Active & Former Judges – Statistics

New Complaints

In 2023, the commission considered 1,570 new complaints about active and former California judges. The 1,570 complaints named 1,005 judges (a total of 1,072 different judges).

2023 Caseload – Active & Former Judges

  • Cases Pending 1/1/23162
  • New Complaints Considered1,570
  • Cases Concluded1,533
  • Cases Pending 12/31/23131

Discrepancies in totals are due to consolidated complaints/dispositions.


Staff Inquiries and Preliminary Investigations

In 2023, the commission ordered 153 preliminary investigations.

Formal Proceedings

At the beginning of 2023, there was one formal proceeding pending before the commission, which remained pending.

Formal Proceedings

  • Pending 1/1/231
  • 1Commenced in 2023
  • 0Concluded in 2023
  • Pending 12/31/231


Deferral of Investigation

The commission may defer an investigation under certain circumstances. At the beginning of 2023, 46 pending matters had been deferred. The commission ordered 28 matters deferred during 2023. Twenty-one matters were returned to the commission’s active calendar, considered, and concluded by the commission in 2023. Sixteen matters were returned to the active calendar and remained pending before the commission at the end of 2023. Forty matters remained deferred at the end of the year.

Reasons Investigations were deferred in 2023

  • Deferred pending resolution of underlying case20
  • Deferred pending appeal or other review5
  • Deferred pending civil, criminal or
  • administrative investigation or proceeding40
  • Deferred pending rule 112 monitoring0
  • Deferred pending mentoring34


Complaint Dispositions

The following case disposition statistics are based on cases completed by the commission in 2023, regardless of when the complaints were received. (Staff inquiries and preliminary investigations in the cases closed in 2023 may have commenced in prior years. Cases or portions of cases that were pending at the end of 2023 are not included in complaint disposition statistics for 2023.)

In 2023, the commission concluded a total of 1,533 cases. The average time period from the filing of a complaint to the disposition was 4.14 months. See chart of Complaint Dispositions for all cases completed by the commission in 2023.

Type of Court Case Underlying Complaints
Concluded in 2023

  • Criminal31%
  • Family Law22%
  • General Civil29%
  • Small Claims/Traffic6%
  • All Others9%

3% of the complaints did not arise out of court cases. These complaints concerned off-bench conduct, such as the handling of court administration and political activity.


Source of Complaints Concluded in 2023

  • Litigant/Family/Friend88%
  • Attorney5%
  • Judge/Court Staff2%
  • All Other Complainants3%
  • (including members of the public)
  • Source Other than Complaint2%
  • (includes anonymous letters, news reports)


Cases Closed Without Discipline

In 2023, after obtaining the information necessary to evaluate the complaints, the commission determined that there was not a sufficient showing of misconduct in 1,423 of the complaints. In other words, there was an absence of facts which, if true and not otherwise explained, might constitute misconduct. A substantial percentage alleged legal error not involving misconduct or expressed dissatisfaction with a judge’s decision. The commission closed these complaints without staff inquiry or preliminary investigation.

Following staff inquiry or preliminary investigation, the commission closed another 75 matters without discipline. In these cases, investigation showed that the allegations were unfounded or unprovable, or the judge gave an adequate explanation of the situation.

Cases Closed With Discipline

In 2023, the commission publicly censured two judges, and imposed three public admonishments. The commission also issued 10 private admonishments and 19 advisory letters. See Public Discipline & Decisions and Private Discipline Summaries. Discipline has been categorized according to the Types of Misconduct. A chart of the Types of Conduct Resulting in Discipline indicates the number of times specific types of misconduct resulted in discipline in 2023.

Resignations and Retirements

The Constitution authorizes the commission to continue proceedings after a judge retires or resigns and, if warranted, to impose discipline upon the former judge. When a judge resigns or retires during proceedings, the commission determines whether to continue or close the case and, if the case is closed, whether to refer the matter to another entity such as the State Bar. In 2023, the commission closed one matter without discipline when the judge resigned or retired with an investigation pending.

10-Year Summary of Commission Activity

The 10-Year Summary of Commission Activity chart provides statistics on case actions by the commission over the last 10 years.