On Thursday, December 15, 2022, the Judicial Council of the Fourth Circuit ruled on the petition for review in relation to a judicial complaint against a district judge of the fourth circuit alleging retaliation and criminal intent. The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of a Judicial Complaint’ with case number #04-22-90201.

The complainant filed several civil actions that were consolidated in the district court and were initially granted by the magistrate judge leave to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP). Thereafter, complainant’s IFP status was revoked by the subject district judge pursuant to the magistrate judge’s proposed findings and recommendation. The revocation of IFP status left debit balances in complainant’s prison account. The district judge further dismissed the consolidated civil actions filed by the complainant.

Complainant then filed a judicial complaint alleging the district judge of misconduct saying that the latter was “delibrately. . . retaliating” against complainant and “trying to abuse the Prison Reform Litigation Reform Act to steal complainant’s funds.” Moreover, complainant’s funds contends that the districty judge wrongfully granted the government’s motion to reconsider.

According to the Chief Judge, the allegations in the misconduct complaint are directly related to the merits of the subject judge’s rulings in the underlying proceedings, and that mere speculation and bald allegations of retaliation and criminal intent lack sufficient evidence to raise an inference that misconduct has occurred.

Complainant was further advised that the filing of repetitive, harassing or frivolous complaints may lead to the imposition of restrictions on the filing of future compliants.

Correspondingly, the Chief Judge dismissed the complaint. The dismissal of the complaint was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 352(b)(1)(A)(ii),(iii), which provides:

After expeditiously reviewing a complaint under subsection the chief judge, by written order stating his or her reasons, may dismiss the complaint if the chief judge finds the complaint to be directly related to the merits of a decision or procedural ruling, or frivolous, lacking sufficient evidence to raise an inference that misconduct has occurred, or containing allegations which are incapable of being established through investigation

Based on the foregoing, the Judicial Council of the Fourth Circuit denied the subject petition for review upon consideration of the judicial complaint, the record materials, the memorandum and order, and the petition.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.