Public Decisions Database
This database contains decisions on all public judicial disciplinary cases since the inception of the commission in 1960. Cases not involving public charges or public discipline remain confidential under the California Constitution and the commission’s rules.
Pursuant to amendments to the Constitution, which took effect in March 1995, the commission is authorized to impose all disciplinary sanctions, subject to discretionary review by the Supreme Court. Prior to that, the Supreme Court had the authority to censure or remove judges from office upon recommendation by the commission.
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|First Name||Patrick K.|
|Court Level||Superior Court|
|County/Appellate District||Los Angeles|
|Discipline/Determination||Removal from office|
|Date of Decision||08/15/2001|
|Method of Resolution||Decision|
|Types of Misconduct||Failure to cooperate/lack of candor with regulatory authorities
Miscellaneous off-bench conduct
|Petition For Review||Denied 01/16/2002|
Judge Couwenberg misrepresented his educational background, legal experience and affiliations on personal data questionnaires submitted for judicial appointment and, while seeking a judicial appointment, falsely represented that he was a Vietnam veteran. He falsely represented to the judge who was to introduce him at the public enrobing ceremony that he was a Vietnam veteran who had received a Purple Heart. He also falsely represented to attorneys that he had served in Vietnam, had a master's degree in psychology, and had shrapnel in his groin received in military combat. During the commission’s investigation of his conduct, the judge made false statements about his education and military experience, both in letters and in testimony before the commission.