- California Constitution
- Commission Rules
- Commission Policy Declarations
- Government Code
- Code of Civil Procedure
- Code of Judicial Ethics
- California Rules of Court
The Commission on Judicial Performance was established by legislative constitutional amendment approved by the voters in November 1960. The commission's authority is set forth in article VI, sections 8, 18, 18.1 and 18.5 of the California Constitution. In 1966, 1976, 1988, 1994, 1998 and most recently in 2002, the Constitution was amended to change various aspects of the commission's work.
Article VI, section 18(i) of the Constitution authorizes the commission to make rules for conducting investigations and formal proceedings. The Rules of the Commission on Judicial Performance, rules 101 through 138, were adopted by the commission on October 24, 1996, and took effect December 1, 1996. The rules have been amended periodically thereafter.
The Policy Declarations of the Commission on Judicial Performance detail the commission's internal procedures and existing policies. A Code of Ethics for Commission Members is set forth in Division VI of the Policy Declarations.Government Code
The commission is subject to Government Code sections 68701 through 68756. Additionally, the Government Code controls the commission's handling of judges' disability retirement applications, pursuant to sections 75060 through 75064 and sections 75560 through 75564.
The commission is responsible for enforcing the restrictions on judges' receipt of gifts and honoraria as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 170.9. On January 30, 2013, the commission adopted the gift limitation amount of $390.00 for purposes of CCP section 170.9.
The Code of Judicial Ethics, adopted by the California Supreme Court, establishes standards for ethical conduct for judges on and off the bench and for candidates for judicial office. All members of the judiciary must comply with the Code. As stated in the Preamble to the Code: "Compliance is required to preserve the integrity of the bench and to ensure the confidence of the public."
Rules 9.60, 9.61, 10.603, 10.703, and 10.1016 of the California Rules of Court pertain to the Commission on Judicial Performance.
Recent Changes In The Law
Commission Rules and Policy Declarations
Pursuant to its rulemaking authority under article VI, section 18, subdivision (i) of the California Constitution, on January 15, 2013, the Commission on Judicial Performance circulated for public comment a set of proposals for additions and changes to its rules. Following consideration of comments received, the commission adopted the proposed rule amendments with some modifications at its meeting on May 8, 2013. Discussion of the changes and text of each addition and amendment is summarized in the commission's report. The final version of the new and amended rules is provided in the above links.
In January 2013, the commission adopted amendments to Policy Declarations 3.6 [Policy Declarations], 5.1 [Disability Applications: Confidentiality], 5.2 [Disability Applications: Medical Consultants], 5.3 [Reexamination of Judges Retired for Disability], 5.4 [Procedure in Disability Retirement Matters], 5.5 [Disability Applications: Burden of Proof] and 6.1 [Recusal], and adopted new Policy Declaration 2.3.5 [Deposition Transcripts Taken Pursuant to Rule 122(g)].
Code of Judicial Ethics
The Supreme Court of California adopted amendments to the Code of Judicial Ethics, effective January 1, 2013. See above links and Supreme Court's press release.
Rules of Court
No amendments were made to the Rules of Court pertaining to the commission in 2012.
Code of Civil Procedure
In 2012, there were no substantive changes made to the Code of Civil Procedure relating to the work of the commission. However, on January 30, 2013 the commission adopted a new gift limitation amount of $390, for purposes of CCP section 170.9.