About Judicial Standards Commission

Established in 1973 to consider complaints against judges of the state’s General Court of Justice.

The North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission was established in 1973 to consider complaints against judges of the state’s General Court of Justice and, where appropriate, to make recommendations for discipline for the following:

  • District court judges
  • Superior court judges
  • Appellate court judges and justices

The offices of commissioner and deputy commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission are also under the jurisdiction of the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission.

The Commission is not authorized to consider complaints against:

  • Administrative law judges
  • Clerks of court
  • Court employees or personnel
  • District attorneys
  • Federal judges
  • Magistrates
  • Private attorneys

ProcessThe Commission is authorized to receive written complaints from citizens concerned with misconduct or disability of a judge and to investigate those complaints. After a complaint has been investigated and the judge has been given a due process hearing, the Commission may recommend to the Supreme Court of North Carolina that the judge be disciplined.

Based on the Commission's recommendation, the Supreme Court may remove a judge for mental or physical incapacity interfering with performance of duties when the incapacity is, or is likely to become, permanent.

The CommissionThe 13-member Commission is composed of:

  • Five judges appointed by the Chief Justice
    • One Court of Appeals judge
    • Two Superior Court judges
    • Two District Court judges
  • Four attorneys appointed by the North Carolina State Bar Council
  • Four citizen members who are not judges or lawyers 
    • Two appointed by the Governor
    • Two appointed by the General Assembly: one upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and one upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Term of ServiceMembers serve a six-year term with the exception of the Court of Appeals judge who operates as chair of the Commission and serves at the pleasure of the Chief Justice.

See the Judicial Standards Commission Fact Sheet