OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Review of Florida's Judicial Qualifications Commission

Report 15-12, December 2015

Report Summary

  • Judges in Florida are subject to investigation and discipline by the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) and the Florida Supreme Court. The vast majority of the complaints received by the JQC are dismissed because they do not allege conduct in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
  • During the last five years, the JQC typically received between 600-700 complaints, with fewer than 5 complaints per year resulting in formal charges against judges. However, the number of complaints received in Fiscal Year 2014-15 was 13% higher than the prior fiscal year and the number of cases in which formal charges were filed doubled.
  • There has also been an increase in the number of cases in which the Supreme Court has rejected the JQC's recommendation for discipline and imposed a more severe sanction.
  • The commission is similar to judicial discipline bodies in other highly populated states. Some differences involve what entity ultimately administers sanctions and the scope of work.
  • The Judicial Qualifications Commission could enhance access to available information on its process and outcomes. In addition, while commission members believe the process generally works well, some possible improvements were suggested.

Related Reports
  1. A Review of Florida Circuit Courts
    Report 15-13 December 2015
  2. Judicial Case Management Practices Vary Throughout State; Better Case Data Needed
    Report 09-06 January 2009
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
Judicial Qualifications Commission, judicial discipline, judicial misconduct, judicial suspension, judicial removal, Florida Supreme Court