On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, the Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit ruled on the complainant’s petition for review of the memorandum and order entered by Chief Judge Diane Sykes on June 28, 2022, dismissing a complaint for judicial misconduct charges against a federal judge.

The case is styled as ‘In Re Complaint Against a Judge’ with case No.07-22-90037.

The complainant filed two complaints in two months against the federal judge. The first complaint alleged that the judge was unable to perform the duties of his office due to physical and mental disability and sought to have his cases reassigned. Chief Judge Diane Sykes concluded the first complaint as already moot because the judge’s announcement of his retirement from the bench effective September 1, 2022, automatically reassigned all of his cases to other judges constituted as intervening events. 

Judge Sykes’ concluded the complaint pursuant to 28U.S.C.§352(b)(2) (the chief judge may conclude the proceeding if “action on the complaint is no longer necessary because of intervening events”); and the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings 11(e) (“The chief judge may conclude a complaint proceeding in whole or in part upon determining that intervening events render some or all of the allegations moot….).

The second complaint makes the same factual allegations as in the first complaint but requests different relief, including an investigation and an order vacating the judge’s rulings. Again,  Judge Sykes dismissed the same in its Memorandum and Order, stating among others:

“Nothing in this second complaint requires further investigation or inquiry. The judge’s cases have been reassigned. He is no longer performing judicial work and will retire on September 1. To the extent that the complainant questions the judge’s rulings in other parties’ cases and asks for an order vacating those decisions, his complaint is both merits related and improper.”

28 U.S.C. § 352 (b) (1) (A) (ii), states:

“Any allegation that calls into question the correctness of an official action of a judge…is merits related” and must be dismissed.

The dispositive portion of Judge Skyes’ Memorandum and Order, reads:

“For the foregoing reasons, the complaint is dismissed pursuant to § 352 (b) (1) (A) (ii). The complainant may petition the Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit for review of this order in accordance with Rule 18 (b) of the Rules for Judicial‐Conduct and Judicial‐Disability Proceedings. 28U.S.C.§352(c);. . .  A petition for review must be filed in the clerk’s office of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit not later than 42 days of the date of this order.”

The Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit, on its Order dated September 7, 2022, decreed:

“Having considered the relevant materials, the Judicial Council denies the petition for review and affirms Chief Judge Sykes’s memorandum and order.”  

Stating further:

“This is the final decision. The complainant is not entitled to any further review.”

A copy of the original filing can be found here.