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WhyaSpotlightmustbeputonthe

CommissiononJudicialPerformance

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EXECUTIVESUMMARY

Judicialmisconductisoneofthemostimportant,underinvestigatedandunderreportedissues
affectingCalifornians.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceistheagencyresponsiblefor
investigatinganddiscipliningjudicialmisconductinCalifornia.Whencomparedtotheoversight
commissionsofotherstates,Californiascommissionisasevere,negativeoutlierin
investigatinganddiscipliningjudicialmisconductandmakingefficientuseofpublicfunds.This
reportcomparesCaliforniascommissiontothoseofArizona,Texas,andNewYork.

Californiav.Arizona(past10years)

Budget
(2015)

No.of
Staff
(2015)

Avg.number
ofcomplaints
peryear

Avg.numberof
totaldisciplines
peryear

Avg.numberof
publicdisciplines
peryear

Avg.rateof
totaldiscipline

California

$4,334,000

20

1082

36

3.4%

Arizona

$522,300

4.5

346

47

10

13.6%

Californiav.TexasandNewYork(past10years)

No.of
Staff
(2014)

California 20

Budget
(2014)

Complaints
0514

Prelim.
Inquiry

Prelim.or
Full
Investigns

Public
Discipline
(Censure,
Admonish,
Removal/
Suspension)

Resign/Retire
/Leftofficefor
otherreasons
withcomplaints
pending

State
Pop.

$4.3m

10,821

754

712

67

34

38.8
million

168

50resign

(39removal)

(retireorother
reasonsnot
reported)

26.9
million

221

358

(6removal)

Texas

New
York

13

45

$933k

$5.5m

10,964

17,719

2,629

4,318

2,636

2,139

(23removal)

19.7
million

TheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceoperatesinsecrecybecauseitisexemptfrom
CaliforniaConstitutionArticleI,Section3(b),theCaliforniaPublicRecordsAct,RalphM.Brown
Act,BagleyKeeneAct,andCaliforniaRulesofCourt,rule10.500.Thecommissionrefusedto
produceanyrecordsinresponsetoarecordsrequestfromFirstAmendmentCoalitioneven
basicstaff,salary,andbudgetinformation.Therequestandresponseareattachedherein.The
CommissiononJudicialPerformanceresidesintheInternationalWatersofpublicdisclosure
laws.

ThebudgetofCaliforniasjudicialbranchis$3.8billion,andits2,200judicialofficersdisposeof
approximately7millioncasesannually.Thedispositionofeachofthesecaseshasadirect,
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lifelongimpactonthepersonsinvolved.Astrongjudicialoversightagencyisofparamount
publicimportancebecausebadjudgescauseinnocentpeopletobefoundguilty,guiltypeopleto
befoundinnocent,issueunfairandinconsistentsentences,damagethelivesofchildrenand
families,erodethepublictrust,andwastemillionsoftaxpayerdollars.Californiansshouldhave
confidenceintheircourts,buta2014studyfoundthatofall50statesCaliforniahasthehighest
levelofperceivedillegalcorruptioninitsjudicialbranch.

ThedatacompiledinthisreportsuggestthattheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceseverely
underinvestigatesandunderdisciplinesjudicialmisconductandmisappropriatespublicfunds.
PotentiallyhundredsofunfitjudgescurrentlysitonCaliforniasbencheswhoseremoval,
resignation,orretirementwouldhavebeencausedbythecommissionsofotherstates.

Giventhetremendousdisparitiesininvestigationrates,disciplinerates,andbudgetefficiencies
betweenCaliforniascommissionandthoseofotherstates,typically200300%differences
acrosstheboard,theintegrityoftheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceshouldbe
questioned.OversightofthelargestjudiciaryintheWesternworldcannotbetrustedtoasmall
agencythatisanoutlierinjudicialdisciplineandsubjecttominimalpublicdisclosurelaws.
CaliforniansurgetheLegislaturetoorderanauditoftheCommissiononJudicialPerformance
andtorequireincreasedtransparencyandaccountability.

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TABLEOFCONTENTS

Page

1. PURPOSE...................................................... 7
2.COMPARISONOFTHECOMMISSIONSOFCALIFORNIA,ARIZONA,NEW
YORK,ANDTEXAS.............................................. 8
A. Californiav.Arizona(past10years)............................... 8
B.Californiav.NewYorkandTexas(past10years).................... 9
3.THEPERFORMANCEOFTHECOMMISSIONONJUDICIAL
PERFORMANCEHASSTEADILYDEGRADEDOVERTHEPAST25YEARS.
THECOMMISSIONNOWFAILSTOPROTECTTHEPUBLICAGAINST
JUDICIALMISCONDUCT..........................................

11

A. Thenumberofcomplaintshastripledsincethe1980s,yetthecommission

meetslessfrequently.Commissionmembersnowreviewcomplaintsfor
approximately2minutes........................................ 11
B.Inquiryanddisciplinerateshavedroppeddrasticallysincethe1980s...... 12
C.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancemayhaveadoptedunderground

complaintreviewpractices,whichmayconstituteimpropergovernmental
activityunderGovernmentCode8547et.seq...................... 13
D.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancesharesabuildingwiththeCourts,
creatingtheappearanceofimpropriety............................. 15
4.THECOMMISSIONONJUDICIALPERFORMANCEOPERATESINSECRET
ANDREFUSESTOCOMPLYWITHPUBLICRECORDSREQUESTS....... 15
A.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancerefusestoproduceanyrecords

tothepublic.................................................. 15
B.ThenumbersreportedbytheCommissiononJudicialPerformancedont

addup...................................................... 16

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5.ASTRONGJUDICIALOVERSIGHTAGENCYISNECESSARYTO

PROTECTTHEPUBLICAGAINSTJUDICIALMISCONDUCT............. 17
A. TheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceistheonlyrealdeterrentagainst
judicialmisconduct............................................. 17
i.Impeachmentandconvictionofjudicialofficersdoesnotoccur..... 18
ii.Recallelectionsandelectionsarenotapracticalmechanismto
removebadjudicialofficers.................................

iii.Thejudicialbranchanditsofficersdonotcomplywithlawsthat
protectthepublic.........................................

18

19

iv.Therefore,theCommissiononJudicialPerformanceprovidesthe

onlyrealprotectionagainstjudicialmisconduct.................. 20
6.CONCLUSION................................................... 20

APPENDIX

Themostrelevantpagesofdisciplinedatafromstatecommissionsareincludedintheappendix.
CompleteAnnualReportsandothersupportingdocumentscanbeobtainedfromthestate
commissionwebsitesat::

http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/PublicDecisions(allArizonacomplaints2006present)
http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/AnnualReports(ArizonaAnnualReports1971present)
http://www.scjc.state.ny.us/Publications/AnnualReports.htm(NYAnnualReports1975present)
http://www.scjc.state.tx.us/reports.asp(TexasAnnualReports2001present)
http://cjp.ca.gov/annual_reports.htm(CAAnnualReports1983present)

California..........................................................

CACommissiononJudicialPerformance,StatisticsbyYear(20052014).
GeneratedfromCommissiononJudicialPerformance2014AnnualReport,
page14Summaryofcomplaintstatistics20052014.

22

CommissiononJudicialPerformance20142015ActualExpenditures
(http://www.cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/appendix/Budget_20142015.pdf)

OrganizationalChart(http://www.cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/appendix/Current_Staff_Org_Chart.pdf)

Arizona............................................................ 27

AZCommissiononJudicialConductStatisticsbyYear(20062015).Generated
fromcomplaintdataavailableat:http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/PublicDecisions(all
Arizonacomplaints2006present)
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ArizonaCommissiononJudicialConduct,2015AnnualReport,pages1617,
budgetandstaffinformation(AZAnnualReportscanbefoundatthelinkabove)

NewYork.......................................................... 31

NYStateCommissiononJudicialConductStatisticsbyYear(20052014).
GeneratedfromAnnualReports20062015(reportingyears20052014).Select
supportingpagesfromAnnualReportsincluded.(fullAnnualReportscanbe
foundatthelinkabove)
Texas............................................................. 44

TXStateCommissiononJudicialConductStatisticsbyYear(20052014).
GeneratedfromAnnualReports20052014.Selectsupportingpagesfrom
AnnualReportsincluded(fullAnnualReportscanbefoundatthelinkabove)
PublicRecordsRequestfromROCKAttorneysatLawandFirstAmendment

CoalitiontoCommissiononJudicialPerformance.......................... 70
ResponsetoPublicRecordsRequestfromCommissiononJudicialPerformance

76

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1.
PURPOSE

ThisreportisintendedtoalerttheLegislature,media,andPublictotroublinginformation
regardingtheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceCaliforniassolejudicialoversightagency.
SupportingdocumentsareincludedintheAppendixandotherdocumentsarereferencedby
footnote.

TheinformationcontainedinthisreportsuggeststhattheCommissiononJudicialPerformance
isunderinvestigatingandunderdiscipliningjudicialmisconductandmisappropriatingpublic
funds.

ThisreportcomparesthedataandpoliciesofthecommissionsofCalifornia,Arizona,Texas,
andNewYork.Additionally,importantbackgroundinformation,law,andlegislativehistoryare
includedforcontextandtodemonstratethegravityofthesematterstothePublic.Itishoped
thatthisreportwillcatalyzeoneormoreofthefollowingactions:

1. InquiryandinvestigationintotheCommissiononJudicialPerformancebythemedia

2. FormalauditbytheStateAuditorsOfficetodetermineifthecommissionisengagingin
misconductand/ormisappropriationofpublicfunds

3. InvestigationofcommissionpoliciesandoperatingproceduresbytheOfficeof
AdministrativeLawtodetermineifanycommissionrules,policies,andoperating
proceduresconstituteanUndergroundRegulation

4. Legislativeactiontoimprovethetransparencyandaccountabilityofthecommission:
a. Publiclypost:
i.
judicialcomplaintsupondisposition
ii.
responsesfromjudges
iii.
votesofcommissionmemberstodismissorinvestigateacomplaint
iv.
ordersofdismissalwithabriefexplanationfordismissal(e.g.frivolous,
legalerrornotrisingtothelevelofmisconduct,etc.)
b. Eliminateprivateadvisorylettersandprivateadmonishments.

5. Movethecommissionofficestoadifferentlocationsothecommissiondoesnotsharea
buildingwiththeJudicialCouncil,AdministrativeOfficeoftheCourts(JudicialCouncil
staff),CaliforniaSupremeCourt,theFirstDistrictCourtofAppeal(fiveDivisions),and
theOfficeoftheAttorneyGeneral.

