Judicial Conduct & Disability
Under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act and the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings, anyone can file a complaint alleging a federal judge has committed misconduct or has a disability.
The Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, 28 U.S.C. §§ 351-364 establishes a process by which any person can file a complaint alleging a federal judge has engaged in “conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts” or has become, by reason of a mental or physical disability, “unable to discharge all the duties” of the judicial office.
The Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings (pdf), as amended on March 12, 2019, provide mandatory and nationally uniform provisions governing the substantive and procedural aspects of misconduct and disability proceedings under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act.
The judicial conduct and disability review process cannot be used to challenge the correctness of a judge’s decision in a case. A judicial decision that is unfavorable to a litigant does not alone establish misconduct or a disability. An attorney can explain any rights you have as a litigant to seek review of a judicial decision.
For more information, please visit the following links:
- Frequently Asked Questions about filing a judicial conduct or disability complaint against a federal judge
- Graphical Overview (pdf) of the process for filing a judicial conduct or disability complaint against a federal judge
- Judicial Conduct and Disability Rules (pdf) (effective March 12, 2019)
- Proposed changes to the Judicial Conduct and Disability Rules (September 2018), including public comments and witness statements.
- Judicial Conduct and Disability Rules (pdf) (effective before March 12, 2019)
A judicial misconduct or disability complaint against a federal judge must be filed in the appropriate court office, as described in Rule 7 of the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings. Please visit the website of the appropriate court office for additional information.
- First Circuit (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico)
- Second Circuit (Connecticut, New York, Vermont)
- Third Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands)
- Fourth Circuit (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia)
- Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)
- Sixth Circuit (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee)
- Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin)
- Eighth Circuit (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)
- Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands)
- Tenth Circuit (Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming)
- Eleventh Circuit (Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
- District of Columbia Circuit (District of Columbia)
- Federal Circuit
- Court of International Trade
- Court of Federal Claims