Judicial Inquiries

Whom do I contact about concerns with the action of a judge?

You should contact the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission, which is an independent state agency created by the Constitution of Virginia to investigate charges of judicial misconduct or serious mental or physical disability. The Commission investigates complaints of misconduct against all state court judges, members of the State Corporation Commission, and members of the Workers Compensation Commission.

The Commission has seven members consisting of three judges, two lawyers, and two citizen members who are not lawyers. The members are elected by the Virginia General Assembly for four-year terms.  Please visit the JIRC Web site for more information.  You can write to the JIRC at PO Box 367, Richmond, Virginia, 23218 or call at 804-786-6636.

Whom do I contact about having my rights restored or receiving a pardon?

According to the Constitution of Virginia, all clemency authority is vested solely in the Governor.  However, petitions for the restoration of rights and pardons are first processed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, a member of the Governor’s cabinet.  Files are reviewed in the order in which completed applications are received and the petitioner is notified by mail as to whether the petition has been granted or denied by the Governor.

Please remember that clemency is not guaranteed, and if a petition is denied, the petitioner has no right of appeal.  Visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Clemency pages or call 804-786-2441 for more information.

Whom do I contact if I’ve been wrongfully convicted of a crime?

Due to the separation of powers, the Governor does not have the authority to overrule a conviction ruling by the court.  This responsibility falls under the Supreme Court of Virginia.  If you have firm proof that wrongdoings occurred during prosecution, you should present that proof through the auspices of a qualified lawyer to the court for its review and consideration.

If you do not have legal counsel to represent you, please contact the Virginia State Bar lawyer referral hotline at 800-552-7977 or your local Legal Aid office.

Whom do I contact with complaints about representation by a Virginia lawyer?

The Governor does not have administrative authority over lawyers practicing in Virginia.  To file complaints about representation provided by a Virginia lawyer, please call the Virginia State Bar at 804-775-0564 or explore the disciplinary pages on the VSB Web site.

Are there resources available to assist me after I’ve been convicted of a crime?

There are several available resources to assist you after you have been convicted of a crime:

How do I file a complaint against the parole board?

The Virginia Parole Board is the sole paroling authority for felony offenders and also provides recommendations to the Governor on clemency matters.  If you have a concern or grievance that you wish to express, contact the Parole Board:

Virginia Parole Board
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, Virginia 23225
804-674-3081

How do I file a grievance against the Virginia Department of Corrections?

The Special Investigations Unit of the Office of the Inspector General (also within the Dep't of Corrections) is responsible for conducting investigations of all felony and misdemeanor violations of law committed in and against the DOC; and serious allegations of staff/employee misconduct and administrative violations.

If you have a concern or grievance that you wish to express, contact the Office as per the information provided below::

Office of the Inspector General
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, Virginia 23225
804-674-3081

Can you give me advice about my legal problem?

The Governor is not able to provide legal advice.  To find a Virginia lawyer, contact the Virginia State Bar lawyer referral hotline at 800-552-7977 or contact your local Legal Aid office.