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2.

COMPARISONOFTHECOMMISSIONSOFCALIFORNIA,ARIZONA,NEWYORK,
ANDTEXAS

In1960,Californiabecametheleaderinjudicialaccountabilitywhenitestablishedby
ConstitutionalamendmentthefirstjudicialoversightagencytheCommissiononJudicial
Qualifications(laterrenamedtheCommissiononJudicialPerformance).TheConstitutional
mandate,asstatedbyitsdrafters,SenatorsEdwardJ.ReganandJosephA.Rattigan,wasto
assurerealprotectionagainstincompetency,misconductornonperformanceofdutyonthe
Bench."Oversubsequentdecadesall50stateswouldestablishsimilarjudicialoversight
commissions,largelyimplementingpoliciessimilartothoseofCalifornia.

Overtime,Californiahasfallenbehinditspeersinjudicialaccountability.Infact,theCenterfor
PublicIntegrityahighlyregardednonpartisan,nonprofitorganization,andwinnerofthe2014
PulitzerPrizeforInvestigativeReportingpublishedanindepthstudyassessingthesystemsin
placetodetercorruptionandpromotetransparencyinstategovernments.1 WhileCalifornias
executiveandlegislativebranchesrankedhighly,pushingthestateinto2ndplaceoverall,
CaliforniareceivedanFinthecategoryofJudicialAccountability.

Californiasfailuretoprovideadequatejudicialoversightisnotmerelytheoretical.Comparing
theratesofinvestigationanddisciplinebyCaliforniascommissionwiththoseofitsneighbor,
Arizona,andthenexttwomostpopulousstates,TexasandNewYork,isalarming.

A.Californiav.Arizona(past10years)

Budget
(2015)

No.of
Staff
(2014)

Avg.number
ofcomplaints
peryear

Avg.numberof
totaldisciplines
peryear

Avg.numberof
publicdisciplines
peryear

Avg.rateof
totaldiscipline

California

$4,334,000

20

1082

36

3.3%

Arizona

$522,300

4.5

346

47

10.4

13.6%

Californiacomplaintanddisciplinestatisticstakenfrom20052014asreportedinCJPs2014AnnualReport,p.14:
http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/annual_reports/2014_Annual_Report.pdf
CaliforniabudgetandstaffinformationtakenfromCJPwebsite,OrganizationandBudgetpage:
http://cjp.ca.gov/organiztion_budget.htm.
Arizonacomplaintanddisciplinestatisticstakenfrom20062015asreportedontheircommissionwebsitebyyear:
http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/PublicDecisions.
Arizonabudgetandstaffinformationtakenfrom2014AnnualReport,p13:
http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/137/2014%20CJC%20Annual%20Report.pdf

ThoughCaliforniascommissionreceivedthreetimesmorecomplaints,itdisciplinedfewer
judgesthanArizona.Arizonascommissionismoretransparentandpubliclydisclosesredacted
dismissedcomplaints,ordersofdismissalwithabriefexplanation,andthefullrecordforpublic
1

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/11/09/18342/californiagetscgrade2015stateintegrityinvestigation

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disciplines:unredactedcomplaint,responsefromjudicialofficer,writtencommunicationsfrom
thecommission,andthecommissionsOrder,whichincludesasummaryoffacts.2 Californias
commissiondoesnotdisclosecomplaints,ordersofdismissal,orexplanationsfordismissal.For
publicadmonishmentsandcensures,CaliforniascommissiondisclosesaDecisionandOrder,
whichincludesthecommissionsinterpretationofthefactsandconclusionstherefrom,which
areoftenstipulatedtobythedisciplinedjudicialofficer.3 Whenformalproceedingsareinitiated
toremoveajudicialofficer,onlythenoticeofcharges,theanswer,andallsubsequentpapers
andproceedingsaremadepublic.4

B.Californiav.NewYorkandTexas(past10years)

OnemightsuspectthatArizonaisanoutlier,orthatthesmallerpopulation(approximately6.7
million)contributestobetteroversightandhigherratesofjudicialdiscipline.Butacomparison
withthenexttwomostpopulousstates,NewYorkandTexas,dispelsanysuchsuspicion.

TheAnnualReportsofCalifornia,NewYork,andTexasduringthetenyearperiodfrom2005
through2014showthatCaliforniascommissiononceagainpalesincomparison.

20052014

No.of
Staff
(2014)

Budget
(2014)

Complaints
0514

Prelim.
Inquiry

Prelim..or
Full
Investigns

Public
Discipline
(Censure,
Admonish,
Removal/
Suspension)

Resign/Retire
/Leftofficefor
otherreasons
withcomplaints
pending

State
Pop.

California

20

$4.3m

10,821

754

712

67

34

38.8
million

168

50resign

(39removal)

(retireorother
reasonsnot
reported)

26.9
million

221

358

(6removal)

Texas

NewYork

13

45

$933k

$5.5m

10,965

17,719

2,502

2,636

4,318

2,139

(23removal)

19.7
million

Californiacomplaintanddisciplinestatisticstakenfrom20052014asreportedinCJPs2014AnnualReport,p.14:
http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/annual_reports/2014_Annual_Report.pdf
Californiabudgetandstaffinformationtakenfromcommissionwebsite,OrganizationandBudgetpage:
http://cjp.ca.gov/organiztion_budget.htm.
NewYorkcomplaintanddisciplinestatisticstakenfrom20052014asreportedintheirAnnualReports,accessiblehere:
http://www.scjc.state.ny.us/Publications/AnnualReports.htm
NewYorkbudgetandstaffinformationtakenfromtheirwebsite:http://www.scjc.state.ny.us/General.Information/budget.htmand
http://www.scjc.state.ny.us/General.Information/Gen.Info.Pages/staff.htm
Texascomplaintanddisciplinestatisticstakenfrom20052014asreportedintheirAnnualReports,accessiblehere:
http://www.scjc.state.tx.us/reports.asp

2
3
4

http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/PublicDecisions
http://cjp.ca.gov/desisions_by_judges.htm

Cal.Const.Art.VI,Section18(i)(2)(j).

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Texasbudgetandstaffinformationtakenfromtheirwebsiteathttp://www.scjc.state.tx.us/staff.aspandLegislativeAppropriations
Request(2014est.,Exhibt2A)http://www.scjc.state.tx.us/pdf/SCJCLAR.pdf
StatepopulationfromU.S.CensusBureau,2014Estimate

TheTexascommissionprocessesapproximatelythesamenumberofcomplaintsasCalifornia,
andtheNewYorkcommissionprocessesmore.Californiapubliclydisciplinesatafractionthe
rateofeitherTexasorNewYork.DespitethefactthatthepopulationofCaliforniais50%more
thanTexasandnearlydoublethatofNewYork,bothTexasandNewYorkhaveseveraltimes
thenumberofresignations,retirements,andremovalsperyear.Texaspubliclydisciplined3
timesasmanyjudgesandremoved6timesasmanyjudgesasCalifornia.NewYorkpublicly
disciplined4timesasmanyjudges,removed4timesasmanyjudges,andhad10timesas
manyjudgesresign,retire,orleaveofficeforotherreasonswhilecomplaintswerepending.

Supportedbythedataabove,anexplanationforthelowerratesofdiscipline,resignation,and
removalisthatCaliforniascommissionconductsafractionofthenumberofinquiriesand
investigations,whichalsoresultsinatroublingcostandjobperformancecomparisonbetween
thecommissions:

2014

Budget

No.
of
Staff

Averagecost
perstaff
member

No.of
Prelim.
Inquiries

No.of
Investigations

Averagecost
perinquiryor
investigation

No.ofinquiries
orinvestigations
perstaffmember
peryear

Texas

$908,623

13

$69,894

260

331

$1,537

45

NewYork*

$5,484,000

45

$121,867

499

145

$8,516

14

California

$4,334,000

20

$216,700

84

101

$23,427

*TheNewYorkCommissiononJudicialConductmaintains3separatecommissionofficesinNewYorkCity,Albany,andRochester

Theamountofworkperformedperstaffmember,orperdollar,byCaliforniascommissionisnot
remotelycomparabletothecommissionsofNewYorkorTexas.Further,theNewYork
commissionsbudgetincludesexpensesfordoublethenumberofstaffmembersandfor
maintainingthreeseparateofficesinNewYorkCity,Albany,andRochester.Theaboveanalysis
alsoconfirmsaconclusionfroma2012StanfordLawReviewreportcomparingdatafromthe
judicialoversightcommissionsof35states:increasedcommissionbudgetsresultinincreased
disciplineofjudges,withCaliforniabeinganegativeoutlier.5

Thus,theabovedatasuggeststhattheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceseverely
underinvestigatesandunderdisciplinesjudicialmisconduct,misappropriatefunds,andfailsto
protectthepublicfromjudicialmisconduct.

http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/sites/default/files/Abel64StanLRev1021.pdf

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3.

THEPERFORMANCEOFTHECOMMISSIONONJUDICIALPERFORMANCEHAS
STEADILYDEGRADEDOVERTHEPAST25YEARS.THECOMMISSIONNOW
FAILSTOPROTECTTHEPUBLICAGAINSTJUDICIALMISCONDUCT.

A. Thenumberofcomplaintsfiledhastripledsincethe1980s,yetthecommissionmeets
lessfrequently.Commissionmembersnowreviewcomplaintsforanaverageof
approximately2minutes.

Thecommissionconsistsof11unpaidappointeeswhoarejudges,attorneys,andcitizens
employedfulltimeelsewhere.6 Thecommissionmembersmeetseventimesperyeartodispose
ofcomplaints.7 Thecommissionhasanannualbudgetofapproximately$4.3millionand
employsasupportstaffofapproximately22administrators,attorneys,investigators,clerks,and
secretaries.8

Thecommissionreceivesapproximately1,300complaintsperyear.9 Thus,onaverage187
complaintsaredisposedofateachofthecommissionsseven1daymeetingsperyear.Ifthe
commissionspends8hoursreviewingcomplaints,eachcomplaintreceivesanaverageof2
minutes34secondsofreview.

Itisnotplausiblethatcommissionmemberscanreadmostcomplaintsinsuchashortperiodof
timesincemanycontainextensivedocumentationsuchascourtpleadingsandtranscripts.Itis
evenmoreimplausiblethatcommissionmemberscanhaveameaningfuldiscussionaboutthe
complaintwithothermembersandmakeaninformeddecision.

