JUDICIAL INQUIRY AND REVIEW COMMISSION
P. O. Box 367
Richmond, Virginia 23218-0367
FAX (804) 371-0650
JUDGE JAMES H. FLIPPEN, JR., CHAIRMAN
JUDGE JOSEPH S. TATE, VICE-CHAIRMAN
THEODORE J. CRADDOCK, ESQUIRE
JOHN S. MASSAD
JUDGE WILLIAM T. NEWMAN, JR.
DR. DELORES Z. PRETLOW
DONALD HALL KENT
Dear Mr. Sloan,
I acknowledge receipt of your letter date March 2, 1999.
Chapter 4.1 of Title 2.1 of the Code of Virginia, which establishes the powers and duties of the Commission, provides that the Commission shall investigate charges, which will be the basis for retirement, censure or removal.
The basis for retirement is disability that is or is likely to be permanent and which seriously interferes with the performance of the judge's duties.
The basis for censure or removal of a judge is misconduct in office, persistent failure to perform the duties of the office or engaging in conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice.
The Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission is often erroneously considered to be an appellate or supervisory court when in fact it is an investigatory agency whose powers and responsibilities are limited to those specific items enumerated in the Constitution and the enabling statutes. The Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission investigates complaints against judges for alleged violations of the Canons of Judicial Conduct. This does not include rulings or decisions made by a judge.
After consideration of the contents of your letter, the matters alleged therein do not constitute allegations that would be the basis for retirement, censure or removal of a judge. Therefore, your allegations do not come within the constitutional or statutory purview of the Commission and no further action will be taken by the Commission.
This does not necessarily mean, however, that you are without a remedy. It is not within the purview of this commission to presume to advise you. Such advice is ordinarily obtained from a practicing attorney.