Documents (including complaints) and evidence obtained by the Board are confidential. The Board and its staff will not answer any questions about the existence or status of a complaint. During the preliminary inquiry, the accused judge often does not even know about a pending complaint.
If the Board decides to do a full investigation, the accused judge will be notified and given an opportunity to respond to the charges. It is up to the Board to decide whether or not to identify the complainant to the judge.
Even if the Board discloses no information, the fact that an investigation is going on sometimes becomes known to the public. If this happens, the accused judge can request that the Board issue a statement to confirm an ongoing investigation, clarify the procedural aspects of the proceedings, explain the judge’s right to a fair hearing and provide the judge’s response to the complaint.