Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct Rule 7: Sufficient Cause for Formal Charges
A. Following the expiration of the twenty-one (21) days allowed for the judge's response, for any proceeding not dismissed, the Commission shall thereafter hold a formal meeting which shall be conducted in private, at which the rules of evidence need not be observed. The judge shall have the right to make a personal appearance with his attorney, but not to be present during the Commission deliberations.
B. At this meeting the Commission shall vote to dispose of the case in one of the following ways:
(1) If it finds that there has been no misconduct, the Executive Director shall be instructed to send the judge and the complainant notice of dismissal.
(2) If it finds that there has been misconduct for which a private reprimand constitutes adequate discipline, and if the judge consents, it shall issue the reprimand. The complainant shall be notified that the matter has been so resolved.
(3) If it finds that there has been conduct that is or might be cause for discipline but for which an informal adjustment is appropriate, it may, with the agreement of the judge, so inform or admonish the judge, direct professional counseling or assistance for the judge, or impose conditions on the judge's future conduct. The complainant shall be notified that the matter has been so resolved. When either conditions or treatment is prescribed, the Commission shall provide for supervision, enforcement thereof, or both.
(4) If it finds by a preponderance of the credible evidence that there is sufficient cause to believe that there has been misconduct of a nature requiring a formal disciplinary proceeding, the Commission shall issue formal charges against the judge. A copy of the formal charges shall be served promptly upon the judge, and the judge shall have ten (10) days to respond.
(5) If it finds that there has been conduct that is or might be cause for discipline and for which direct submission to the Supreme Judicial Court is appropriate, it may, with the agreement of the judge, make a direct submission in accordance with Rule 13.
As amended May 8, 2007, effective July 1, 2007