The 2007 Annual Report of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct was released last Thursday. In his article in the November 19, 2007 New York Law Journal Daniel Wise writes that the Commission ” opened more investigations in 2006 [the year covered by the Annual Reporrt] and had more matters pending against judges than at any time in its 29 year history…”.
INTRODUCTION TO THE 2007 ANNUAL REPORT
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is the independent agency designated by the State Constitution to review complaints of misconduct against judges of the State Unified Court System, which includes approximately 3,400 judges and justices.
The Commission’s objective is to enforce high standards of conduct for judges, who must be free to act independently, on the merits and in good faith, but also must be held accountable by an independent disciplinary system, should they commit misconduct. The text of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, promulgated by the Chief Administrator of the Courts with the approval of the Court of Appeals is annexed.
The number of complaints received by the Commission in the past 15 years has substantially increased compared to the first 18 years of the Commission’s existence. Since 1992, the Commission has averaged 1440 new complaints per year, 400 preliminary inquiries and 200 investigations. Last year, 1500 new complaints were received and processed, and for the third year in a row, a record number were investigated (267). In each of the last 15 years, the number of incoming complaints has been more than double the 641 we received in 1978. Recently, for the first time in a generation, the Commission’s budget was significantly increased.
This report covers Commission activity in the year 2006.
Click here to the the complete 2007 Annual Report of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct