Rule 11-203. Senior justice court judges.

Intent:

To establish the qualifications, term, authority, appointment and assignment for senior justice court judges.

Applicability:

This rule shall apply to judges of courts not of record.

Statement of the Rule:

(1) Qualifications.

(1)(A) A judge may apply to become a senior justice court judge, on either inactive or active status.

(1)(B) Inactive Senior Justice Court Judge. To be an inactive senior justice court judge, a judge shall:

(1)(B)(i) have been retained in the last election for which the judge stood for election;

(1)(B)(ii) have voluntarily resigned from judicial office, been laid off pursuant to a reduction in force, retired upon reaching the mandatory retirement age, or, if involuntarily retired due to disability, shall have recovered from or shall have accommodated that disability;

(1)(B)(iii) demonstrate appropriate ability and character;

(1)(B)(iv) have been in office for at least five years; and

(1)(B)(v) comply with the restrictions on secondary employment provided by the Utah Code.

(1)(C) Active Senior Justice Court Judge. To be an active senior justice court judge, a judge shall:

(1)(C)(i) meet the qualifications of an inactive senior justice court judge;

(1)(C)(ii) be a current resident of Utah;

(1)(C)(iii) be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of judicial office;

(1)(C)(iv) maintain familiarity with current statutes, rules and case law;

(1)(C)(v) satisfy the education requirements of an active justice court judge;

(1)(C)(vi) accept assignments, subject to being called, at least two days per calendar year;

(1)(C)(vii) conform to the Code of Judicial Conduct, the Code of Judicial Administration and rules of the Supreme Court;

(1)(C)(viii) have obtained results on the most recent judicial performance evaluation prior to termination of service sufficient to have been recommended for retention, regardless of whether the evaluation was conducted for self-improvement or certification;

(1)(C)(ix) continue to meet the requirements for judicial retention as those requirements are determined by the Judicial Council to apply to active senior justice court judges; and

(1)(C)(x) undergo a performance evaluation every eighteen months following an initial term as an active senior judge; and

(1)(C)(xi) take and subscribe an oath of office to be maintained by the state court administrator.

(2) Disqualifications. To be an active senior justice court judge, a judge shall not:

(2)(A) have been removed from office or involuntarily retired on grounds other than disability;

(2)(B) have been suspended during the judge’s final term of office or final six years in office, whichever is greater;

(2)(C) have resigned from office as a result of negotiations with the Judicial Conduct Commission or while a complaint against the applicant was pending before the Supreme Court or pending before the Judicial Conduct Commission after a finding of reasonable cause; and

(2)(D) have been subject to any order of discipline for conduct as a senior justice court judge.

(3) Term of Office.

(3)(A) The initial term of office of an inactive senior justice court judge is until December 31 of the second year following appointment. The initial term of office of an active senior justice court judge less than age 75 years is until December 31 of the second year following appointment or until December 31 of the year in which the judge reaches age 75, whichever is shorter. The initial term of office of an active senior justice court judge age 75 years or more is until December 31 of the year following appointment.

(3)(B) A subsequent term of office of an inactive senior justice court judge is for three years. A subsequent term of office of an active senior justice court judge is three years or until December 31 of the year in which the judge reaches age 75, whichever is shorter. The subsequent term of office of an active senior justice court judge age 75 years or more is for one year.

(3)(C) All subsequent appointments begin on January 1. The Supreme Court may withdraw an appointment with or without cause.

(4) Authority. A senior justice court judge may solemnize marriages. An active senior justice court judge, during an assignment, has all the authority of a justice court judge.

(5) Application and Appointment.

(5)(A) To be appointed a senior justice court judge a judge shall apply to the Judicial Council for either inactive or active status and shall submit relevant information as requested by the Judicial Council.

(5)(B) The applicant shall:

(5)(B)(i) provide the Judicial Council with the record of all orders of discipline entered by the Supreme Court; and

(5)(B)(ii) declare whether at the time of the application there is any complaint against the applicant pending before the Supreme Court or pending before the Judicial Conduct Commission after a finding of reasonable cause.

(5)(C) After considering all information, including any performance evaluation conducted under rule 3-111, the Judicial Council may certify to the Supreme Court that the applicant meets the qualifications of a senior judge or active senior judge.  The Judicial Council shall forward to, and the Supreme Court shall review, information on all applicants.  Any applicant who is not certified by the Judicial Council may submit to the Supreme Court a written explanation on why the applicant should be appointed as an inactive senior judge or active senior judge despite not being certified by the Judicial Council.  The written explanation shall be submitted to the Supreme Court no later than 14 days after the applicant is notified that the applicant is not certified. With the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice may appoint the judge as an inactive senior judge or active senior judge.

(6) Assignment.

(6)(A) With the consent of the active senior justice court judge, the governing body for a justice court may assign an active senior justice court judge to a case or for a specified period of time. Cumulative assignments under this subsection shall not exceed 60 days per calendar year except as necessary to complete an assigned case.

(6)(B) In extraordinary circumstances and with the consent of the active senior justice court judge, the chief justice may assign an active senior justice court judge to address the extraordinary circumstances for a specified period of time not to exceed 60 days per calendar year, which may be in addition to assignments under subsection (6)(A). To request an assignment under this subsection, the governing body shall certify that there is an extraordinary need.

(6)(C) An active senior justice court judge may be assigned to any justice court in the state.

(6)(D) The governing body shall make the assignment in writing and send a copy to the court to which the active senior justice court judge is assigned and to the state court administrator.

Effective November 1, 2017