Historically,thecommissionhasspentmoretimereviewingcomplaints.Forexample,in1983,
thefirstyearAnnualReportsareavailable,thecommissionmetforatotalof6onedayand2
twodaysessionstoresolve351complaints.10Thisis10daystotaltoresolve351complaints.
Assuming8hoursofreviewperday,eachcomplaintreceivedonaverage13minutes40
secondsofreview.

Thecommissionsofotherstatesspendmuchmoretimereviewingcomplaints.Forexample,
Alaskascommissionmeetsquarterlytoresolve3070complaintsperyear.11 Texascommission
members,whoreceiveapproximatelythesamenumberofcomplaintsasCalifornia,meetthree
daysaweek,everyothermonth,12, 13 or18daystotal.TheNewHampshireJudicialConduct

http://cjp.ca.gov/Commission_Members.htm
http://cjp.ca.gov/Meeting_dates.htm
8
StateofCalifornia,BudgetChangeProposalDF46(Rev08/15)
6
7

http://web1a.esd.dof.ca.gov/Documents/bcp/1617/FY1617_ORG0280_BCP328.pdf
http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/annual_reports/2014_Annual_Report.pdf
10
1983AnnualReport.CommissiononJudicialPerformance.http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/annual_reports/1983_Annual_Report.pdf
11
https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_Commission_on_Judicial_Conduct#Complaint_statistics
12
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/specialreports/texasjudgesmisdeedsoftenkeptsecretbyovers1/nRm2Z/
13
2015AnnualReport.TexasCommissiononJudicialConduct.http://www.scjc.state.tx.us/pdf/rpts/ARFY15.pdf
9

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11

Committeemeets12ormoredaysperyeartoresolveapproximately7080complaintsannually
thecommitteeindicatesthat10complaintsisalargenumbertoreviewinameeting:

TheJudicialConductCommitteehaselevenmembers,consistingofjudges,lawyers,
andpublicrepresentatives,andmeetstwelveormoretimeseachyear.Allofthe
membersreadallofthereportsofallegedjudicialmisconductthatarefiledwiththe
Committee.However,becauseeachmeetingagendamaycontainasmanyastenor
morereportsandsinceeachreportcanbelengthyandcanincludemanypagesof
attachments,theCommitteeasksareportertofilloutasummaryCoverSheet.This
CoverSheetenablesCommitteememberstokeepinmind,astheyread,whoisfiling
thereportofjudicialmisconduct,whatthereportisallabout,andwhatkindofsupporting
evidencetheyshouldbelookingfor.TheCommitteefeelsthatthissummarizingand
focusingoftheallegationscanalsobehelpfultothereporter.14

Additionally,theNewHampshirecommissioninstructsthecomplainant(thereporter)to
prepareasummarycoversheetforthecommission,notthecommissionstaff:

Process:AttachedisaReportofAllegedJudicialMisconductCoverSheet,whichwe
askthatyoufilloutandreturntotheCommitteeinorderthatitmaybeconsideredbythe
Committeealongwithyourreport.Again,thissummaryinformationwillnotbea
substituteforyourreport,whichwillbereadandconsideredinitsentiretybyeach
Committeemember.TheCoverSheetissimplydesignedtoenablethememberstoread
eachreport,nomatterhowcomplicatedanddetailed,whilelookingfortheinstancesof
judicialmisconduct(andforthesupportingevidence)thatarebeingalleged.15

B.Inquiryanddisciplinerateshavedroppeddrasticallysincethe1980s.

TheratesofinquiryanddisciplinebyCaliforniascommissionhavebeenhalvedsincethe
1980s.Because1984wasthefirstyearprivateadvisoryletterswereimplementedasaformof
discipline,alookatthe5yearperiodsfrom19841988andthemostrecent5yearperiod,
20102014,serveasausefulcomparison:

Complaints

Inquiries/
Investigations

Disciplines/
Resign/Retire

PercentInquiry PercentDiscipline
/Investigation
/Resign/Retire

19841988

2,421

548

192

22.6%

20102014

5,778

695

215

12.0%

7.9%
3.7%
16

Datafrom1988AnnualReport,Appendix22014AnnualReport,page14.

14

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/committees/judconductcomm/docs/ADMNJCCReportofAllegedJudicialMisconductProcedure.PDF
15

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/committees/judconductcomm/docs/ADMNJCCReportofAllegedJudicialMisconductProcedure.PDF
16
2014AnnualReport.CommissiononJudicialPerformance.

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Despiteanincreaseof138%inthenumberofcomplaintsbetweentheperiods,thenumberof
disciplinesincreasedbyjust12%.

AccordingtoCommissionRule109,acomplaintcanonlybedismissedifitisdeemed
obviouslyunfoundedorfrivolous.In2014,thecommissiondismissed1,039of1,174
complaintswithoutastaffinquiryorpreliminaryinvestigation.17 Thus,thecommissiondeemed
that88.5%ofallcomplaintswereobviouslyunfoundedorfrivolous.Suchahighpercentageis
troublingand,asdetailedabove,departsfromCaliforniashistoricaldismissalratesbyafactor
of2,andfromotherstatesbyafactorof23.

C.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancemayhaveadoptedundergroundcomplaint
reviewpractices,whichmayconstituteimpropergovernmentalactivityunder
GovernmentCode8547etseq.

Thecommissionmusthaveadoptedanotherprocesstodisposeofcomplaintssorapidly.Thisis
apparentlythecase.AsdescribedbycommissionmemberHonorableIgnazioRuvoloina
speechtotheContraCostaCountyBarAssociationinJanuary2015,wehaveastafftohelpus
wehaveastaffofabout20lawyerswhodotheinvestigationandduediligencewheneverwe
getcomplaintsHefurtherdescribesthattheresamemowegetoneachoneofthose
casesThecommissionmembersthenvoteonwhetherornottodismissacomplaint,
presumablybasedonthecontentofthestaffpreparedmemo.18

Iftrue,thecommissionstaffhascooptedthecomplaintreviewprocess.

Thedraftersandvotersofthe1960andsubsequentamendmentsdidnotintendforthe
commissionstafftoreviewcomplaintsandadvocateadispositiontothecommissionmembers.
Theyintendedfor2judges,3attorneys,and6qualifiedmembersofthepublicappointedbythe
Governor,ChiefJusticeoftheCaliforniaSupremeCourt,AssemblyandSenatetocarefully
reviewcomplaintsandinstructthecommissionstaffonhowtoproceed.Nottheotherway
around.Itisfaciallyapparentthatthestaffarereviewingcomplaintsandmaking
recommendationstothecommissionmembers,whoaregivingthemarubberstamp.

Arizonascommissionexplicitlyassuresthat[e]achandeverycomplaintfiledagainstajudgeis
reviewedbyallelevenmembersofthecommission19 Thecommissionsofotherstateshave
similarexplicitprotocols.

17
18

2014AnnualReport.CommissiononJudicialPerformance.http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/annual_reports/2014_Annual_Report.pdf
ProtectingthePublicandtheIntegrityoftheJudiciary.Speaker:Hon.IgnazioJ.Ruvolo,PresidingJustice,1stDistrictCourtof

Appeal,Division4.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLd7HSlxjk8(lastvisitedJanuary11,2015).Seetimelapse20:1522:15.
http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/PublicDecisions

19

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Itappearsthecommissionmayhavesubverteditsconstitutionalmandatebyadopting
undergroundregulations.20Suchundergroundregulationsmayconstituteimproper
governmentalactivityasdefinedunderGovernmentCode8547etseq.:

anactivitybyastateagencyorbyanemployeethatisundertakenintheperformance
oftheemployee'sduties,undertakeninsideastateoffice,or,ifundertakenoutsidea
stateofficebytheemployee,directlyrelatestostategovernment,whetherornotthat
activityiswithinthescopeofhisorheremployment,andthat(1)isinviolationofany
stateorfederallaworregulation,including,butnotlimitedto,corruption,malfeasance,
bribery,theftofgovernmentproperty,fraudulentclaims,fraud,coercion,conversion,
maliciousprosecution,misuseofgovernmentproperty,orwillfulomissiontoperform
duty,(2)isinviolationofanExecutiveorderoftheGovernor,aCaliforniaRuleofCourt,
oranypolicyorproceduremandatedbytheStateAdministrativeManualorState
ContractingManual,or(3)iseconomicallywasteful,involvesgrossmisconduct,
incompetency,orinefficiency.

Whatdothecommissionstaffandthecommissionmembersdowhenacomplaintisreceived?
Arethememospreparedbyasinglestaffmember,ormultiplestaffmembers?Dothestaff
membershavethesamequalificationsastheappointedmembers?Howdocommission
members(orthepublic)knowthatallmemospreparedbythestaffaccuratelyrepresentthe
factsorallegationsandmakeanappropriaterecommendation?

Aperemptoryreviewprocessalsocreatesanunacceptableopportunityforcomplaintstobe
improperlyhandledandforthememostobetaintediftheyareselectivelyreviewedbyoneora
fewstaffmembers.Withoutfullyreviewingeachcomplaint,commissionmembershavelittle
abilitytojudgewhetherthestaffsummaryandrecommendationareaccurate.Californiansvoted
tohave11qualified,vettedjudges,attorneys,andcitizensreviewanddisposeofcomplaints.A
subversiveprocedureviolatesthecommissionsconstitutionalmandate.

WhilecommissionmemberIgnazioRuvoloattributestheextremelylowratesofdisciplineto
meanthattheoverwhelmingmajorityofjudgesaredoingaterrificjob,21 thepublicisnot
convinced.Infact,a2014studyreportsthatofall50states,Californiahasthehighestlevelof
perceivedillegalcorruptioninitsjudicialbranch,ratinga2.5outof5,between"slightlycommon"
and"moderatelycommon.22

20
21

OfficeofAdministrativeLaw.http://www.oal.ca.gov/Underground_Regs.htm
ProtectingthePublicandtheIntegrityoftheJudiciary.Speaker:Hon.IgnazioJ.Ruvolo,PresidingJustice,1stDistrictCourtof

Appeal,Division4.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLd7HSlxjk8(lastvisitedJanuary11,2015)
MeasuringIllegalandLegalCorruptioninAmericanStates:SomeResultsfromtheCorruptioninAmericaSurvey.Oguzhan
DincerandMichaelJohnston.
http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/measuringillegalandlegalcorruptionamericanstatessomeresultssafra

22

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D.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancesharesabuildingwiththeCourts,creatingthe
appearanceofimpropriety.

