Introduction

Welcome to the official web site of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

This web site contains information on the Commission's authority and jurisdiction, its history and procedures, its recent decisions and other material related to the field of judicial ethics and professional discipline.

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New and Noteworthy

Matter of Robert P. Merino

The Commission determined that Niagara Falls City Court Judge Robert P. Merino (Niagara County) should be admonished. The Commission's determination dated October 2, 2014, is available at Merino Decision. An accompanying press release is available at 2014 Releases.

Matter of Barry Kamins

The Commission released a decision dated September 29, 2014, closing its investigation of a complaint against Supreme Court Justice Barry Kamins, who agreed in a stipulation with the Commission's Administrator to vacate his judicial office. The decision is available at Kamins Decision. An accompanying press release is available at 2014 Releases.

Matter of William E. Montgomery

The Commission released a decision dated September 22, 2014, accepting the resignation of Colden Town Court Justice William E. Montgomery (Erie County). The decision is available at Montgomery Decision. An accompanying press release is available at 2014 Releases.

Matter of Domenick J. Porco

The Commission released a decision dated September 18, 2014, accepting the resignation of Eastchester Town Court Justice Domenick J. Porco (Westchester County). The decision is available at Porco Decision. An accompanying press release is available at 2014 Releases.

Matter of Cathryn M. Doyle

The New York State Court of Appeals has accepted the Commission's Determination that Albany County Surrogate's Court Judge Cathryn M. Doyle should be removed from office.

The Court's decision was issued on June 26, 2014, and is available at Court of Appeals Decision. The Commission's Determination is available at Doyle Decision.

Oral Argument was held before the Court on June 5, 2014. The Court's webcast of the argument is available at COA Webcast Archive -- No. 106 on June 5.

Court of Appeals Decision Dismissing Challenge to Commission

The New York State Court of Appeals issued a decision dated June 10, 2014, in the Matter of New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct v. Seth Rubenstein, affirming the Commission's decades-old access to court records that are sealed pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.50.  The Court held that the Commission is entitled to any such records that are "reasonably related" to an investigation, because Judiciary Law Section 42(3) authorizes the Commission to "request and receive from any court, department, division, board, bureau, commission, or other agency of the state or political subdivision thereof or any public authority such assistance, information and data as will enable it properly to carry out its functions, powers and duties." The Court’s decision is available at Rubenstein Case

 

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The Commission's Mandate and History

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is the state agency responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct against judges of the state unified court system and, where appropriate, determining to admonish, censure or remove from office those judges found to have engaged in unethical behavior.  All determinations are subject to review in the Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court.For a fuller description of the Commission's mandate and history, please refer to the section on Mandate & History in the General Information page of this web site.

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Commission Profile

There are 11 Commission members, each serving a term of four years.  The Governor appoints four members, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals appoints three, and each of the four leaders of the State Legislature appoints one.  The members serve part-time, without compensation.  The Commission elects one of its members to serve as chair.The Commission appoints an Administrator and Counsel, who serves full-time and hires and directs the staff.  The Commission's offices are located in New York City, Albany and Rochester.In addition, the Commission is assisted by a lawyer who is the Clerk of the Commission. A listing of Commission Members and Staff,and selected biographies, are located in the General Information section of this web site.

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Contact Information

The best way to communicate with us is by letter, particularly if your purpose is to make a complaint against a judge.  (See the page within in this web site on Filing a Complaint.)  You may also contact us by fax or e-mail, as indicated below; but please note that, by law, all complaints must be in writing and signed.  Communications regarding complaints should be sent in writing to one of the postal addresses below. Because the Commission members decide whether to investigate a complaint, the Commission staff is not permitted to advise complainants or potential complainants whether their complaints would be investigated.

Postal Addresses
61 Broadway, Suite 1200 ♦ New York, New York 10006 (Principal Office)
          Corning Tower, Suite 2301 ♦ Empire State Plaza ♦ Albany, New York 12223
400 Andrews Street, Suite 700 ♦ Rochester, New York 14604
 
Telephone
646-386-4800  (New York City)
          518-453-4600  (Albany)
585-784-4141  (Rochester)
Fax
646-458-0037  (New York City)
          518-486-1850  (Albany)
585-232-7834 (Rochester)
Email the Commission:

General Inquiries: cjc@cjc.ny.gov

Comments Regarding Pending Rules Changes: rulemaking@cjc.ny.gov

For information on public records, go to Public Records on this website.

 

Useful Links:

 

New York State Government

New York State Court System

Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics

Judicial Campaign Ethics Center

Joint Commission on Public Ethics

Court System's Ethics Commission

New York State Judicial Institute

Committee on Open Government

New York Codes, Rules and Regulations