The Judicial Qualifications Commission was created by Constitutional Amendment in 1972, and amended in 2016, to conduct investigations and hearings with respect to complaints of misconduct by Georgia judges, and is also authorized to issue opinions regarding appropriate judicial conduct. The Commission operates under rules established by the Supreme Court.
Complaints must be based on violations of one of the four Canons of judicial conduct.
Anyone may file a complaint with the Judicial Qualifications Commission by obtaining the complaint form at the bottom of this page. The complaint, which must be in writing with an original signature, must be received by the Commission staff before any action or investigation may begin. The complaint must state facts that substantiate the alleged misconduct. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Director may authorize a preliminary inquiry. After an analysis, the complaint and additional relevant information are sent to each Commission member to review prior to its monthly meeting. The members will discuss and determine the appropriate action, which may include the following:
Depending upon the outcome of the investigation the Commission may take the following action:
Judicial misconduct is a violation of the Judicial Code of Conduct. This site contains Canons and rules intended to state basic standards which serve to govern the conduct of, and provide guidance to judges at all levels. Common violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
Judicial conduct does not include:
Alcohol or drug abuse by a judicial officer may suggest a possible impairment in the performance of judicial duties. In the absence of associated judicial misconduct the Commission would initially pursue such matters with a view toward medical intervention. If it appears that instances of misconduct resulted from alcohol or drug abuse, the Commission would emphasize medical treatment while mindful of its public responsibility to charge and prosecute aberrant conduct.
In the event of a complaint of physical or mental incapacity of a judge, the Commission would proceed with sensitivity into the investigation being fully cognizant of the many years of able service to the State the judge may have given. Most judges who have become disabled retire without any action on the part of the Commission. In other cases, the filing of a complaint alleging incapacity may lead to a voluntary resignation or retirement by the judge.