ThecommissionwasestablishedaspartoftheJudicialCouncil,butCaliforniavotersapproved
aconstitutionalamendmentin1994thatrequiredthecommissionbecomeanautonomous
agency.23 Althoughthecommissionbecameautonomousonpaper,itcontinuestosharethe
samebuildingastheJudicialCouncil,AdministrativeOfficeoftheCourts,CaliforniaSupreme
Court,FirstDistrictCourtofAppeal(fivedivisions),andtheOfficeoftheAttorneyGeneral.Thus,
thecommissionmaintainsapresencealongsidenumerousjudicialoffices.Commissionstaff
memberslikelyhaverelationshipswithandregularlycommunicatewithothersinthebuilding.
ThecommissionalsoretainedmuchofitsoriginalJudicialCouncilstaff,includingDirectorChief
CounselVictoriaHenley,whohasbeenwiththecommissionsince1990.Asaresult,thereisan
unacceptableappearanceofimpropriety:theagencychargedwithinvestigatingjudicial
misconductishousedinthesamebuildingasmanyofthosejudicialofficersandtheirstaffers.
Citizensdonotpermitbankregulatorstoshareabuildingwiththeheadquartersoflarge
financialinstitutions.Likewise,thecommissionshouldnotshareabuildingwiththe
headquartersofthejudicialbranchandsixhighcourtsunderitsjurisdiction.

Further,SanFranciscoisthemostexpensivecityinthenationinwhichtolive.24This
circumstancenegativelyimpactsthecommissionsabilitytohirethemostqualifiedstaff,which
maybecompromisingtheagencysabilitytoprovideoversightandmayalsobeacontributing
factortothecommissionsinefficientperformancerelativetothecommissionsofotherstates.

4.
THECOMMISSIONONJUDICIALPERFORMANCEOPERATESINSECRETAND
REFUSESTOCOMPLYWITHPUBLICRECORDSREQUESTS.

A.TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancerefusestoproduceanyrecordstothepublic.

OnFebruary12,2016,ROCKAttorneysatLawofSanFrancisco,onbehalfofFirstAmendment
CoalitionofSanRafael,submittedapublicrecordsrequesttotheCommissiononJudicial
Performance,largelyrequestingitemsthataredisclosedbyothergovernmentagenciesandthe
commissionsofotherstates,suchasArizona.InthecommissionsresponsedatedFebruary26,
2016,onbehalfofthecommission,DirectorVictoriaHenleyrefusedtoproviderecordstoany of
therequests,arguingthatthecommissionisexemptfromArticleI,Section3(b)oftheCalifornia
Constitution,theCaliforniaPublicRecordsAct,theBagleyKeeneAct,andCaliforniaRulesof
Court,rule10.500.

Thepublichasarighttoknowaboutevenanisolatedactofmisconductortheappearanceof
impropriety.Judgesareelectedorretainedbythevotingpublic.Inordertobeaninformed,

CommnonJudicialPerformance,Mandate&LegislativeHistory,ST.CAL.,http://cjp.ca.gov/mandate_legislative_history.htm
(lastvisitedJanuary11,2015).
24
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/mostexpensivecity_n_2002532.html
23

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responsibleelectorate,thepublicrequiresinformationaboutjudicialdisciplinaryactionsand
complaints,eveniftheyaredismissed.

Althoughsomecomplaintsmaybefrivolousandsomedisciplineminor,citizensshouldbe
permittedtoevaluatetheinformationforthemselves,astheydowithotherprofessionals.
Additionally,ifthecomplaintsarepostedaftertheyaredismissed,theyshouldhavenonegative
impactonajudgebecausethecommission,ifitdiditsjob,willhavedeemedthemunwarranted.
Californiacitizenscancurrentlylearniftheirdoctorshavebeencarelessortheirlawyerswere
suspectedofmisconduct,buttheyarerarelytoldwhentheirjudgesarereprimandedfor
violatingthelaworCodeofJudicialEthics.

TheCommissiononJudicialPerformancewasestablishedin1960byvoterapprovalofan
amendmenttoArticleVIoftheCaliforniaConstitution.TheintentoftheConstitutionalmandate,
asstatedbyitsdrafters,SenatorsEdwardJ.ReganandJosephA.Rattigan,wastoassurereal
protectionagainstincompetency,misconductornonperformanceofdutyontheBench."25 A
1988amendmentgavethecommissionauthoritytoopenhearingstothepublicwhenitwould
beinthepursuitofpublicconfidenceandintheinterestsofjustice.Theamendmentalso
providedforpublicstatementsbythecommissionundercertaincircumstances.A1994
amendmentconferredauthorityofcensureandremovaltothecommission,mandatedopen
hearingsinformalproceedings,transferredcommissionrulemakingauthorityfromtheJudicial
Counciltothecommission,andchangedmembershipofthecommissionto3judges,2
attorneys,and6citizens.26 Theseamendmentsestablishapatternofincreasingaccountability,
transparency,publicaccess,andcitizenoversightofthejudiciary.Thepoliciesofthe
CommissiononJudicialPerformancehavenotchangedtokeepcurrentwiththepositivetrends
intransparency.

In2006,theArizonaSupremeCourtchangedtheircommissionsrulestomandatepublic
disclosureofdismissedcomplaints27,whichwassupportedbyprosecutorsandtheArizona
NewspapersAssociation.Californiasconstitutionalandstatutoryrightstoaccessaregenerally
strongerthanthoseofArizona.Thus,justastheArizonaSupremeCourtamendedits
commissionrulestoupholdthatright,sotooshouldCaliforniascommissionrulesbeamended.

B.ThenumbersreportedbytheCommissiononJudicialPerformancedontaddup.

ItisfaciallyconcerningtoareasonablepersonthattheresidentsofbothTexasandNewYork
reportedlyfilemorejudicialcomplaintsthanCalifornians,eventhoughCaliforniahas
approximately50%and100%moreresidents,respectively.Itisalsoconcerningthatthe
numberofcomplaintsreportedlyfiledinCaliforniafrom20002009wasactuallylowerthan
1960CaliforniaBallotPropositionsandInitiatives.ArgumentsInFavorofSenateConstitutionalAmendment14. SenatorsEdward
J.ReganandJosephA.Rattigan.
26
CommnonJudicialPerformance,Mandate&LegislativeHistory,ST.CAL.,http://cjp.ca.gov/mandate_legislative_history.htm
(lastvisitedJanuary11,2015).
27
SupremeCourt,StateofArizona,Order.https://www.azcourts.gov/portals/20/ramd_pdf/R040023.pdf

25

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19901999,despitepopulationgrowthbyover33%overtheperiodandincreasedpublic
awarenessabouthowtofilecomplaintsduetotheInternet.Asthe2012StanfordLawReview
articlenoted,thenumberofdisciplinesissuedbythecommissionfollowsadecreasingtrend
from19902010.Whenquestionedduringaphoneinterviewbytheauthorofthearticle,
CommissionDirectorVictoriaHenleysuggestedthatrecordkeepingchangesmayaccountfor
thedrop.28

Thereportedstatisticsshouldbequestioned.Giventhecommissionsextremelylowinquiry,
investigation,anddisciplinerates,secrecy,andrefusaltoprovideanyrecords,thereisan
unacceptablyhighriskofmisconductwithinthecommissionitself.

5.
ASTRONGJUDICIALOVERSIGHTAGENCYISNECESSARYTOPROTECTTHE
PUBLICAGAINSTJUDICIALMISCONDUCT.

A. TheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceprovidestheonlyrealprotectionagainst
judicialmisconduct.

Thejudicialbranchinterpretsthemeaningoflaws,decidesiflawsviolatetheConstitution,and
appliesthelawtoindividualcases.

TheConstitutionestablishesasystemofchecksandbalancestopreservetheintegrityofthe
threebranchesofgovernment.Thejudicialbranchregularlycheckstheactionsoftheexecutive
andlegislativebranchesthroughjudicialreview.DecisionsfromtheCaliforniaSupremeCourt
andCourtsofAppealareroutinelymonitoredbythepublic,membersofthebarandjudiciary,
andthemedia.ButthereislittleoversightoraccountabilityofjudicialofficersattheSuperior
Courtlevel,whichconstitutesapproximately99.54%oftotalcasedispositions.29 Thus,itisof
greatpublicimportancetoensurethelawisfairlyandconsistentlyappliedtoindividualcasesat
theSuperiorCourtlevel.

Whileappellatedecisionsaresupposedtocorrectlegalerrorsandprotectlitigantsfrom
misconductinSuperiorCourts,theappealsprocessiseffectivelyunavailabletomostlitigants
duetocostorinabilitytorepresentoneself.Approximately0.33%ofSuperiorCourtdispositions

areappealed.23Theabsenceoftranscriptsinmanytrialcourtproceedingsmakesuccessful
appealsevenmoreimprobable.Unrecordedproceedingsexposelitigantstomisconduct,hinder
accesstojustice,andunderminepublicconfidenceinthecourts.SeeproposedAssemblybills
AB803(2011)30andAB251(2013)31,whichexpoundedtheneedforelectronicrecordinginall
SuperiorCourts.

28
29

http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/sites/default/files/Abel64StanLRev1021.pdf,page1039
2014CourtStatisticsReport.StatewideCaseloadTrends,20032004through20122013. JudicialCouncilofCalifornia
(Dispositions:6,620,807Superior22,092Appellate8,269Supreme).

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120AB803
31
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB251
30

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BecauseoversightislackingattheSuperiorCourtlevel,itisimperativethatrobustmechanisms
areinplacetodeter,investigate,anddisciplinejudicialmisconduct.TheCommissiononJudicial
PerformanceissolelyresponsibleforensuringthatjudicialofficersupholdtheCodeofJudicial
Ethics.Failuretoupholdthecoderesultsinunfairapplicationofthelawanderodespublictrust
inthejudiciary.Californiahasestablishedthreeprocedurestodisciplineanunfitjudge:

ImpeachmentandconvictionbytheLegislature
Recallelection
ActionbytheCommissiononJudicialPerformance

i.Impeachmentandconvictionofjudicialofficersdoesnotoccur.

