State judicial discipline in 2022

In 2022, there were approximately 138 public dispositions in state judicial discipline proceedings.

  • 6 judges were removed from office.
  • 27 judges publicly agreed to resign or retire and never serve in judicial office again; in 3 of those cases, the now-former judges also agreed to a public admonishment; in 1 case, the former judge also agreed to go on inactive status as a lawyer.
  • 3 former judges were barred from judicial office; in 2 of those cases, the former judges were also publicly censured or reprimanded.
  • 18 judges were suspended without pay as a final sanction.
    • 1 suspension was indefinite.
    • 1 was until the end of the part-time judge’s term based on the suspension of his law license for misconduct as an attorney.
    • 1 was for “a reasonable time to permit the executive and legislative branches to consider” whether the judge should remain in office.
    • 1 suspension was for 18 months, with 6 months held in abeyance with remedial measures.
    • 1 suspension was for 12 months, with 11 months held in abeyance, and also included a reprimand and a requirement that the judge undergo counseling.
    • 4 suspensions were for 6 months or 180 days; 1 of those was stayed with conditions; 1 also included a censure.
    • 2 suspensions were for 120 days or 4 months.
    • 2 suspensions were for 90 days; 1 of those also included a reprimand; in 1 case, 75 days of the suspension was held in abeyance subject to conditions and the judge was barred from serving in judicial office again after his term expires in December 2024.
    • 1 suspension was for 60 days and also included a $30,000 fine, a reprimand, and a requirement that the judge receive training.
    • 1 suspension was for 45 days and also included a censure and training and other conditions.
    • 2 suspensions were for 30 days and also included a censure or reprimand.
    • 1 suspension was for 10 days.
  • 72  judges (or former judges in approximately 9 cases) received public censures, reprimands, admonishments, or warnings, with training, counseling, mentoring, or other remedial measures required in 9 of the cases.
    • There were 14 censures.There were 31 reprimands (in addition, 1 pro tem judge agreed not to serve again).There were 21 admonishments.
    • There were 6 warnings.
  • 1 judge was ordered to cease and desist certain conduct.
  • 3 judges were suspended with pay for 30 days each in a state that does not have suspension without pay.
  • 4 former judges were disciplined in attorney discipline proceedings for conduct while they were judges; 1 had his law license revoked, 1 had his law license suspended for 1 year and 1 day, 1 was publicly reprimanded, and 1 was publicly admonished.
  • 1 judge was ordered to complete a mentorship and be on unsupervised probation until the end of his term.
  • 3 judges or former judges were found to have committed misconduct, but no sanction was imposed, although 1 of the former judges was ordered to pay over $12,680 in costs.

Approximately 46% of the cases were resolved pursuant to an agreement.  This count does not include at least 6 cases currently pending on review, including 2 removal decisions.  “Judge” refers to any type of judicial officer, whether full-time or part-time, including supreme court and appellate court justices, justices of the peace, magistrates, pro tem judges, referees, court commissioners, and hearing officers.

See also State judicial discipline in 2021.

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