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Is Something Wrong With Georgia Judges or the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission?

By August 20, 2010

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An article in Law.com about the activities of the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) raises the question of "What's Behind the Flurry of Judicial Resignations in Georgia?"

Since April of 2008, at least 21 Georgia judges have been disciplined by the JQC or have resigned from their judgeships due to allegations of misconduct. JQC investigations are almost completely secret, and people who file a complaint with the JQC can be held in contempt of court for speaking publicly about the matter before the investigation is completed. Those judges who face serious disciplinary charges are given the opportunity to resign rather than face public charges, preserving confidentiality over the allegations against them - and most judges facing serious charges seem to be opting for the confidential quiet exit.

While some are praising the system as providing an efficient and cost-effective way of getting rid of problem judges, others complain that allowing judges to resign to avoid letting the public know what happened is a bad way to manage government. Others complain that the prohibition on speaking publicly about charges that have been brought against a Georgia judge constitutes an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech.

The article on Georgia's JQC is a must-read for anyone interested in holding judges accountable for their misconduct on the bench, whether it is in Georgia or any other location. To read the article, click here. How does the system work in your state? As an attorney, do you believe you have any real way to challenge judicial misconduct? Have you witnessed judges abusing the system without facing any consequences? Share your stories in the comments section below, or start a discussion thread in our new Forum.

Comments

March 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm
(1) Marie Antoinette says:

I reported a Fulton County Magistrate Court judge after he awarded a judgment to a con artist landlord who rented a property to me that was in foreclosure and severely delinquent in monthly HOA fees. We had vacated the property prior to the 8/31 court date and took the foreclosure docs and the assignment of rent from the HOA to court as proof of everything. Judge Levenson never even looked at the docs and took only the word of the con artist landlord. My appeal was illegally dismissed and in spite of numerous attempts to have it reinstated, it wasn’t done so until I filed the complaint with the GAJQC and they investigated the situation. There is much more detail to this situation that I would like to share with you. The guy we rented from is a career criminal and I suspect he has ‘assistance’ from people in high places within Fulton County government.

November 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm
(2) clcrss says:

Hi Marie A. …. I would love to talk with you more about what happened. I may be able to help …. clcs

December 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(3) Ted says:

I have been falsely accused of owing money to a lawyer in brunswick Ga, and his lawfirm along with Camden county court put a judgement against me when they owe me the money, but because the lawyers know the appropriate forms to fill out they seem to be getting away with it, being it is on my credit report.
and I see that there is a superior court judge accused of favoritism, and along with 14 other charges all over a drug rehab case. I have notice that the lawyers in Georgia are making all sorts of accusations and winning cases, on nothing more than hearsay..I have paper proof..

January 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm
(4) Nacy Whiley says:

Can a chief municipal court judge continue to practice law in the state of Georgia?

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