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Monday, March 28, 2011

If you have had a bad experience with a judge in New York State

If you have had a bad experience with a judge in New York State, whether a family court judge or not, you can file a complaint against him or her with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The law requires that your com- plaint be in writing and you must sign it. However, you do not have to have it notarized, nor do you have to be sworn The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct provides a blank form online that you can print out and fill out, although it is not necessary to use the form. You can simply write a letter. The important thing is that your complaint should be as detailed as possible. The commission recommends that you include the following: the judge's name, the court, the name of the case, the name of the attorneys involved, the date or dates on which the judge's misconduct occurred, a description of the alleged misconduct and any other information that you believe to be relevant. The complaint then can be mailed to anyone of the commission's three offices. They are 61 Broadway NY, NY 10006 Corning Tower Suite 2301 Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12223 400 Andrews Street Rochester, NY 14604 The commission does not guarantee that your complaint will be investigated. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct's 2009 Annual Report, which covers the year 2008, states that 1,923 new complaints were received. Of that number, only 262 were investigated, approximately one out of eight. Many complaints are dismissed automatically because they are outside the commission's jurisdiction. The commission does not investigate complaints of federal judges, hearing officers, administrative law judges, referees and New York City Housing Court judges. The commission also cannot review disputed decisions. The proper place for disputed decisions is in an appellate court. The commission hears complaints about prejudice, disregard of civil rights, conflict of interest and other instances of judicial misconduct. The commission may contact the complainant for more details or clarification of the complaint. . New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct Complaint Form -- Confidential If you would like to fill in this form online please click here, to use this form, you need a "pdf" program such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available as a free download from the Adobe website: Alternatively you can print this webpage, complete it, and mail it to the Commission office nearest you: 61 Broadway, Suite 1200 ♦ New York, NY 10006 Corning Tower, Suite 2301 ♦ Empire State Plaza ♦ Albany, New York 12223 400 Andrews Street ♦ Rochester, NY 14604 The law requires that complaints to the Commission be in writing and signed by the complainant. (See Section 44.1 of the Judiciary Law of the State of New York.) A complaint does not have to be sworn or notarized. You may submit a complaint by letter or by using this complaint form. If you submit a letter, please include the kind of information requested by this form. Background Information Today's Date: _________________________ Your Name: _____________________________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ Home Phone: _____________________ Business Phone: ____________________ Are you represented by a lawyer? _____ Yes _____ No Lawyer's Name: ____________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Telephone: _____________________________________________________________ Complaint Information Judge's Name: ___________________________________________________________ Judge's Court: ____________________________ County: _______________________ Date(s) of Incident(s): _____________________________________________________ Details of Complaint: Below and on the back of this sheet, describe the alleged misconduct. Include as much detailed information as possible, such as what happened, where and when; the names of witnesses; who said what to whom, and in what tone of voice; etc. Use additional sheets if necessary. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Complainant's Signature: ________________________________________________

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