With legislative authorization, the Minnesota Supreme Court has adopted the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Rules of the Board on Judicial Standards. The Code establishes standards for judges’ conduct. The Rules establish procedures for applying the Code. The Rules also restate standards for judges’ conduct that were established by the legislature. Rule 4(a), R. Bd. Jud. Stds. The Rules and Code were most recently amended in 2009.
When the Board deems a judge’s violations of the Code to be very serious, it files a Formal Complaint with the Supreme Court. Rule 8, R. Bd. Jud. Stds. The Court appoints a hearing panel, a public hearing is conducted, and the panel makes findings. Rules 8, 9, 10, 11, R. Bd. Jud. Stds. If the panel recommends that the judge be censured, suspended, or removed, the recommendation is considered by the Court. 11(d), R. Bd. Jud. Stds. After briefs are filed and after oral argument, the court may dismiss the matter or impose a variety of disciplines. Rules 11(b)(3), 14, R. Bd. Jud. Stds.
The first link below is to Minnesota Supreme Court opinions and orders relating to disciplines of judges. All such disciplines that have been published by the Court in the Northwest Reporter are posted here. Such publication has been standard for many years. Some older discipline opinions were public documents, but were not published in this way. When the Board learns of such older decisions, and the operative disciplinary documents are publicly available, the Board posts them on this page.
The second link below is to Minnesota Supreme Court decisions that do not impose discipline, but are informative regarding discipline matters. Such postings include decisions in which a discipline complaint against a judge is dismissed. The Board will also post Supreme Court final orders involving disability and involuntary retirement, but will not post disability retirement decisions made by the Governor. Rules 16, 17, 18, R. Bd. Jud. Stds. Other postings of Court decisions on this page involve procedures in discipline matters.
The third link below is to public documents in disciplinary cases filed in the Minnesota Supreme Court since 2013.