Although a form is not required to file a complaint against a judge in most states, use of a form increases the chances a complainant will provide the information a judicial conduct commission needs to evaluate whether an investigation is justified. Most judicial conduct commissions have complaint forms on their web-sites. Several states have Spanish-language forms as well as English versions. Many of the on-line forms are the fillable PDF type, convenient for the complainant and decreasing the possibility that illegibility will prevent the commission from understanding the allegations.
There are 5 judicial conduct commissions that provide a form that allows on-line submission of complaints:
- Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission
- D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities & Tenure
- Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct
- Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct
- Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct
The Massachusetts Commission recently reported that 79 of the 152 complaints it received in the first 2 quarters of 2016 were filed electronically using its on-line process.
The Center for Judicial Ethics has links to judicial conduct commission web-sites.
The blog wouldn’t let me comment to this post, so here is my comment: While we have our complaint on -line and do accept a scanned signed complaint that is e-mailed to us, the barrier to direct on-line filing is the expense of a secure transmission with an electronic signature. Would like to know how the smaller Commissions were able to do this (it would cost us tens of thousands to set up and then a couple thousand a year to maintain).
Marla N. Greenstein Executive Director Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct 510 L Street, Suite #585 Anchorage, AK 99501-1959