State judicial discipline in 2022

2 sanctions from 2022 that have been newly unsealed or discovered require the revision of the count of state judicial discipline sanctions that was originally posted on January 31. The revised count is below.

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.

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