As part of the commission's 2018 rules review, the commission is considering amendments to various rules governing commission proceedings.  The public comment period ended May 14, 2019.  Responses to comments may be submitted until June 13, 2019. Copies of comments submitted during the public comment period are available to the public upon request. 

See policy declaration 3.5 for the commission's rules review procedures.


Legal Authority

  • 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 25, 2019, the commission adopted the gift limitation amount of $450 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

Commission Rules

Following consideration of the comments and responses to comments, on September 20, 2018, the commission adopted an amendment to rule 102 (Confidentiality and Disclosure) to allow for release of confidential records to the State Auditor. A public report, including the full text of the amendment, the reasons for the amendment, and a discussion of the public comments submitted can be found at the top of this page.

Code of Civil Procedure & Government Code

On February 25, 2019, the commission adopted the gift limitation amount of $450 for purposes of CCP section 170.9.

On September 17, 2018, Government Code section 8545 was amended to clarify that confidential commission records in possession of the State Auditor are not public records subject to release under the California Public Records Act.