UnderCal.Const.,Art.IV,Sec.18,ajudgemaybeimpeachedbytheAssemblyandconvicted
byatwothirdsvoteintheSenateafterhearingsonthemerits.WhiletheLegislaturehas
impeachmentprocessesavailabletoremovejudicialofficers,theyarenotusedinpractice.The
lastimpeachmentoccurred87yearsago,in1929.Onlytwojudgeshavebeenimpeachedin
Californias165yearhistory.32

OnereasonjudicialimpeachmentsdonotoccurinCaliforniaisbecausetherearevirtuallyno
mechanismsinplacetoevaluatetheperformanceofjudicialofficersortoexposemisconduct.
TheCenterforPublicIntegrityahighlyregardednonpartisan,nonprofitorganizationand
winnerofthe2014PulitzerPrizeforInvestigativeReportingpublishedanindepthstudy
assessingthesystemsinplacetodetercorruptionandpromotetransparencyinstate
governments.WhileCaliforniaranked2ndoverall,itreceivedanFinthecategoryofJudicial
Accountability.33

ImpeachmentsarealsononexistentbecausetheLegislaturelacksthecapacitytooverseethe
judiciary40Senatorsand80Assemblymembersalreadyresponsibleforrepresentingnearly
40millionpeoplecannotalsooversee2,000+judicialofficers.Further,legislatorsarekeenly
awarethatthecourtscanmakeimportantrulings,includingchangingtheelectoralmapswith
easebythemanylawsuitsbroughtagainstdistricts.

ii.Recallelectionsandelectionsarenotapracticalmechanismtoremovebadjudicial
officers.

Cal.Const.,ArtII,Sec.19,andElectionsCode11001and11006providefortherecallof
stateandlocalofficers.However,therecallprocessisextremelyburdensome,requiringdozens
ofstepsandtimeconsumingworkthatisallbutimpossibleexceptbylarge,wellfunded
movements:

32

JudicialDisciplineinCalifornia:ACriticalReEvaluation. LoyolaofLosAngelesLawReview.WilbankJ.Roche.December1,

33

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/11/09/18342/californiagetscgrade2015stateintegrityinvestigation

1976.

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Preparation,service,andfilingofaNoticeofIntention
PublicationoftheNoticeofIntention
FilingofaProofofPublication
AnswerofRecallee
PreparationofRecallPetition(withnumerouspreciserequirementsregardingthe
heading,sections,signaturespace,declarationofcirculator)
ApprovaloftheRecallPetition
Circulatingandacquiringsignatures(rangingfrom1030%ofthenumberofregistered
votersinmostlocalelections)
FilingRecallPetitionwithinarelativelyshortperiodoftime(40160daysdependingon
thenumberofregisteredvoters).

Absentegregious,publicmisconductbyajudge,recallelectionsareanunrealisticprocedureto
disciplineorremoveanunfitjudge,especiallyattheSuperiorCourtlevelwherethepublicis
largelyuninformedorcomplacentaboutinjusticesinindividualcases.

Californiahasthelowestoppositionrateinthecountryforjudicialelectionsat8%further
evidencethatelectionsarenotaneffectivemethodforremovingabadjudge.Moreover,
becausetheCommissiononJudicialPerformancemaintainscompleteconfidentialityofall
recordsexceptthoseresultinginpublicdiscipline(anaverageof6peryearduringthepast10
years),thepublichaslittleabilitytoobtaininformationrelevanttoajudicialelection.California
alsodoesnotimplementjudicialperformanceevaluations,oneofthereasonsitreceivedanF
inJudicialAccountabilitybytheCenterforPublicIntegrity.34 Thesecircumstancescreatea
protectiveshieldforsittingjudges:thepublicisnotinformedaboutajudgesmisconductor
performance,sotheyhavenoreasontovotethemoutduringanelection.

iii.Thejudicialbranchanditsofficersoftendonotcomplywithlawsthatprotectthepublic.

GovernmentCode77001.5requirestheJudicialCounciltoadoptandimplementstandards
thatmeasuresthatpromotethefairandefficientadministrationofjustice,including[p]roviding
equalaccesstocourtsandrespectfultreatmentforallcourtparticipants,[c]aseprocessing,
includingtheefficientuseofjudicialresources,andtoreportonthosestandardstothe
Legislatureannually.However,theJudicialCouncilfailstocomplywiththelaw.

CodeCiv.Proc.170.1etseq.allowsapartytochallengeajudgeforcausebyfilingamotion
todisqualifythemandhaveahearinginfrontofathirdpartyjudge.However,judgesare
routinelydenyingtheirown170.1challengesknowingthatlitigantsareunrepresentedandthe
onlyremedyforadenialistofileawritinaCourtofAppealwithin10days,whichmost
unrepresentedlitigantsareincapableofpreparingorcannotafford.Further,over90%ofwrits
aredenied.35

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/11/09/18342/californiagetscgrade2015stateintegrityinvestigation
http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/2014CourtStatisticsReport.pdf

34
35

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iv.Therefore,theCommissiononJudicialPerformanceprovidestheonlyrealprotection
againstjudicialmisconduct.

Indeed,eventhe1960ballotinitiativearguedthatacommissionmustbeestablishedbecause
impeachmentandrecallarenoteffectivemethodstoremoveabadjudge:

First,themeasureproposesaneffectiveandexpeditiousmethodfortheremovalofa
judgewhoisunableorunwillingtoperformhisduties.Impeachment,recallandother
existingmethodsaretoocumbersomeandexpensivetobeworkable.Itisonlyrarely
thatcauseexistsfortheremovalofajudge.Butwheresuchcausedoesexist,the
removalshouldbefastandsure.TheConferenceofCaliforniaJudges,byan
overwhelmingvote,hasendorsedthismeasureasaprotectionforthecompetent,
hardworkingjudgesagainsttherarecasesofincompetencyandmisconductonthe
Bench.ThePeopleareatleastequallyentitledtosuchprotection.

ForallpracticalpurposestheCommissiononJudicialPerformanceservesastheonly
protectionagainstbadjudges.Astateagencychargedwithsuchanimportanttaskpreserving
theintegrityofanentirebranchofgovernmentshouldadoptrulesandproceduresthat
promoteaccountability,transparency,andconsistencyinresolvingcomplaints.The
Commissionscurrentruleslargelydonotadheretheseprinciples.

6.
CONCLUSION

Judicialmisconductandaccountabilityisamajorproblemacrossthecountry,andCaliforniaisa
severe,negativeoutlier.Judicialmisconductisoneofthemostimportant,underinvestigated
andunderreportedissuesaffectingCalifornianstoday.Thebudgetofthejudicialbranchis$3.8
billion,anditsmorethan2,000judicialofficersdisposeof7millioncasesannually.The
dispositionofeachofthesecaseshasadirect,lifelongimpactonthepersonsinvolvedandtheir
familiesandfriends.Californias40millionresidentsshouldhaveconfidencethatjusticeisbeing
doneinthecourts,buttheydonot.36

[P]ublicperceptionofjudicialintegrityisastateinterestofthehighestorder
justicemustsatisfytheappearanceofjustice.

U.S.SupremeCourtinYuleev.StateBarofFlorida( 2015)

ThereisstatewidepublicconcernabouttheintegrityofCaliforniascourtsandtheCommission
onJudicialPerformance.Grassrootsmovementsthatpromotejudicialaccountabilityand
transparencyarerapidlyformingacrossthestate,andtechnologywillcontinuetogivethe
movementsastrongervoiceandgreaterorganization.Manyoftheseactivistsandtheirfamilies
havebeenirreparablyharmedbyjudicialmisconduct.Badjudgescauseinnocentpeopletobe
foundguilty,guiltypeopletobefoundinnocent,issueunfairandinconsistentsentences,cause
36

http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/measuringillegalandlegalcorruptionamericanstatessomeresultssafra

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harmtochildrenandfamilies,erodethepublictrust,andwastemillionsoftaxpayerdollarsina
dysfunctionalsystem.

TheintegrityofthelargestjudiciaryintheWesternworldcannotbetrustedtoasmallagency
undercircumstanceswithnoaccountabilityortransparency.Basedonthetremendousdisparity
inthedisciplineratesbetweenCaliforniaandotherstates,iftheintegrityoftheCommissionon
funfitjudges
JudicialPerformancehasbeencompromiseditpotentiallymeansthathundredso
currentlysitonCaliforniasbencheswhomwouldhavebeenremovedbythecommissionsof
otherstates.ThepublicurgestheLegislaturetomakeincreasedjudicialaccountabilityatop
priority.

At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies weresupposedto


be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience,
however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous
that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a
freehold and irresponsibility in office that their decisions, seeming to concern
individual suitorsonly,passsilentandunheededbythepublicat largethatthese
decisions,nevertheless,become law byprecedent,sapping,bylittleandlittle,the
foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before
any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily
employed in consuming its substance. In truth, manisnot madetobetrusted for
lifeifsecuredagainstallliabilitytoaccount.

ThomasJefferson,lettertoA.Coray.October31,1823.

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APPENDIX

22

California

23

CA Commission on Judicial Performance


Statistics by Year (2005 - 2014)
Data from California Commission on Judicial Performance. 2014 Annual Report.
Website: http://cjp.ca.gov/res/docs/annual_reports/2014_Annual_Report.pdf

Year

Complaints
Disposed

Private Discipline

Public Discipline

Total
Resign / Retire Preliminary
Discipline with charges
Inquiries
pending

Advisory
Letters

Private
Admonishments

Public
Admonishments

Public
Censures

Removals

Preliminary
Investigation
s

2005

955

12

24

55

41

2006

1023

16

37

67

51

2007

1058

20

37

55

54

2008

892

18

34

70

42

2009

1115

25

31

102

63

2010

1133

31

46

101

101

2011

1138

26

10

42

95

77

2012

1152

30

43

72

80

2013

1181

21

30

53

102

2014

1174

29

43

84

101

Total

10821

300

67

367

28

754

712

Average

1082.1

30

6.7

36.7

2.8

75.4

71.2

2.8%

0.6%

3.4%

0.3%

7.0%

6.6%

Percent

24

ACTIVE

AND

III.
FORMER JUDGES 2014 STATISTICS

10-YEAR SUMMARY OF COMMISSION ACTIVITY


NEW COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED BY COMMISSION
2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

965

1,019

1,077

909

1,161 1,176

1,158

1,143

2007

2008

2009

2011

2012

70

102

2013

2014

1,209 1,212

COMMISSION INVESTIGATIONS COMMENCED


2005

55

Staff Inquiries

(6%)

Preliminary Investigations

(4%)

Formal Proceedings
Instituted

(<1%)

41
4

2006

67

(7%)

