Report: 43 Judges Rebuked for Misconduct in 2014

A new report from California’s Commission on Judicial Performance shows that 43 judges were reprimanded for misconduct in 2014. The dozens of rebukes, outlined in an annual summary, include two judges who were publicly censured for having sex inside of their chambers last September.

According to the report, the commission considered 1,212 complaints pertaining to active and former California judges in 2014. But, of those, only a small number prompted any form of reprimand, ranging from public censure or admonishment to confidential advisory letters. In fact, of the 1,800 judges in the state, fewer than 50 receive some form of reprimand each year.

The commission’s chief counsel, Victoria B. Henley, said judicial misconduct is likely to be underreported because few people realize they can file complaints. Elected judges are more likely to be disciplined than those who are appointed. Records also show that female judges and those with seniority are less likely to be accused of misconduct in the first place.

Almost 90% of the complaints filed last year originated from litigants or their family members. The report showed a steady increase in the number of complaints since 2005. The percentage of those disciplined, on the other hand, has remained relatively constant.

Read more about the recent report here.