Report Judicial Misconduct or Disability

Report Judicial Misconduct or Disability

Commission on Judicial Conduct

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The Details

What you need

  • Anyone can file a complaint against a judge.  You are not required to have any connection to a judge or a particular case before a judge in order to file a complaint with the CJC.
     
  • Try to be prepared with as much specific information as possible.  Specific information and details such as names, places, dates, docket numbers, and witnesses to the actions of the judge help the CJC evaluate complaints.
     
  • Before filing a complaint against a judge, it may be helpful to review the Code of Judicial Conduct and the CJC's Annual Reports:
     

How to report

Fill in and submit the online complaint form. This is a secure online form that is sent directly to the Executive Director.

Use separate forms if you wish to file complaints against more than one judge

Make sure that you have filled out the complaint form completely and accurately. If you wish to remain anonymous, do not fill in the "Contact Information" section of the form.

Use the "Specific Facts" section of the form to explain, in your own words and with as much detail as possible, the circumstances that led to your complaint and the facts and evidence that you believe exist to support your complaint.   

List all the relevant events in chronological order

Attach copies of any relevant documents to your complaint but do not rely on attachments to explain your complaint.

Submit a complaint by US Mail to the Executive Director of the CJC at the CJC's business address:  11 Beacon Street, Suite 525, Boston, MA 02108.

You may either fill in the CJC's downloadable complaint form and mail it or  mail a letter to the CJC describing your complaint.  If you wish to remain anonymous, do not provide any personal or contact information.  

Use separate forms or letters if you wish to file complaints against more than one judge

On the complaint form or in your letter, explain, in your own words and with as much detail as possible, the circumstances that led to your complaint and the facts and evidence that you believe exist to support your complaint.   

List all the relevant events in chronological order

Enclose copies of any relevant documents to your complaint but do not rely on attachments to explain your complaint.  Do not send any original documents to the CJC with your complaint.  Your complaint and its attachments will not be returned to you.  

Submit a complaint by fax to the Executive Director of the CJC at 617-248-9938.

You may either fill in and fax the CJC's downloadable complaint form or fax a letter to the CJC describing your complaint.  If you wish to remain anonymous, do not provide any personal or contact information.  

Use separate forms or letters if you wish to file complaints against more than one judge

On the complaint form or in your letter, explain, in your own words and with as much detail as possible, the circumstances that led to your complaint and the facts and evidence that you believe exist to support your complaint.   

List all the relevant events in chronological order

Include copies of any relevant documents to your complaint but do not rely on attachments to explain your complaint.  

The CJC does not accept complaints by telephone.  If you have a disability that prevents you from submitting a written complaint, please contact the CJC's office to discuss how this office can best accommodate your needs.  

More info

When to contact the CJC

Misconduct by a judge is largely defined by the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct, also known as Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:09.  Judicial misconduct under this Code can include (but is not limited to) a judge creating an appearance of bias, treating a party discourteously, failing to give all interested parties a full opportunity to make their arguments, or failing to make a decision in a prompt, efficient, and fair manner.

The CJC also has jurisdiction to investigate allegations that a judge has a physical or mental disability which affects the judge's performance.  

If you believe that a judge has a disability affecting his or her performance or has violated one or more of the Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct, it is appropriate to file a complaint with the CJC.  Please describe as specifically as possible what the judge did or said that causes you to believe he or she has a disability or has committed misconduct.  

If someone wishes to file a complaint but fears reprisal or simply wishes to keep his or her name out of the complaint, the CJC's rules permit a complaint to be filed anonymously.  

Please note that a judge is not required to recuse himself or herself from a particular matter merely because a party involved in that matter has filed a complaint with the CJC.

Contact

Address

11 Beacon Street, Suite 525, Boston, MA 02108

Phone

Fax

(617) 248-9938

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