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In 1966, the Commission on Judicial Disabilities was established by constitutional amendment (Chapter 773, Acts of 1965, ratified Nov. 8, 1966; Const., Art. IV, sec. 4A).

The Commission receives and investigates written complaints of sanctionable conduct or disability against Maryland judges. Complaint forms are available on the Commission website or may be obtained by calling the Commission office. The Commission is authorized to dismiss complaints if after an investigation, it determines that the evidence does not support the complaint or if the conduct is unlikely to be repeated. With the judges' consent, the Commission may issue warnings or private reprimands, and enter into deferred discipline agreements with accused judges stipulating corrective or remedial action to be satisfied.

To determine whether to initiate formal proceedings, the Commission conducts a preliminary investigation after which a hearing may be held regarding a judge's alleged misconduct or disability. If, as a result of these hearings, the Commission, by majority vote, decides that a judge should be retired, removed, censured, or publicly reprimanded, it recommends that course of action to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals may order a more severe discipline of the judge than the Commission recommends. The Commission also supplies judicial nominating commissions with confidential information on reprimands to or charges pending against judges seeking nomination to judicial offices (Maryland Rules 16-803 through 16-811).

With Senate advice and consent, the Governor appoints the Commission's eleven members to four-year terms (Code Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, secs. 13-401 through 13-403; Maryland Rule 16-804).

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2015

July 1, 2015

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