51

(5%)

55

(5%)

(8%)

54

42

(5%)

(5%)

(9%)

63

(5%)

2010

101

(9%)

101

(9%)

95

(8%)

77

(7%)

72

2013

53

(6%)

(4%)

80

102

(7%)

(8%)

2014

84

(7%)

101

(8%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Total Dispositions

955

1,023

1,058

892

1,115

1,133

1,138

1,152

1,181

1,174

Closed After Initial Review

(92%)

805

1,007

1,000 1,061

1,039

Closed Without Discipline


After Investigation

(5%)

Advisory Letter

(1%)

Private Admonishment

(<1%)

Public Admonishment

(<1%)

Public Censure

(<1%)

Removal

(0%)

Judge Retired or Resigned


with Proceedings Pending

(<1%)

DISPOSITION OF COMMISSION CASES

PAGE 14

876
51

12
6
4
2
0
4

919

(90%)

64

(6%)

16

(2%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

975

(92%)

(90%)

45

48

(4%)

(5%)

20

18

(2%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(2%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

25

(90%)

74

(7%)

25

(2%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

988

(87%)

96

(8%)

31

(3%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

995

(87%)

99

(9%)

26

(2%)

10

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

(87%)

106
(9%)

30

(3%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(90%)

88

(8%)

21

(2%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

(89%)

90

(8%)

29

(2%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(<1%)

(0%)

(<1%)

2014 ANNUAL REPORT

Commission on Judicial Performance


2014-2015 Actual Expenditures
$4,302,681
Administration/
General Office
15%

Facilities
15%

Legal Advisor
7%
Formal Proceedings
12%
General Operating
Expenses
9%

Investigations
42%

26

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
COMMISSION MEMBERS

DIRECTOR -CHIEF COUNSEL

OFFICE OF
TRIAL COUNSEL

INVESTIGATION STAFF

1 Attorney
Administrative Assistant

3 Intake Attorneys
6 Investigating Attorneys
3 Secretaries*
Administrative Assistant

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
1 Administrative Assistants
1 Data/Systems Manager*
1 Business Services Officer
1 Secretary

* Two positions are vacant.

27

OFFICE OF
LEGAL ADVISOR TO
COMMISSIONERS
1 Attorney
Administrative Assistant

Arizona

28

Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct


Statistics by Year (2006 - 2015)
Data from Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct. Public Decisions 2006 - 2015.
Website: http://www.azcourts.gov/azcjc/Public-Decisions

Year

Complaints
Disposed

Private Discipline
Letter - advice to
change behavior
or procedure

Letter - warning to
avoid appearance of
impropriety

Public Discipline
Consultation with
commission, or
consolidation of
complaint

Reprimands

Censures

Total
Discipline

Suspensions

Removals

2006

320

28

16

54

2007

324

36

51

2008

334

38

54

2009

352

34

55

2010

361

29

16

55

2011

313

29

10

50

2012

361

24

23

56

2013

344

17

33

2014

413

11

28

2015

337

18

10

34

Total

3459

366

104

470

Average

345.9

36.6

10.4

47

10.6%

3.0%

13.6%

Percent

29

communities he has resided in and as a result, has volunteered on a number of boards


of organizations making a significant difference.
Colleen Concannon (Commission Secretary) is the Information Technology
Supervisor of Project Management for the City of Tempe. She is also the CEO of an
international gemstone company based in Tucson, Arizona. She is a native Tucsonan
who received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Arizona, a Master of Public
Administration from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Science in
Accounting from the University of Houston. She has also worked in the public sector
as Controller for the Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston, Texas and
returned to Tucson in 1993 to become the Vice President and Chief Information
Officer for Thomas-Davis Medical Centers and later the Clinical Administrator for
TDMCs Main facility. Ms. Concannons private sector career has been focused on
establishing and building distinctive business enterprises in both Texas and
Arizona. Ms. Concannon is a dedicated community volunteer and has served as a
board member for numerous public and private organizations within the State of
Arizona. She has been a member of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct
since January 2010.
Christopher (Chris) R. Ames has 40 years of software industry experience
ranging from programmer to senior executive. He is the President of Paragon
Technology, Inc., a company he co-founded in 1983. Early clients included the Apache
County Treasurer and Trans World Airlines. In 1992 he entered into a project
management contract with ADS Communications, Inc., for the development of its
field service product. Over the next 11 years he led the company through several
phases of expansion in product offering and corresponding revenue growth. ADS was
purchased by EFI (Electronics For Imaging, Inc.) in 2004, and Chris continued his
responsibility as Chief Technology Officer for another 2 years. Chris is a patented
inventor and holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State
Universitys W.P. Carey School of Business. The Ames family has lived in the east
valley since 1976. Chris was a member of the Capital and Development Fees
subcommittee of the 2009 Town of Gilbert Citizens Budget Committee and is an
original member of Gilberts Operation Welcome Home Committee.
Commission Budget and Finances
The commission is funded as a part of the legislatures general fund
appropriation to the Arizona Judicial Branch. For the fiscal year ending on June 30,
2016, the commissions budget totals $505,000 to cover all operations and activities.
Employee compensation and benefits and facilities rent make up over ninety percent
of the commissions expenditures.

16

30

Commission Staff
The commissions full-time staff consists of an executive director, disciplinary
counsel, commission specialist, and administrative assistant. A part-time temporary
employee supports the commissions database program and related activities.
George Riemer has been the commissions executive director since July 2011.
He is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona and has been a licensed attorney
since 1975. Mr. Riemer also serves as the Staff Director for the Arizona Supreme
Court Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and is an attorney member of the Arizona
Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee.
April Elliott has been the commissions disciplinary counsel since October
2014. Ms. Elliott is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona and most recently
served as the Public Defender in Pinal County. Her previous experience includes
serving as a Pinal County family court commissioner and Pinal County Superior
Court Judge.
Administrative support for the commission in 2015 was provided by Kim
Welch, commission specialist, and Camille Keltz, administrative assistant.
Pursuant to Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Order 2014-11, the
position of independent bar counsel (IBC) was placed under the supervision and
direction of the commissions executive director and is located in the commissions
office suite. IBC investigates and resolves through the lawyer discipline process
complaints filed against lawyers that for conflict of interest reasons cannot be
investigated and resolved through that process by the Office of Chief Bar Counsel of
the State Bar of Arizona. IBC also assists the commission in the investigation and
resolution of complaints about judges. Administrative support for IBC is provided by
commission staff.
Meredith Vivona has served as Independent Bar Counsel since April 2014. Ms.
Vivona is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona. Her prior experience includes
the private practice of law with several Phoenix area law firms for over ten years.
Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee
The commissions executive director supports the activities of the Arizona
Supreme Court Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee (JEAC). The JEAC has nine
members, including seven judges and two lawyers. The committees charge, as set
forth in Arizona Supreme Court Rule 82, is to provide prospective advice to judges
and judicial employees in order to avoid violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct
and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees. The executive director is the initial
contact for judicial ethics inquiries. He provides inquirers with his reaction and if
requested, the inquiry is submitted to the committee for further consideration. The
objective is to assist judges and judicial employees in avoiding ethics violations. A
17

31

New York

32

NY State Commission on Judicial Conduct


Statistics by Year (2005 - 2014)
Data from New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Annual Reports
Website: http://www.scjc.state.ny.us/Publications/AnnualReports.htm

Year

Complaints
Disposed*

Private
Discipline

Public
Discipline**

Letter of
Dismissal
and Caution,
Letter of
Caution

Public
Admonition,
Public Censure,
Removal
(removals in
parentheses)

Total
Resign***
Discipline

Retire, did not run


for reelection, or
vacated office for
other reason****

Total vacancies
of office for any
reason (resign,
retire, removal,
no reelection,
other)

Preliminary
Inquiries

Investigations

2005

1574

43

34 (4)

43

18

15

37

366

260

2006

1446

60

18 (3)

60

22

32

375

267

2007

1748

28

25 (5)

28

12

28

45

413

192

2008

1953

39

24 (1)

39

35

21

57

354

262

2009

1820

58

32 (2)

58

21

12

35

471

257

2010

2042

43

21 (1)

43

20

10

31

439

225

2011

1828

29

16 (2)

29

19

10

31

464

172

2012

1795

28

28 (3)

28

18

17

38

460

182

2013

1775

18

16 (2)

18

20

14

36

477

177

2014

1797

28

7 (0)

28

27

12

39

499

145

Total

17778

374

221 (23)

374

212

146

381

4318

2139

Average

1777.8

37.4

22.1

37.4

21.2

14.6

38.1

431.8

213.9

2.1%

1.2%

3.3%

1.2%

0.8%

2.1%

24.3%

12.0%

Percent

33

Discipline statistics as reported in the New York State Annual Reports, Statistical Analysis of Complaints sections, All Complaints
Considered in [Year] (typically found near the very end of the Annual Reports)
*Complaints Disposed = Complaints filed in current year + Complaints pending from prior year - Complaints pending at end of current
year (as reported in Statistical Analysis of Complaints sections of Annual Reports)
**Reported as Action in the Statistical Analysis of Complaints sections
***Approximately one-third to one-half of resignations are made public. These resignations are not included in the Public Discipline
numbers above. Thus, the number of Public Disciplines is significantly higher than reported above.
****Reported as Closed in the Statistical Analysis of Complaints sections

34

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2005: 1565 NEW & 230 PENDING FROM 2004
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ON FIRST
REVIEW OR
AFTER
PRELIMRY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


TOTALS
PENDING

DISMISSED

DISMISSAL
& CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

ACTION*

INCORRECT RULING

677

677

NON-JUDGES

281

281

DEMEANOR

112

69

67

18

14

284

DELAYS

38

19

12

74

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

26

11

13

60

BIAS

59

11

13

88

CORRUPTION

13

12

38

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

23

39

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

11

23

11

51

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

25

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

56

40

26

142

MISCELLANEOUS

20

27

1305

221

159

43

18

15

34

1795

TOTALS

251

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition, censure and
removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary proceedings commenced in the courts
by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.
35

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2006: 1500 NEW & 221 PENDING FROM 2005
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ON FIRST
REVIEW OR
AFTER
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


TOTALS
PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

ACTION*

INCORRECT RULING

692

692

NON-JUDGES

266

266

DEMEANOR

114

76

32

10

250

DELAYS

28

15

10

66

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

20

26

10

63

BIAS

35

13

56

CORRUPTION

19

11

35

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

10

24

12

52

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

13

15

45

TICKET-FIXING

11

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

22

35

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

22

61

20

14

127

MISCELLANEOUS

14

19

1233

275

106

60

22

18

1721

TOTALS

163

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition, censure and
removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary proceedings commenced in the courts
by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.
36

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2007: 1711 NEW & 275 PENDING FROM 2006
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ON FIRST
REVIEW OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

TOTALS
ACTION*

INCORRECT RULING

941

941

NON-JUDGES

307

307

DEMEANOR

113

55

42

14

235

DELAYS

35

14

13

68

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

26

25

12

67

BIAS

15

33

CORRUPTION

19

33

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

11

25

52

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

10

18

40

TICKET-FIXING

16

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

15

19

49

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

10

52

29

10

111

MISCELLANEOUS

13

22

1519

238

136

28

12

28

25

1986

TOTALS

241

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition, censure and
removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary proceedings commenced in the courts
by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.

