When to File a Complaint of Judicial Misconduct or Disability

CAUTION: If you file a judicial misconduct complaint against a federal judge who does NOT preside in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, your complaint WILL be dismissed per RJCP 11(c)(1)(F).
Judicial misconduct complaints MUST be filed in the appropriate circuit.

Congress has created a procedure that permits any person to file a complaint in the courts about the behavior of federal judges, but not about the decisions federal judges make in deciding cases. Pursuant to Rule 40.3 of the Rules of the United States Court of Federal Claims, complaints may be filed against "any judge of the court who has:

  1. engaged in conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the court; or
  2. is unable to discharge all duties of the office by reason of mental or physical disability."

Rule 40.3 specifies that such complaints are governed by the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial- Disability Proceedings.

Almost all complaints filed in this court in recent years have been dismissed because they do not follow the law regarding such complaints. If your complaint falls within any of the categories listed below, it must be dismissed:

  1. complaints about judges' decisions;
  2. complaints with no evidence to support them; or
  3. complaints against judges sitting on courts other than the United States Court of Federal Claims.

If you are a litigant in a case before this court and believe the judge made a wrong decision—regarding either the facts of the case or the litigation procedure—you may not use the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings to complain about the decision. An attorney can explain the rights you have as a litigant to seek review of a judicial decision. Litigants wishing to complain about judges sitting in other federal or state courts should contact those courts for more information about the complaint procedures in those courts.

For general information and instructions regarding the filing of complaints against judges within the United States Court of Federal Claims, please review the Guidance on Filing a Complaint of Judicial Misconduct or Disability (Updated Guidance Coming Soon). To begin the complaint process, please complete the Form for Complaint of Judicial Misconduct or Disability.