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Rule 3-104. Presiding judges.

Intent:

Toestablish the procedure for election, term of office, role, responsibilitiesand authority of presiding judges and associate presiding judges.

Applicability:

Thisrule shall apply to presiding judges and associate presiding judges in theDistrict and Juvenile Courts.

Statementof the Rule:

(1)Election and term of office.

(1)(A)Presiding judge. The presiding judge in multi-judge courts shall be elected bya majority vote of the judges of the court. The presiding judge's term ofoffice shall be at least two years. A district, by majority vote of the judgesof the court, may re-elect a judge to serve successive terms of office aspresiding judge. In the event that a majority vote cannot be obtained, thepresiding judge shall be appointed by the presiding officer of the Council toserve for two years.

(1)(B)Associate presiding judge.

(1)(B)(i)In a court having more than two judges, the judges may elect one judge of thecourt to the office of associate presiding judge. An associate presiding judgeshall be elected in the same manner and serve the same term as the presidingjudge in paragraph (1)(A).

(1)(B)(ii)When the presiding judge is unavailable, the associate presiding judge shallassume the responsibilities of the presiding judge. The associate presidingjudge shall perform other duties assigned by the presiding judge or by thecourt.

(1)(C)A presiding judge or associate presiding judge may be removed as the presidingjudge or associate presiding judge by a two-thirds vote of all judges in thedistrict. A successor presiding judge or associate presiding judge shall thenbe selected as provided in this rule.

(2)Court organization.

(2)(A)Court en banc.

(2)(A)(i)Multi-judge courts shall have regular court en banc meetings, including alljudges of the court and the court executive, to discuss and decide courtbusiness. The presiding judge has the discretion to excuse the attendance ofthe court executive from court en banc meetings called for the purpose ofdiscussing the performance of the court executive. In single-judge courts, thejudge shall meet with the court executive to discuss and decide court business.

(2)(A)(ii)The presiding judge shall call and preside over court meetings. If neither thepresiding judge nor associate presiding judge, if any, is present, thepresiding judge's designee shall preside.

(2)(A)(iii)Each court shall have a minimum of four meetings each year.

(2)(A)(iv)An agenda shall be circulated among the judges in advance of the meeting with aknown method on how matters may be placed on the agenda.

(2)(A)(v)In addition to regular court en banc meetings, the presiding judge or amajority of the judges may call additional meetings as necessary.

(2)(A)(vi)Minutes of each meeting shall be taken and preserved.

(2)(A)(vii)Other than judges and court executives, those attending the meeting shall be bycourt invitation only.

(2)(A)(viii)The issues on which judges should vote shall be left to the sound discretionand judgment of each court and the applicable sections of the UtahConstitution, statutes, and this Code.

(2)(B)Absence of presiding judge. When the presiding judge and the associatepresiding judge, if any, are absent from the court, an acting presiding judgeshall be appointed. The method of designating an acting presiding judge shallbe at the discretion of the presiding judge. All parties that must necessarilybe informed shall be notified of the judge acting as presiding judge.

(3)Administrative responsibilities and authority of presiding judge.

(3)(A)(i)Generally. The presiding judge is charged with the responsibility for theeffective operation of the court. He or she is responsible for theimplementation and enforcement of statutes, rules, policies and directives ofthe Council as they pertain to the administration of the courts, orders of thecourt en banc and supplementary rules. The presiding judge has the authority todelegate the performance of non-judicial duties to the court executive. Whenthe presiding judge acts within the scope of these responsibilities, thepresiding judge is acting within the judge?s judicial office.

(3)(A)(ii)Caseload. Unless the presiding judge determines it to be impractical, there isa presumption that the judicial caseload of the presiding judge shall beadjusted to provide the presiding judge sufficient time to devote to themanagement and administrative duties of the office. The extent of the caseloadreduction shall be determined by each district.

(3)(A)(iii)Appeals. Any judge of the judicial district may ask the Chief Justice orJudicial Council to review any administrative decision made by the presidingjudge of that district.

(3)(B)Coordination of judicial schedules.

(3)(B)(i)The presiding judge shall be aware of the vacation and education schedules ofjudges and be responsible for an orderly plan of judicial absences from courtduties.

(3)(B)(ii)Each judge shall give reasonable advance notice of his or her absence to thepresiding judge consistent with Rule 3-103(4).

(3)(C)Authority to appoint senior judges.

(3)(C)(i)The presiding judge is authorized to use senior judge coverage for up to 14judicial days if a judicial position is vacant or if a judge is absent due to illness,accident, or disability. Before assigning a senior judge, the presiding judge will consider the priorities for requestingjudicial assistance established in Rule 3-108. The presiding judge may notassign a senior judge beyond the limits established in Rule 11-201(6).

(3)(C)(ii)The presiding judge will notify the State Court Administrator when a seniorjudge assignment has been made.

(3)(C)(iii)If more than 14 judicial days of coverage will be required, the presiding judgewill promptly present to the State Court Administrator a plan for meeting theneeds of the court for the anticipated duration of the vacancy or absence and abudget to implement that plan. The plan should describe the calendars to becovered by judges of the district, judges of other districts, and seniorjudges. The budget should estimate the funds needed for travel by judges and fortime and travel by senior judges.

(3)(C)(iv)If any part of the proposed plan is contested by the State Court Administrator,the plan will be reviewed by the Management Committee of the Judicial Council forfinal determination.

(3)(D)Court committees. The presiding judge shall, where appropriate, make use ofcourt committees composed of other judges and court personnel to investigate problemareas, handle court business and report to the presiding judge and/or the courten banc.

(3)(E)Outside agencies and the media.

