Judicial Misconduct Involving Self-Represented Litigants

Judicial misconduct occurs when a judge acts in ways that are considered unethical or otherwise violate the judge’s obligations of impartial conduct.

Actions that can be classified as judicial misconduct include: conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts; using the judge’s office to obtain special treatment for friends or relatives; accepting bribes, gifts, or other personal favors related to the judicial office; having improper discussions with parties or counsel for one side in a case; treating litigants or attorneys in a demonstrably egregious and hostile manner; violating other specific, mandatory standards of judicial conduct, such as judicial rules of procedure or evidence, or those pertaining to restrictions on outside income and requirements for financial disclosure; and acting outside the jurisdiction of the court, or performance of official duties if the conduct might have a prejudicial effect on the administration of the business of the courts among reasonable people. Rules of official misconduct also include rules concerning disability, which is a temporary or permanent condition rendering judge unable to discharge the duties of the particular judicial office.

The paper below documents judicial misconduct involving self-represented litigants.