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NCJ Number: 63315 Find in a Library
Title: LIMITED DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF JUDGES IN DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
Journal: JUDICATURE  Volume:63  Issue:5  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1979)  Pages:232-243
Author(s): R G COHN
Corporate Author: American Judicature Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: American Judicature Soc
Chicago, IL 60601-7401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS ISSUES EVOKED BY THE STATES' JUDICIAL DISCIPLINARY COMMISSIONS ARE EXAMINED AS THEY APPLY TO JUDGES ACCUSED OF MISCONDUCT.
Abstract: BECAUSE THE JUDICIAL DISCIPLINARY SYSTEMS ADOPTED BY MOST STATES ARE UNHAMPERED BY PAST CONSTRAINTS OF JUDICIAL IMMUNITY, AND BECAUSE THEY PERMIT A RANGE OF PENALTIES LESS SEVERE THAN REMOVAL BY IMPEACHMENT, THE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS AGAINST JUDGES HAS INCREASED. THE CONSTITUTIONS OR RULES OF SEVERAL STATES PROVIDE JUDGES WITH THE BASIC DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF NOTICE AND ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING PRIOR TO A DISCIPLINARY DETERMINATION. JUDGES HAVE THE 'CLAIM OF ENTITLEMENT' TO OFFICE WHICH CONSTITUTES A PROPERTY INTEREST WITHIN THE PROTECTION OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT. HOWEVER, JUDGES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ALL THE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS DURING THE LIMITED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS OF A DISCIPLINARY ACTION. BECAUSE THE PROCEEDINGS DO NOT CARRY THE POSSIBILITY OF IMPRISONMENT OR FINE, THE STANDARDS WHICH STATES USE TO DEFINE JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT MAY BE VAGUE WITHOUT BEING UNCONSTITUTIONAL. DECISIONS OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT SUPPORT THE INVESTIGATIONS BY STATE COMMISSIONS WHICH DO NOT FOLLOW 'ADJUDICATORY PROCEDURES.' ALTHOUGH THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION'S STANDARDS WOULD EXTEND DUE PROCESS PROTECTIONS TO REQUIRING THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF INVESTIGATIONS OF JUDGES, THE STANDARDS LACK CLARITY CONCERNING THE OBJECTIVE OF THE SECRECY. COURTS HAVE GIVEN JUDGES LIMITED DISCOVERY RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION IN ORDER TO BALANCE PERSONAL ENTITLEMENTS AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Administrative adjudication; Administrative hearings; American Bar Association (ABA); Judicial conduct and ethics; Right to Due Process; State Judicial Conduct Commissions
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