37

APPENDIX G

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2008: 1923 NEW & 238 PENDING FROM 2007
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ON FIRST
REVIEW OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

TOTALS
ACTION*

2009 ANNUAL REPORT

978

NON-JUDGES

396

396

DEMEANOR

114

39

51

229

DELAYS

55

18

10

91

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

16

27

15

72

BIAS

23

10

44

CORRUPTION

19

12

37

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

15

20

59

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

20

13

53

TICKET-FIXING

15

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

14

11

11

46

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

10

46

38

117

MISCELLANEOUS

16

1661

208

173

39

35

21

24

2161

TOTALS

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition, censure and
removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary proceedings commenced in the courts
by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.

38

978

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF COMPLAINTS

PAGE 185

INCORRECT RULING

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2009: 1855 NEW & 208 PENDING FROM 2008
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ON FIRST
REVIEW OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

TOTALS

ACTION*

INCORRECT RULING

959

959

NON-JUDGES

334

334

DEMEANOR

91

68

27

208

DELAYS

66

20

11

105

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

21

31

14

76

BIAS

29

46

CORRUPTION

24

12

50

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

25

57

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

18

19

59

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

16

37

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

23

39

13

15

102

MISCELLANEOUS

14

16

1598

243

99

58

21

12

32

2063

TOTALS

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition, censure and
removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary proceedings commenced in the courts
by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.

2010 ANNUAL REPORT


39

PAGE 248

ALLCOMPLAINTSCONSIDEREDIN2010:2025NEW&243PENDINGFROM2009

UBJECT
F
OMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ONFIRST
REVIEWOR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUSOFINVESTIGATEDCOMPLAINTS

PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

TOTALS

ACTION*

IC
NCORRECT RULING

1664

1164

NON-JUDGES

354

354

DEMEANOR

102

47

50

216

DELAYS

38

18

73

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

20

24

21

79

BIAS

18

38

CORRUPTION

20

39

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

20

22

61

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

25

10

56

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

11

16

46

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

24

38

25

98

MISCELLANEOUS

17

10

28

1800

226

148

43

20

10

21

2268

*Mattersarecloseduponvacancyofofficeforreasonsotherthanresignation.Actionincludesdeterminationsofadmonition,censureand

removalfromofficebytheCommissionsinceitsinceptionin1978,aswellassuspensionsanddisciplinaryproceedingscommencedinthe
TOTALS
courtsbythetemporaryandformercommissionsonjudicialconductoperatingfrom1975to1978.

2011 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 158


40

Table of Contents

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2011: 1818 NEW & 226 PENDING FROM 2010
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

DISMISSED
ON FIRST
REVIEW OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

TOTALS

ACTION*

INCORRECT RULING

1031

1031

NON-JUDGES

304

304

DEMEANOR

115

38

31

192

DELAYS

42

15

72

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

28

18

63

BIAS

18

36

CORRUPTION

22

17

40

INTOXICATION

10

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

14

18

49

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

35

13

61

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

17

17

50

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

26

36

18

88

MISCELLANEOUS

22

40

1646

216

108

29

19

10

16

2044

TOTALS

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition, censure and
removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary proceedings commenced in the courts
by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.
2012 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 232
41

Table of Contents

APPENDIX G
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF COMPLAINTS
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2012: 1785 NEW & 216 PENDING FROM 2011
DISMISSED ON
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

FIRST REVIEW
OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


TOTALS
PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

ACTION*

INCORRECT RULING

998

998

NON-JUDGES

329

329

DEMEANOR

82

48

19

160

DELAYS

52

10

77

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

43

23

81

BIAS

24

37

CORRUPTION

23

10

45

INTOXICATION

10

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

12

11

39

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

14

18

56

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

22

45

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

49

16

88

MISCELLANEOUS

12

26

1603

206

101

28

18

17

28

2001

TOTALS

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition,
censure and removal from office by the Commission since its inception in 1978, as well as suspensions and disciplinary
proceedings commenced in the courts by the temporary and former commissions on judicial conduct operating from 1975 to 1978.
Table of Contents

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
42
2013 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 349

APPENDIX G
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF COMPLAINTS
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2013: 1770 NEW & 206 PENDING FROM 2012
DISMISSED ON
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

FIRST REVIEW
OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


TOTALS
PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

ACTION*

1,062

1,062

NON-JUDGES

313

313

DEMEANOR

78

40

30

159

DELAYS

35

11

53

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

15

15

12

49

BIAS

19

35

CORRUPTION

15

29

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

15

14

37

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

19

12

54

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

23

11

51

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

56

24

96

MISCELLANEOUS

15

25

1,593

201

114

18

20

14

16

1,976

INCORRECT RULING

TOTALS

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition,
censure and removal from office by the Commission.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
43
2014 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 236

APPENDIX G
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF COMPLAINTS
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ALL COMPLAINTS CONSIDERED IN 2014: 1767 NEW & 201 PENDING FROM 2013
DISMISSED ON
SUBJECT
OF
COMPLAINT

FIRST REVIEW
OR
PRELIMINARY
INQUIRY

STATUS OF INVESTIGATED COMPLAINTS


TOTALS
PENDING

DISMISSED

CAUTION

RESIGNED

CLOSED*

ACTION*

1,056

1,056

NON-JUDGES

300

300

DEMEANOR

118

32

27

181

DELAYS

29

45

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

25

47

BIAS

25

37

CORRUPTION

20

32

INTOXICATION

DISABILITY/QUALIFICATIONS

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

11

10

34

FINANCES/RECORDS/TRAINING

21

48

TICKET-FIXING

ASSERTION OF INFLUENCE

14

39

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS

11

52

28

106

MISCELLANEOUS

14

31

1,622

171

101

28

27

12

1,968

INCORRECT RULING

TOTALS

*Matters are closed upon vacancy of office for reasons other than resignation. Action includes determinations of admonition,
censure and removal from office by the Commission.

44
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2015 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 190

Texas

45

TX State Commission on Judicial Conduct


Statistics by Year (2005 - 2014)
Data from Texas State Commission on Judicial Performance. 2014 Annual Report.
Website: http://www.scjc.texas.gov/about/annual-reports.aspx
Year

Cases
Disposed

Private
Discipline*

Public
Discipline**

Suspension***

Total
Discipline

Resign / Retire
with complaint
pending

Preliminary
Investigations

Full
Investigations

2005

1106

31

16

50

198

295

2006

985

21

11

36

203

202

2007

1049

28

34

185

335

2008

1005

28

11

43

200

230

2009

1110

25

20

49

303

271

2010

1290

37

35

78

10

333

256

2011

1192

27

37

337

248

2012

1049

34

45

327

212

2013

1103

29

37

265

306

2014

1075

38

14

55

278

281

Total

10964

298

127

39

464

50

2629

2636

Average

1096.4

Percent

29.8

12.7

3.9

46.4

262.9

263.6

2.7%

1.2%

0.4%

4.2%

0.5%

24.0%

24.0%

*Private Disciplines (5): Private Order of Additional Education, Private sanction and Order of Additional Education, Private Admonition, Private Warning, Private Reprimand
**Public Disciplines (7): Public Order of Additional Education, Public sanction and Order of Additional Education, Public Admonition, Public Warning, Public Reprimand, Public
Censure and Order of Additional Education, Public Censure
***Suspensions (removal) result from a decision by a tribunal or Texas Supreme Court after a recommendation from the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct

46

Table 1: Commission Activity


FISCAL YEAR
2005

FISCAL YEAR
2006

FISCAL YEAR
2007

FISCAL YEAR
2008

398/393

393/453

453/385

385/406

Cases Filed

1101

1045

1043

1049

Total Number Of Cases Disposed

1106

985

1049

1005

% of Cases Disposed

100.5%

94%

100.4%

96%

Average Age of Cases Disposed

4.5
Months

5.1
Months

5.3
Months

4.7
Months

65

42

45

56

Criminal Conviction

Review Tribunal Order


Voluntarily Agreement to Resign in Lieu of
Disciplinary Action
Sanction:

Public Censure
Public Censure and
Order of Additional Education

Public Reprimand

Public Warning

Public Admonition
Public sanction and
Order of Additional Education

Private Reprimand

Private Warning

Private Admonition
Private sanction and
Order of Additional Education

Public Order of Additional Education

Private Order of Additional Education


Interim Disciplinary Action:

Order of Suspension [15(a)]


Recommendation of Suspension to
Supreme Court [15(b)]

Formal Proceedings Voted

12

Amicus Referral

1049

950

1008

966

29

28

48

43

Reconsideration Granted

Reconsideration Denied

28

26

45

35

0
0

0
2

32*

22*

0
24*

5
31*

Cases Pending (Beginning FY/To Date)

Disciplinary Action (total)


Cases Disposed through:

Dismissals
Requests for Reconsideration Received

Pending
Cases Appealed to Special Court of Review
Informal Hearings Set
Public Statements Issued
Updated 09/11/08

47
16

Fig. 4 Number of Cases Disposed By Complainant Type*

Pro Se
56
[6%]

Commission/Media
9
[1%]
Inmate/Criminal
Defendant/Traffic
Defendant
419
[42%]
Other
34
[3%]

Litigant
260
[26%]
Attorney
44
[4%]

Citizen/Family/Friend
131
[13%]

Judge/
Government Official/
Government Employee
15
[2%]

Law
Enforcement/Prosecutor
6
[1%]

Anonymous
31
[3%]

*1005 Total Cases Disposed

Fig. 5 Cases Filed and Disposed (FY 2005 - FY 2008)


1120
1100
1080
1060
1040
1020
1000
980
960
940
920

1101 1106
1049
1045

1049

1043
1005
985

2005

2006

2007

48
18

2008

CASES FILED
TOTAL DISPOSED

Fig. 6a Commission Activity (FY 2005-2008)


35

31
28

30
25

28

Interim Actions *

21

20

Public Sanctions

16

16

15

11

10

7
3

Private Sanctions

11

9
4 4

Voluntary Resignations in Lieu of


Disciplinary Action

0
2005

2006

2007

2008

Fig. 6b. Commission Activity Trends (FY 2005 - 2008)


35
Interim Actions *

30
25

Public Sanctions

20
Private Sanctions

15
10

Voluntary
Resignations in Lieu
of Disciplinary Action

5
0
2005

2006

2007

2008

*Interim Actions include: Orders of Suspension, Recommendations of Suspension to


Supreme Court, Formal Proceedings Voted, and Amicus Curiae Referrals.

