Supreme Court Censures Justice Rivera-Soto

By order dated July 20, 2007, the New Jersey Supreme Court has formally censured Associate Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto for having committed numerous violations of the New Jersey Code of Judicial Conduct. The Court rendered its decision based upon unanimous factual findings by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) which were not contested by Justice Rivera-Soto. Moreover, Justice Rivera-Soto waived his right to a hearing before the ACJC and the Supreme Court.

A censure is considered to be a harsher form of judicial discipline that an admonition or a reprimand. Typically, the next level of judicial discipline would entail a suspension from judicial office without pay. Justice Rivera-Soto becomes the third Justice to be subject to discipline by the Supreme Court under the Constitution of 1947. Prior discipline was imposed on Associate Justice Robert Clifford in 1990 (censure as a result of a drunk driving conviction) and the late Chief Justice Robert Wilentz (failure to reside in New Jersey).

Download a copy of the Supreme Court’s disciplinary order.

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