File a Complaint

If you believe a judge has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, you may file a complaint with the Board of Judicial Conduct. Before filing a complaint, please review the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the complaint process and what the Board of Judicial Conduct may consider.

To file a complaint, you must fill out a complaint form. The form must be typed or legibly hand-printed, dated and signed before a notary public. Once you have completed the form, mail it to the following address:

Tim Discenza, Disciplinary Counsel
Board of Judicial Conduct
P.O. Box 50356
Nashville, TN 37205

By law, all complaints filed with the Board of Judicial Conduct are confidential and privileged during the preliminary investigation stage.

What Happens With Your Complaint

The disciplinary counsel will review your complaint and send it to a three member investigative panel to determine whether or not to investigate it further. If the complaint does not include facts which show grounds for judicial misconduct, the investigative panel will dismiss the complaint and notify you and the judge of the dismissal.

If the complaint contains information about a judge that sets out facts which, if true, indicate judicial misconduct, the disciplinary counsel will conduct a preliminary investigation. If evidence exists supporting the allegations, the investigative panel may authorize a full investigation, in which the judge will be required to respond in writing.

Once the full investigation is completed, the investigative panel may dismiss the case; recommend a disciplinary action, such as a private or public reprimand or censure, a deferred discipline agreement with the judge (waiting to see if the judge corrects the behavior or fulfills certain requirements placed on the judge); refer the case to another agency such as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; or file formal, public charges against the judge.

If the panel directs the disciplinary counsel to file formal charges, a public trial may be held in front of a hearing panel, which consists of six other members of the Board of Judicial Conduct who were not on the investigative panel. It is only when formal charges are filed that the matter becomes public.