(3)(E)(i)The presiding judge or court executive shall be available to meet with outsideagencies, such as the prosecuting attorney, the city attorney, public defender,sheriff, police chief, bar association leaders, probation and parole officers,county governmental officials, civic organizations and other state agencies.The presiding judge shall be the primary representative of the court.

(3)(E)(ii)Generally, the presiding judge or, at the discretion of the presiding judge,the court executive shall represent the court and make statements to the mediaon matters pertaining to the total court and provide general information aboutthe court and the law, and about court procedures, practices and rulings whereethics permit.

(3)(F)Docket management and case and judge assignments.

(3)(F)(i)The presiding judge shall monitor the status of the dockets in the court andimplement improved methods and systems of managing dockets.

(3)(F)(ii)The presiding judge shall assign cases and judges in accordance withsupplemental court rules to provide for an equitable distribution of theworkload and the prompt disposition of cases.

(3)(F)(iii)Individual judges of the court shall convey needs for assistance to thepresiding judge. The presiding judge shall, through the State CourtAdministrator, request assistance of visiting judges or other appropriateresources when needed to handle the workload of the court.

(3)(F)(iv)The presiding judge shall discuss problems of delay with other judges and offernecessary assistance to expedite the disposition of cases.

(3)(G)Court executives.

(3)(G)(i)The presiding judge shall review the proposed appointment of the courtexecutive made by the State Court Administrator and must concur in theappointment before it ?will be effective.The presiding judge shall obtain the approval of a majority of the judges inthat jurisdiction prior to concurring in the appointment of a court executive.

(3)(G)(ii)The presiding judge for the respective court level and the state leveladministrator shall jointly develop an annual performance plan for the courtexecutive.

(3)(G)(iii)Annually, the state level administrator shall consult with the presiding judgein the preparation of an evaluation of the court executive's performance forthe previous year, also taking into account input from all judges in thedistrict.

(3)(G)(iv)The presiding judge shall be aware of the day-to-day activities of the courtexecutive, including coordination of annual leave.

(3)(G)(v)Pursuant to Council policy and the direction of the state level administrator,the court executive has the responsibility for the day-to-day supervision ofthe non-judicial support staff and the non-judicial administration of thecourt. The presiding judge, in consultation with the judges of thejurisdiction, shall coordinate with the court executive on matters concerningthe support staff and the general administration of the court including budget,facility planning, long-range planning, administrative projects,intergovernmental relations and other administrative responsibilities asdetermined by the presiding judge and the state level administrator.

(3)(H)Courtrooms and facilities. The presiding judge shall direct the assignment ofcourtrooms and facilities.

(3)(I)Recordkeeping. Consistently with Council policies, the court executive, inconsultation with the presiding judge, shall:

(3)(I)(i)coordinate the compilation of management and statistical information necessaryfor the administration of the court;

(3)(I)(ii)establish policies and procedures and ensure that court personnel are advisedand aware of these policies;

(3)(I)(iii)approve proposals for automation within the court in compliance withadministrative rules.

(3)(J)Budgets. The court executive, in consultation with the presiding judge, shalloversee the development of the budget for the court. In contract sites, thecourt executive shall supervise the preparation and management of the countybudget for the court on an annual basis and in accordance with the Utah Code.

(3)(K)Judicial officers. In the event that another judge or commissioner of the courtfails to comply with a reasonable administrative directive of the presidingjudge, interferes with the effective operation of the court, abuses his or herjudicial position, exhibits signs of impairment or violates the Code ofJudicial Conduct, the presiding judge may:

(3)(K)(i)Meet with and explain to the judge or commissioner the reasons for thedirective given or the position taken and consult with the judge orcommissioner.

(3)(K)(ii)Discuss the position with other judges and reevaluate the position.

(3)(K)(iii)Present the problem to the court en banc or a committee of judges for input.

(3)(K)(iv)Require the judge or commissioner to participate in appropriate counseling,therapy, education or treatment.

(3)(K)(v)Reassign the judge or commissioner to a different location within the districtor to a different case assignment.

(3)(K)(vi)Refer the problem to the Judicial Council or to the Chief Justice.

(3)(K)(vii)In the event that the options listed above in subsections (i) through (vi) do notresolve the problem and where the refusal or conduct is willful, continual, andthe presiding judge believes the conduct constitutes a violation of the Code ofJudicial Conduct, the presiding judge shall refer the problem to the Council orthe Judicial Conduct Commission.

(3)(L)Cases under advisement.

(3)(L)(i)A case is considered to be under advisement when the entire case or any issuein the case has been submitted to the judge for final determination. The finaldetermination occurs when the judge resolves the pending issue by announcingthe decision on the record or by issuing a written decision, regardless ofwhether the parties are required to subsequently submit for the judge?ssignature a final order memorializing the decision.

(3)(L)(ii)Once a month each judge shall submit a statement on a form to be provided bythe State Court Administrator ?notifyingthe presiding judge of any cases or issues held under advisement for more thantwo months and the reason why the case or issue continues to be held underadvisement.

(3)(L)(iii)Once a month, the presiding judge shall submit a list of the cases or issuesheld under advisement for more than two months to the appropriate state leveladministrator and indicate the reasons why the case or issue continues to beheld under advisement.

(3)(L)(iv)If a case or issue is held under advisement for an additional 30 days, thestate level administrator shall report that fact to the Council.

(3)(M)Board of judges. The presiding judge shall serve as a liaison between the courtand the Board for the respective court level.

(3)(N)Supervision and evaluation of court commissioners. The presiding judge isresponsible for the development of a performance plan for the CourtCommissioner serving in that court and shall prepare an evaluation of theCommissioner's performance on an annual basis. A copy of the performance planand evaluation shall be maintained in the official personnel file in theAdministrative Office.

 

EffectiveNovember 1, 2016.