The act requires the supreme court to select members of the commission on judicial discipline (commission) who are district and county judges from nominee pools created by the state court administrator. Upon a vacancy of a district judge or county judge member, the state court administrator shall create a nominee pool of 10 district or county judges, as appropriate. When making its selection, the supreme court shall ensure that the commission does not include more than one district judge from any one judicial district and not more than one county judge from any one county.
The office of judicial performance evaluation, the judicial nominating commissions, the office of the presiding disciplinary judge, and the office of attorney regulation counsel (judicial oversight entities) are required to provide requested material to the commission within 14 calendar days after the request, and a judicial oversight entity may not withhold requested material through a claim of privilege or confidentiality. A provision in a contract entered into after the effective date of the act that prohibits a judicial oversight entity from disclosing information to the commission is void as against public policy and is unenforceable.
The rule-making committee that is established in the constitution to propose rules for the judicial discipline process shall provide the commission and judicial discipline adjudicative board (board) with reasonable notice before proposing any new rule or amendment and requires the committee to post notice of each rule change and allow for public comment concerning proposed changes.
Current law requires the commission to maintain annual data and statistics related to its work and judicial misconduct allegations. The act requires the commission to maintain additional information and requires the commission to include the data and information in its annual report and make the data and information available online in a searchable format.
The act permits a person to submit a request for evaluation of judicial misconduct by mail or online and to submit a confidential or anonymous request for evaluation. The office of judicial discipline (office) is required to develop an online request for evaluation form that is accessible from the commission's public website. The office shall provide complainants with information about the judicial discipline process, the status of the complainant's request, and any subsequent investigation and disciplinary or adjudicative process.
The act requires a judge member of a board panel hearing a judicial discipline proceeding to provide administrative staff support for the panel.
The act repeals the statute establishing the legislative interim committee on judicial discipline and statutory provisions concerning the confidentiality of judicial discipline investigation records, including repealing the penalty for disclosing confidential information.
The portions of the act concerning the selection of judge members of the commission, the board, and judicial discipline rule-making take effect only if House Concurrent Resolution 23-1001 is approved by the people at the general election to be held November 2024.
The act appropriates $126,986 to the judicial department for use by the commission for the office.
APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die; except that portions of the act shall take effect only if House Concurrent Resolution 23-1001 is approved by the people at the general election to be held November 2024 and will take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote on said Concurrent Resolution 23-1001 by the governor; except that, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to this act, then the act or section will not take effect unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in November 2024 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)