Grievances Against Judges and Magistrates
The information below is general in nature and is not intended to give specific advice for an individual legal problem. The Toledo Bar Association, as an organization, does not represent you and cannot provide you with legal advice. If you need legal advice or representation, please contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the TBA.
What Rules Do Ohio Judges and Magistrates Have to Follow?
All Ohio judges and magistrates take an oath to fairly and impartially perform their duties. The Supreme Court of Ohio regulates the conduct of judges and magistrates through the Code of Judicial Conduct. Ohio judges and magistrates must obey their oaths of office and the rules outlined in the Code. The Code includes ethical standards that each judge and magistrate must follow.
For example, an Ohio judge or magistrate is required to:
- avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety
- uphold the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary
- perform judicial duties impartially, competently, and diligently
- avoid engaging in extra-judicial activities that conflict with the obligations of judicial office
- avoid engaging in political conduct that is inconsistent with judicial independence, integrity, or impartiality
May I File a Grievance?
If you have a grievance against an Ohio judge or magistrate for violating a rule of judicial conduct, you may report it for investigation. When you file a written grievance, an investigation is made to determine if the judge or magistrate did or did not violate the ethical rules.
Where Do I File a Grievance?
A grievance against a judge or a magistrate must be in writing and can only be filed with either of the following organizations:
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
250 Civic Center Drive, Ste. 325
Columbus, Ohio 43215-7411
Tel. 614-461-0256 or 800-589-5256
Ohio State Bar Association
1700 Lake Shore Drive
P.O. Box 16562
Columbus, OH 43216-6562
Tel. 614-487-2050 or 800-282-6556
Should I File More Than One Grievance?
A grievance should be filed with only one office. A grievance against a judge or magistrate should be filed with either the Office of Disciplinary Counsel or the Ohio State Bar Association, but not with both.