Courts and Judicial Officers Generally

ORS 1.420

  • hearings
  • consent to discipline
  • recommendation
  • temporary suspension


Upon complaint from any person concerning the conduct of a judge or upon request of the Supreme Court, and after such investigation as the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability considers necessary, the commission may do any of the following:


The commission may hold a hearing pursuant to subsection (3) of this section to inquire into the conduct of the judge.


The commission may request the Supreme Court to appoint three qualified persons to act as masters, to hold a hearing pursuant to subsection (3) of this section and maintain a record on the matter referred to them and to report to the commission on the conduct of the judge.


The commission may allow the judge to execute a consent to censure, suspension or removal. If a consent is entered into under this paragraph, the judge and the commission must enter into a written stipulation of facts. The consent and stipulation of facts shall be submitted by the commission to the Supreme Court.


If the commission receives a complaint that appears to indicate that a judge has a disability as defined in ORS 1.303 (Disability of judge), the commission may refer the complaint to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for appropriate proceedings under ORS 1.303 (Disability of judge).


When a hearing is held by the commission or by masters as authorized in subsection (1) of this section, the hearing shall be public and all the testimony and evidence given and received in the hearing shall be public records. The judge shall have the right to be present at such hearing, to be represented by counsel, to present testimony and evidence and to cross-examine witnesses.


If, after hearing or after considering the record and report of the masters, the commission finds that the conduct of the judge justifies censure, suspension or removal from office, the commission shall recommend to the Supreme Court the censure or suspension or removal of the judge.


The Supreme Court by order may temporarily suspend a judge whose conduct is the subject of proceedings under this section from exercising any judicial functions during the pendency of those proceedings. [1967 c.294 §7; 1971 c.511 §3; 1987 c.520 §5; 1997 c.720 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Since there are no separate grounds for suspension, in recommending suspension the commission must prove the accused was guilty of one of the specific grounds for removal as stated in Article VII (Amended), §8. In re Piper, 271 Or 726, 534 P2d 159 (1975)

Continued work by the accused upon four decedents’ estates over a period of 10 years after becoming a circuit judge did not involve “moral turpitude.” In re Piper, 271 Or 726, 534 P2d 159 (1975)

The words “complaint from any person” in this section did not impose a requirement that there be a formal complaint by some identifiable person or that the accused judge be informed of the identity of any complainant or be provided with a copy of the complaint when the facts were not in dispute. In the Matter of Sawyer, 286 Or 369, 594 P2d 805 (1979)

Commission on Judicial Fitness had jurisdiction to inquire into justice’s alleged failure to abide by Code of Judicial Conduct. In re Fadeley, 310 Or 548, 802 P2d 31 (1990)

Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability lacks authority to hear complaints against municipal judges. State ex rel Kaino v. Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, 335 Or 633, 74 P3d 1080 (2003)


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023