The first step in the discipline process involves a preliminary inquiry into a complaint by the Board’s staff. During this stage, you or other witnesses may be interviewed and documents other than those provided with your complaint may be reviewed. Once there is sufficient information to conclude the preliminary inquiry, the full Board will review the complaint.
At this stage, the Board is most likely to make one of two choices:
Dismiss the complaint because it is clear that the allegations do not warrant disciplinary action against the accused judge; or
Authorize a full investigation to determine if there is “clear and convincing evidence” of misconduct that warrants disciplinary action against the accused judge
After a full investigation is authorized and conducted, the Board makes one of two choices:
File formal charges against the accused judge upon finding there is probable cause to file formal charges in the Court of Judicial Discipline.
Dismiss the complaint upon finding there is no probable cause to file formal charges in the Court of Judicial Discipline.
Dismiss the complaint when it concludes that while there is probable cause to file formal charges in the Court of Judicial Discipline, considering all facts and circumstances and mitigating factors, including lack of prior disciplinary history, dismissal is an appropriate disposition.