Jurisdiction and Grounds for Judicial Discipline
The Qualifications Commission operates under the auspices of the Indiana Supreme Court's original jurisdiction over the discipline of judges. The mechanism by which complaints are reviewed and judicial disciplinary cases proceed is governed by Supreme Court Admission and Discipline Rule 25.
The Commission's jurisdiction extends only to Indiana judicial officers; that is, judges in the circuit and superior courts in each county, Magistrates, commissioners, and referees, Justices and judges on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court, Senior Judges, judges pro tempore, city and town court judges, and, small claims court judges. The Commission also has jurisdiction over judicial candidates for alleged violations of Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. All are referred to here as "judges" for this purpose.
The Commission has jurisdiction whether or not the alleged conduct is related to the judicial office and whether or not it occurred during the judge's term in office. However, the Commission may refer to the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission allegations of misconduct not committed during the judge's term. The Commission's jurisdiction continues if a judge retires or resigns.
The Commission reviews allegations that a judge has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, the Rules of Professional Conduct, committed willful misconduct in office or conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, is habitually intemperate, or repeatedly fails to follow procedures. The Commission also has jurisdiction to seek the involuntary retirement of a judge with a disability interfering with the judge's judicial obligations.
If your complaint is against a lawyer or prosecuting attorney, and the alleged conduct does not relate to the lawyer's service as a judicial officer, contact the
Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission
30 South Meridian Street, Suite 850
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
If your complaint is against an administrative law judge, you should contact the
Counsel to the Governor
Office of the Governor
200 W. Washington Street, Suite 206
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
If the ALJ also is an Indiana lawyer, and you are alleging violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you may also contact the Disciplinary Commission.
If you have a complaint against a federal court judge, contact
Mr. Collins T. Fitzpatrick
2780 U.S. Courthouse
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
The Commission does not review legal error or disputes about the merits of a judge's decision. Filing a complaint is not a substitute for appeal and has no effect on your legal or appellate rights.
If you want or intend to appeal from a judge's order, you must pursue your appellate rights through the judicial system. The appellate process is subject to strict deadlines, and you should immediately obtain legal advice about your appellate remedies. The Commission may not give legal advice or help you decide whether to appeal.