On Monday, October 3, 2022, the Judicial Council of the Eighth Circuit ruled on the petition for review in relation to a judicial complaint against a United States circuit judge, four United States district judges, and a United States bankruptcy judge.

According to the complaint, the circuit judge, three of the district judges, and the bankruptcy judge dismissed the unnamed complainant’s complaint and thereby “depriv[ed] [the complainant] based on his color and race [of] equal protection.” Specifically, the judicial complaint provides that “{w]hen those judges dismissed the complaint they allowed a void judgment[] to remain valid for four (4) years, thus denying [c]omplainant of equal protection.”

The complaint further states that the fourth district judge “is bound by the decision of [a state supreme court].” The complaint alleged that the “[flederal [judges are aware” of the state’s concession “in a habeas corpus proceeding [of] two (2) jurisdictional defects.”

On July 20, 2022, Lavenski R. Smith, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, dismissed the complaint as “frivolous” and “lacking sufficient evidence to raise an inference that misconduct has occurred.”

Judge Smith stated:

“I have reviewed the record of the federal cases identified in the judicial complaint. The fourth district judge dismissed for lack of jurisdiction the complainant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and denied other motions that the complainant has filed in the action following the dismissal. The circuit judge was assigned to a three-judge panel that adjudicated an the complainant’s appeal of another case. The other named federal judges have never served on any case involving the complainant.

To the extent the judicial complaint’s allegations challenge (1) the fourth district judge’s dismissal of the complainant’s case or denial of the complainant’s motions, and (2) the circuit judge’s actions on appeal, they must be dismissed as “directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling.”

In its order, the Judicial Council said that the petition for review has been referred to the Council’s Review Panel, which voted to deny the petition for the reasons stated in Chief Judge Smith’s order of dismissal.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.