49
19

Fig. 7a Comparison of Investigations by Type (2005-2008)


700
613

600

580

575
529

500
400

335

295

300
200

198

203

2005

2006

202

230

185

200

2007

2008

Administrative
Dismissals *
Preliminary
Investigations **
Full Investigations ***

100
0

Fig. 7b Investigations by Type Trends (FY 2005 - FY 2008)


700
600
500

Administrative
Dismissals *
Preliminary
Investigations **

400
300

Full Investigations ***

200
100
0
2005

2006

2007

2008

*Administrative Dismissals include files disposed without investigation, because no


allegation of judicial misconduct was raised.
**Preliminary Investigations include allegations of judicial misconduct that were
resolved without contacting the respondent judge.
***Full Investigations include those cases in which the respondent judge was asked to
respond to the allegations of judicial misconduct.

50
20

Table 1: Commission Activity


FISCAL YEAR
2008

FISCAL YEAR
2009

FISCAL YEAR
2010

FISCAL YEAR
2011

385/406

406/445

445/503

503/430

Cases Filed

1049

1204

1280

1119

Total Number Of Cases Disposed

1006

1110

1290

1192

% of Cases Disposed

96%

92.1%

100.7%

106.5%

4.7
Months
56

6.19
Months
70

5.35
Months
89

5.66
Months
42

Criminal Conviction

Review Tribunal Order


Voluntarily Agreement to Resign in Lieu of
Disciplinary Action
Sanction:

10

Public Censure
Public Censure and
Order of Additional Education

Public Reprimand

11

Public Warning

18*

Public Admonition
Public sanction and
Order of Additional Education

10

Private Reprimand

Private Warning

Private Admonition
Private sanction and
Order of Additional Education

19

12

Public Order of Additional Education

Private Order of Additional Education


Interim Disciplinary Action:

Order of Suspension [15(a)]


Recommendation of Suspension to
Supreme Court [15(b)]

Cases in Formal Proceedings

12

19

Amicus Referral

Dismissals

966

1063

1208

1154

Requests for Reconsideration Received

43

53

106

226

Reconsideration Granted

Reconsideration Denied

35

47

104

226

Informal Hearings Set

5
31

2
25

16
21

Public Statements Issued

0
13 (Includes Aug.
2011 Meeting.)
0

Cases Pending (Beginning FY/Ending FY)

Average Age of Cases Disposed


Disciplinary Action (total)
Cases Disposed through:

Pending
Cases Appealed to Special Court of Review

*Total dispositions and disciplinary action totals include a Public Warning issued by the Commission in 16 cases at the conclusion of
Formal Proceedings. In October 2010, on appeal to a Special Court of Review appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, the Public
Warning in those 16 cases was dismissed.

51

52

53

54

55

Fig. 5a Cases Filed and Disposed (FY 2011 - FY 2014)

1250

1216
1192

1200
1150

1136

1132

1119

1103
1075

1100

1054
1050
1000
950

2011

2012

2013

Cases Filed

2014

Total Disposed

Fig. 5b Case Filing Trend (FY 2011 - FY 2014)


1250

1200

1150

Cases Filed

1100

Total Disposed
1050

1000

950

2011

2012

2013

56

2014

Fig. 6a Co m m ission Activity (FY 2011 -2014)


Interim Actions *

Public Sanctions

Private Sanctions

Voluntary Resignations in Lieu of Disciplinary Action

38

40
35

30
30

29

26

25

20

10
5

14

12

15

5
1

6
3

2011

2012

2013

2014

*Interim Actions include: Orders of Suspension, Recommendations of Suspension


to Supreme Court, Formal Proceedings Voted, and Amicus Curiae Referrals.

Fig. 6b Commission Activity Trend (FY 2011-2014)


40

Interim Actions *

35

Public Sanctions

30

25

Private Sanctions

20

Voluntary Resignations
in Lieu of Disciplinary
Action

15
10
5
0

2011

2012

2013

2014

57

*Interim Actions include: Orders of


Suspension, Recommendations of
Suspension to Supreme Court,
Formal Proceedings Voted, and
Amicus Curiae Referrals.

2
2014 COMPLAINT DISPOSITIONS

2014 COMPLAINT
DISPOSITIONS

1075

CLOSED AFTER
INITIAL REVIEW/
PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION

DISPOSITION
FOLLOWING FULL
INVESTIGATION

794

281

CLOSED WITHOUT
DISCIPLINE

DISCIPLINE ISSUED

188

61

PRIVATE

PUBLIC
DISCIPLINE



PUBLIC ADMONITION

10

58

* Not a Final Disposition

Table 1: Commission Activity


Cases Pending (Beginning FY/Ending FY)
Cases Filed
Total Number Of Cases Disposed
% of Cases Disposed
Average Age of Cases Disposed
Disciplinary Action (total)

FISCAL YEAR
2011
503/430

FISCAL YEAR
2012
430/564

FISCAL YEAR
2013
564/584

FISCAL YEAR
2014
584/636

1119

1216

1132

1136

1192

1049

1103

1075

106.5%

86.27%

97.79%

94.63%

5.66 Months

5.3 Months

6.1 Months

5.37 Months

42

49

42

61

12

12

12

15

1154

1004

1068

1016

226

107

80

67

226

118

79

60

Cases Disposed through:


Criminal Conviction
Review Tribunal Order
Voluntarily Agreement to Resign in Lieu of
Disciplinary Action
Sanction:
Public Censure
Public Censure and
Order of Additional Education
Public Reprimand
Public Warning
Public Admonition
Public sanction and
Order of Additional Education
Private Reprimand
Private Warning
Private Admonition
Private sanction and
Order of Additional Education
Public Order of Additional Education
Private Order of Additional Education
Interim Disciplinary Action:
Order of Suspension [15(a)]
Recommendation of Suspension to
Supreme Court [15(b)]
Cases in Formal Proceedings
Amicus Referral
Dismissals
Requests for Reconsideration Received
Reconsideration Granted
Reconsideration Denied
16

Pending
Cases Appealed to Special Court of Review

Informal Hearings Set

13

14

Public Statements Issued

11/17/14

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

Public Records Request

71

72

73

74

75

76

11{

QJ11 liforni11

Oiommissiott on Jju!liciaJ
455 Qf)olben Qf)ate J\6em1 e,
14400
Jlf rnnc:isco, QIJ\ 94 lll 2-3 660
(415) 557-1200
FAX (415) 557-1266
Web Site: http://cjp.ca.gov

February 26, 2016

Karl Olson, Esq.


Law Offices of Ram, Olson,
Cereghino & Kopczynski
101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1800
San Francisco, CA 94104
Dear Mr. Olson:
This responds to your letter dated February 12, 2016, designated
Records
Request," received by the Commissioi1 on Judicial Performance on
16, 2016. Yqur
request seeks records relating to commission expenses and maiuigeme'nt' as well as records
regarding complaints concluded in 2015 and public discipline imposed by the commission
between 2010 and 2015.
As your letter correctly notes, the commission is exempt from the <:;:alifornia Public
Records Act (Gov. Code, 6252(f)) and is not covered by California Rules of Court, rule
10.500, which relates to public access to comt records. Further, the commission is not a "local
agency" or the "legislative body" of a local agency and is not subject to the provisions of the
Ralph M. Brown Act regarding public meetings. (Gov. Code, 54951 , 54952.) It is also
exempt as an article VI agency from the Bagley-Keene Act (Gov. Code, 111 2 1.1.)
Accordingly, the commission is not required to provide records under those provisions.
1n addition, numerous constitutional provisions protect commission records relating to
complaints and cases involving judges from disclosure. "The commission may provide for the
confidentiality of complaints to and investigations by the commission." (Article VI, 18(i)(1).)
"The Commission on Judicial Performance may
... [ir:J (3) publicly or privately admonish a
judge or former judge[.]" (Article VI, 18(d).) While the commission is required to turn over to
the Governor of any State of the Uni on, the President of the United States or the Commission on
Judicial Appointments " the text of any private admonishment, advisory letter, or other
disciplinary action" concerning a judge who is under consideration for a judicial appointment,
the constitution expressly provides that " [a ]ll information released under thi s section shall remain
confidential and privileged." (Article V I, 18.S(a)-(d).)
.. .
l
Amendments to California Constitution, r,rticle i , section 3 I egarding pub,lic access to
meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies expressly provided

77

Mr. Karl Olson


February 26, 20 16
Page Two

that nothing in the provisions superseded or modified any constitutional provis ion, or affected
the construction of any statute court rule, or other authority to the extent it protects the
constitutional right of privacy. (Article 1, 3(3), (4).) They also c:xpressly provided that nothing
in the provisions repealed or nullified, expressly or by implication, any constitutional or statutory
exception to the right of access to public records or meetings of public bodies in effect on the
effective date of the amendments. (Article 1, 3(5).) These provisions manifest clear intent to
preserve the statutory exemption of the commission from the Public Records Act, the Ralph M.
Brown Act and the Bagley-Keene Act and to preserve the confidentiality provided under the
constitution for certain commission records and actions.
While the commission is not required to release the records you seek and declines to do
so under the foregoing provisions, some of your
raise issues that l beli eve should he
considered further by the commission. I hope that these issues can be addressed by the
commission at its March 23-24, 2016 meeting and that I will be able to get back to you shortly
after the meeting.
Thank you for your continued interest in the work of the commission.
Yours very truly,

Victoria B. Henley
Director-Chief Counsel
VBH:al/Public Records Act Request/2-26- 16 Olson

78