Alabama does not follow the modern trend of encouraging confidential complaints against judges. To file a complaint against a judge in Alabama, you must file your complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama. It is important to note that unlike most states, in Alabama the judge you filed your complaint against will be notified of the complaint, will be informed of your identity and be allowed to examine the evidence and witnesses you present.
Draft your complaint. The Judicial Inquiry Commission provides a form which allows you to enter a narrative on your complaint for filing purposes. You must provide specifics and details about the judge, the events surrounding your complaint, and what exactly was the offending act or actions of the judge. Be sure to date and if possible, estimate the time of the events and circumstances in your complaint. The Commission has the discretion to dismiss a complaint which presents no likelihood of obtaining reliable or credible evidence, so failure to provide specifics can be fatal to your complaint.
Notarize and sign your complaint, then submit the complaint to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama. The Commission will investigate your allegations. You may be contacted by an investigator which is tasked from the Alabama Attorney General if the case requires additional investigative help.
Await a letter of final decision from the Commission regarding the result of the investigation into the allegations contained in your complaint. You will be informed whether the matter has been dismissed, or whether it has been referred to the Court of the Judiciary, which is the body which handles enforcement of judicial misconduct charges.
You can call the Judicial Inquiry Commission directly at 334-242-4089 with any questions.
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