CJP ANNOUNCES ADOPTION OF AMENDED RULES
The Commission on Judicial Performance has issued a public report concerning adoption of amendments to the Rules of the Commission on Judicial Performance during its 2022 biennial rules review.
- California Constitution
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.
- Rules of the Commission on Judicial Performance
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.
- Policy Declarations of the Commission on Judicial Performance
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.
- Code of Civil Procedure
The commission is responsible for enforcing the restrictions on judges’ receipt of honoraria, and limits on gifts, as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 170.9. On February 23, 2023, the commission adopted the gift limitation amount of $530 for purposes of CCP section 170.9.
- Code of Judicial Ethics
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.”
- California Rules of Court
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
Following consideration of comments, the commission adopted various amendments to its Rules of the Commission on Judicial Performance, effective December 7, 2022. The commission amended rules 102(q) (amendments re disclosure of information regarding a mentee judge to a mentor judge); 102(s) (amendments re disclosure of relevant statements by a judge during an investigation to a respondent judge in formal proceedings); 110 (elimination of staff inquiries); 111, 111.5, 113, 114, 115, and 116 (amendment to provide for appearances before the commission to contest advisory letters and eliminate correction requests); 119.5 (amendments re filing with the commission during formal proceedings); and 126 (amendments to clarify that a respondent judge in formal proceedings is entitled to a transcript of the proceeding without cost).
A public report can be found at the top of this page, including the full text of the amendments; the reasons for the amendments; a discussion of the public comments submitted; and a discussion of other proposed rule proposals that were received but not circulated for public comment, with the commission’s explanation for not pursuing those proposals.
Commission Policy Declarations
The commission also approved changes to its Policy Declarations of the Commission on Judicial Performance. The commission amended policy 2.5 (replacement of “Administrative Office of the Courts” with “Judicial Council”); 5.4(8), (9) and (13) (amendments re disability retirement matters); 6.1 (recusal of commission members); and 6.5(3) and 7.1(1)(i) (amendment of language referencing protected characteristic or membership in a group or class, as identified in canon 3B(5)).
Code of Civil Procedure
On February 23, 2023, the commission adopted the gift limitation amount of $530 for purposes of CCP section 170.9.