of disciplinary proceedings.
  • 633 complaints were closed upon vacancy of office by the judge other than by resignation.
  • 4,701 complaints were dismissed without action after investigation.
  • 177 complaints are pending.

Of the 1,191 disciplinary matters against 886 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 101 decisions by the Court of Appeals, 16 of which modified a Commission determination.

  • 173 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);
  • 368 judges were censured publicly;
  • 280 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 101 matters:

  • The Court accepted the Commission’s sanctions in 85 cases (76 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.

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