Page 6 - Rules Governing Judicial Misconduct

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with lawyers or parties to such cases in the absence of representatives of opposing parties, and other abuses of judicial
office. It does not include making wrong decisions – even very wrong decisions – in cases. Also, there is a rebuttable
presumption that it does not include actions of a judge that are in accordance with advice, relied upon by the judge, from
the Judicial Conference of the United States' Committee on the Codes of Judicial Conduct. The law provides that a
complaint may be dismissed if it is "directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling."
"Mental or physical disability" may include temporary conditions as well as permanent disability.
(c) Complaints about others.
Complaints about other officials of the Court should be made to their supervisors in the
Court. If such a complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved at lower levels, it may be referred to the Chief Judge. The
Clerk of the Court, whose address is 625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004-2950, and whose
telephone number is (202) 501-5980, is sometimes able to provide assistance in resolving such complaints.
(d) Time for filing complaints.
A complaint may be filed at any time. However, complaints should be filed promptly.
A complaint will be dismissed if it is filed so long after the events in question that the delay will make fair consideration
of the matter impossible.
(e) Limitations on use of the procedure.
The complaint procedure may not be used to provide a means of obtaining
review of a judge's decision or ruling in a case. A motion for reconsideration or review, under Rule 35 of the Court's
Rules of Practice and Procedure, may be used for that purpose in appropriate circumstances. The complaint procedure
may not be used to seek disqualification of a judge from sitting on a particular case. A motion for disqualification,
under Rule 27 of the Court's Rules of Practice and Procedure, may be used for that purpose. Also, the complaint
procedure may not be used to force a ruling on a particular motion or other matter that has been before the judge for
a long time. A petition for a writ of mandamus, under Rule 21 of the Court's Rules of Practice and Procedure, may be
used for that purpose in appropriate circumstances.
(a) Form.
Complaints must be made on the official form for filing complaints, which is reproduced in the Appendix to
these Rules. Forms may be obtained by writing or telephoning the Clerk of the Court (see Rule 1(c) for address and
telephone number). Forms may be picked up in person at the office of the Clerk.
(b) Statement of facts.
A statement should be attached to the complaint form, setting forth with particularity the facts on
which the claim of misconduct or disability is based. The statement should not be longer than five pages (five sides),
and the paper size should not be larger than 8 ½" by 11". Normally, the statement of facts will include –
(1) a statement of what occurred;
(2) the time and place of the occurrence or occurrences; and
(3) any other information that would assist an investigator in checking the facts, such as the presence of a court reporter
or other witness and their names and addresses.
(c) Legibility.
Complaints should be typewritten if possible. If not typewritten, they must be legible.
(d) Submission of documents.
Documents such as excerpts from transcripts may be submitted as evidence of the behavior
complained about; if they are, the statement of facts should refer to the specific page(s) in the documents on which
relevant material appears.
(e) Number of copies.
If the complaint is about only one judge of the Court, three copies of the complaint form, of the
statement of facts, and of any documents submitted must be filed. If the complaint is about more than one judge, in
addition to the three copies, enough copies must be filed to provide one for each judge complained about in excess of
(f) Signature and oath.
The form must be signed, and the truth of the statements verified in writing under oath. As an