The Judicial Council for the Fifth Circuit dismissed a complaint, with case nos. 05-22-90114 and 05-22-90115, filed against an unnamed United States District Judge and United States Magistrate Judge.

The complainant, a state prisoner, alleged that both the judge and the magistrate judge neglected to address five cases under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and that the cases are yet to be heard since they were filed in April 2022.

According to the complainant, both judges allowed the consolidated proceeding under 28 U.S.C. §2254 to be fined under an incorrect case name.

The filing states:

“In May 2022, complainant filed three 28 U.S.C. §2254 petitions challenging several state court convictions and the revocation of his probation. The magistrate judge promptly ordered that the cases be consolidated. Complainant notified the court that the Respondent named in the case caption was incorrect and he asked the court to correct the error. In an order denying complainant’s motions to appoint counsel and for a hearing, the magistrate judge also explained that complainant’s consolidated claim were properly classified as actions under 28 U.S.C. §2254 and the proper Respondent was the director of the penal institution who currently has custody of complainant.”

The Court ruled that an allegation regarding a delay in rendering a decision or ruling is not considered misconduct unless there is an accusation of an improper motive or a pattern of habitual delay. Since the complainant does not allege the former and there is no evidence of the latter, the complaint is eligible for dismissal.

The Court emphasized and underscored the principle that judicial misconduct proceedings should not be regarded either as a substitute for the regular appellate review process or as a means to seek the reversal of a decision or to obtain a new trial.

In dismissing the complaint, the Court based the dismissal under 28 U.S.C. 352(b)(1)(A)(ii) as the allegation relates directly to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.