Rule 11-201. Senior judges.

Intent:

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

Applicability:

This rule shall apply to judges of courts of record.

The term "judge" includes justices of the Supreme Court.

Statement of the Rule:

(1)   Qualifications.

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

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

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

(1)(B)(ii) have voluntarily resigned from judicial office, 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) be admitted to the practice of law in Utah, but shall not practice law; and

(1)(B)(v) be eligible to receive compensation under the Judges’ Retirement Act, subject only to attaining the appropriate age.

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

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

(1)(C)(ii) be a current resident of Utah and be available to take cases;

(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 judge;

(1)(C)(vi) attend the annual judicial conference;

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

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

(1)(C)(ix) 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)(x) continue to meet the requirements for judicial retention as those requirements are determined by the Judicial Council to be applicable to active senior judges; 

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

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

(2) Disqualifications. To be an active senior judge, a judge:

(2)(A) shall not have been removed from office or involuntarily retired on grounds other than disability;

(2)(B) shall not have been suspended during the judge’s final term of office or final six years in office, whichever is greater;

(2)(C) shall not 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) shall not have been subject to any order of discipline for conduct as a senior judge.

(3) Term of Office.

(3)(A) The initial term of office of an inactive senior judge is until December 31 of the second year following appointment. The initial term of office of an active senior 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 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 judge is for three years. A subsequent term of office of an active senior 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 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 judge may solemnize marriages.  An active senior judge, during an assignment, has all the authority of the office of a judge of the court to which the assignment is made.

(5) Application and Appointment.

(5)(A) To be appointed a senior 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.

Judges who declined, under former Rule 3-111, to participate in an attorney survey in anticipation of retirement may use the results of an earlier survey to satisfy Subsection (1)(B)(ix).

(6) Assignment.

(6)(A) With the consent of the active senior judge, the presiding judge may assign an active senior 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 judge, the chief justice may assign an active senior 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 presiding judge shall certify that there is an extraordinary need. The state court administrator shall certify whether there are funds available to support the assignment.

(6)(C) An active senior judge may be assigned to any court other than the Supreme Court.

(6)(D) The state court administrator shall provide such assistance to the presiding judge and chief justice as requested and shall exercise such authority in making assignments as delegated by the presiding judge and chief justice.

(6)(E) Notice of an assignment made under this rule shall be in writing and maintained by the state court administrator.

Effective November 1, 2017