About the Commission
The Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability
reviews complaints about Oregon state judges and justices of the peace and investigates when the alleged conduct might violate the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct
or Article VII (amended), Section 8
of the state constitution. If the Commission files formal charges, a public hearing is held. The Commission then makes a recommendation to the Supreme Court
. Recommendations include dismissal of the charges, and censure, suspension or removal of the judge..
The Commission strives to provide information for the public about its process and jurisdiction. The Commission meets six times a year to review pending and new complaints and to reconsider prior complaints. They review materials submitted by complainants, court records, audio recordings, and other investigative materials. The Commission cannot change a judge's decision in a case or the case outcome. Instead, possible final outcomes of Commission review of complaints only include dismissal due to lack of information and insufficient evidence, issuance of an informal disposition letter to the judge pursuant to Rule of Procedure 7(c)
, and prosecution. Information about specific complaints remains confidential under ORS 1.440
, unless formal charges are filed. Press releases are issued 14 days before the public hearing on formal charges. The Commission has no jurisdiction over arbitrators, mediators, administrative law judges, hearing officers, municipal court (city) judges, or federal judges.
The Commission also investigates complaints referred by the Chief Justice that a judge has a disability which significantly interferes with the judge’s job performance. If the disability appears to be temporary, the Commission may hold a private hearing although the judge can request a public hearing. Again, the Supreme Court makes the final decision.
- Three public members, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate
- Three lawyers, appointed by the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors
- Three judges, appointed by the Supreme Court.
If you want to file a complaint, please use the complaint form
and follow the instructions it provides. If you want more information, you may call, write, or email the Commission (see contact information above).