On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, the Judicial Council of the Second Circuit ruled on the petition for review in relation to a judicial complaint against a district judge of the second circuit alleging misconduct. The case is styled as ‘In Re: Charge of Judicial Misconduct’ with case number #21-90054-jm.

The complainant, pro se, filed a “verified complaint for freeze forfeiture”, naming two bank accounts as defendants, and appearing to seek to take possession of certain funds that had been paid to a mortgage servicing company. He filed two motions, namely, “record of expedition application” and “leave to file freeze forfeiture”, on the same day. Two days later, the complained judge sua sponte dismissed the complaint as frivolous and terminated the complainant’s two motions.

The complainant appears to allege that the Judge was not impartial and abusively treated him and also erred in dismissing his complaint.

According to the Chief Judge, the allegations in the misconduct complaint are difficult to discern and appear to contain no specific claims of judicial misconduct. Also, the supplemental complaint is also largely unintelligible and does not contain any specific allegations about the Judge. Moreover, the claims that the Judge was not impartial and treated the Complainant in an abusive manner by dismissing his complaint are derivative of the merits. Finally, the complaint cites no evidence of partiality or abusive mistreatment apart from the Judge’s decision to dismiss the complaint, but a decision for or against a party, without more, is not evidence of bias or abusive misconduct

Correspondingly, the chief judge dismissed the complaint.

The dismissal of the complaint was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 352(b)(1)(A)(ii); Rule 4(b)(1) and Rule 11(c)(1)(d) which state:

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.

Cognizable misconduct does not include an allegation that calls into question the correctness of a judge’s ruling, including a failure to recuse.

A complaint may be dismissed in whole or in part to the extent that the chief judge concludes that the complaint is based on allegations lacking sufficient evidence to raise an inference that misconduct has occurred or that a disability exists.

Accordingly, the Judicial Council of the Second Circuit, upon consideration of the complaint, the supplemental complaint, the petition for review, and the supplement papers submitted, denied the petition for the reason stated in the June 30, 2022 order. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.