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Rule 9-109. Presidingjudges.

Intent:

Toestablish the procedure for election, term of office, role, responsibilities,and authority of presiding judges, associate presiding judges, and educationdirectors for Justice Courts.

Applicability:

Thisrule shall apply to presiding judges, associate presiding judges, and educationdirectors in the Justice Courts.

Statement of the Rule:

(1) Election and termof office.

(1)(A) Presiding judge.

(1)(A)(i) A presiding judge in each judicial districtshall be elected by a majority vote of the active judges present at thedistrict meetings held at the 2018 Justice Court Conference. Thereafter,regular elections shall take place at the annual conference in odd years forodd-numbered districts and in even years for even-numbered districts. In theevent that a majority vote cannot be obtained, the presiding judge shall bedetermined by the Board of Justice Court Judges. Interim elections, ifnecessary, shall take place as provided in this rule. A presiding judge shallbe an active judge, currently appointed to at least one court within thedistrict. Senior judges are ineligible to hold or vote for the office ofpresiding judge.

(1)(A)(ii) The presiding judge's term of office shall befrom the time of his or her election or appointment until he or she resigns oruntil the next regular election, whichever occurs first. A presiding judge mayserve successive terms.

(1)(B) Associate presidingjudge.

(1)(B)(i) The active judges of a district may, at theirdiscretion, elect one judge of the district to the office of associatepresiding judge. An associate presiding judge shall be elected in the samemanner and serve the same term as the presiding judge in paragraph (1)(A). An associate presiding judge shall be an active judge,currently appointed to at least one court within the district. Senior judgesare ineligible to hold or vote for the office of associate presiding judge.

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

(1)(C) District educationdirector.

(1)(C)(i) The active judges ofa district may, at their discretion, elect one judge of the district to theoffice of education director. An education director shall be elected in thesame manner and serve the same term as the presiding judge in paragraph (1)(A). Senior judges are ineligible to vote for the office ofdistrict education director but may hold the office. If a district does notelect an education director, the associate presiding judge, if there is one,shall serve as the education director. If the district elects neither aneducation director nor an associate presiding judge, the presiding judge shallserve as the education director.

(1)(C)(ii) The education director shall serve on thejustice court education committee and shall work with the Education Departmentof the Administrative Office in developing, planning and presenting relevantjudicial training at the district level.

(1)(D) Removal and OtherVacancies of Office.

(1)(D)(i) If the office ofpresiding judge becomes vacant, then the associate presiding judge shall servethe rest of the presiding judge?s term. If there is no associate presidingjudge, the district education director shall, if the education director is anactive judge, serve the unexpired term. Otherwise, the Chair of the Board ofJustice Court Judges shall appoint a judge to serve until the next districtmeeting.

(1)(D)(ii) A presiding judge may appoint, on an interimbasis, an eligible judge of the district to fill an unexpired term of associatepresiding judge or education director until the next district meeting. At thedistrict meeting, the active judges present shall ratify the appointment bymajority vote. If they do not ratify the appointment, or if the presiding judgedoes not make an interim appointment, nominations and an election shall then beheld at that meeting to fill the unexpired term.

(1)(D)(iii) A presiding judge, associate presiding judge oreducation director may be removed from that office by a two-thirds vote of the activejustice court judges in the district. A successor presiding judge shall, or an associatepresiding judge or education director may, then be elected to fill theunexpired term of the vacant office.

(1)(D)(iv) In extraordinarycircumstances, to preserve confidence in the fair administration of justice,the Presiding Officer of the Judicial Council may remove a judge from anyoffice described in this rule. Vacancies shall be filled as provided in thisrule.

(2) District meetings.

(2)(A) Each district shallhave regular meetings to discuss and decide district business, receivetraining, or address issues and concerns specific to the district.

(2)(A)(i) The presiding judgeshall call and preside over a meeting of other justice court judges in thedistrict at the annual Justice Court Conference.

(2)(A)(ii) Each district shall have at least one othermeeting during the calendar year in which a majority of active justice courtjudges is present, including the presiding judge or associate presiding judge.

(2)(B) In addition toregular meetings, the presiding judge or a majority of the active judges maycall additional meetings as necessary.

(2)(C) An agenda shall becirculated among the judges in advance of any meeting with a known method onhow matters may be placed on the agenda.

(2)(D) Other than judges andthe Justice Court Administrator, attendance at district meetings shall be byinvitation of the presiding judge only.

(2)(E) The issues on whichjudges vote shall be left to the sound discretion and judgment of each districtand the applicable sections of the Utah Constitution, statutes, and this Code.

(3) Administrative responsibilities andauthority of presiding judge.

(3)(A) Generally. Thepresiding judge is charged with the responsibility for the effective operationof the justice courts within a district. He or she is responsible for theimplementation and enforcement of statutes, rules, policies, and directives ofthe Judicial Council and the Board of Justice Court Judges as they pertain tothe administration of the courts. When the presiding judge acts within thescope of these responsibilities, the presiding judge is acting within thejudge?s judicial office.

(3)(B) Coordination ofrequired training.

(3)(B)(i) The presiding judge, associate presiding judge,or education director shall: (a) be responsible to see that judges in his orher district are appropriately trained, (b) assist in planning statewidetrainings as part of the Education Committee, (c) plan district training to beheld in connection with the meetings required by section (2), (d) recommendmentors for new judges, and (e) arrange for individual training, as needed.

(3)(B)(ii) Presiding judges are encouraged to observe thehearings of judges within the district to assess training needs.

(3)(C) Court committees. Thepresiding judge shall, where appropriate, make use of committees composed ofother judges and court personnel to investigate problem areas and improve the administrationof justice.

(3)(D) Outside agencies andthe media.

(3)(D)(i) The presiding judge shall be available to meetwith the media, outside agencies, such asprosecuting attorneys, city attorneys, county attorneys, public defenders orassociations of defense counsel, sheriffs, police chiefs, bar associationleaders, probation providers, government officials ofcities or counties located within the district, civic organizations, and otherstate agencies.

(3)(D)(ii) The presiding judge shall be the primary judicialrepresentative of the justice court judges in the district.

(3)(D)(iii) Nothing in this rule shall replace orinterfere with the statutory and administrative responsibilities of anappointed judge to the appointing authority of a court.

(3)(E) Judicial officers.The presiding judge shall discuss significant concerns, problems or complaintsregarding the judges in his or her district with the Justice CourtAdministrator, who shall work together to resolve the concern. In the eventthat another judge in the district fails to comply with a reasonableadministrative directive of the presiding judge, interferes with the effectiveoperation of the court, abuses his or her judicial position, exhibits signs ofimpairment, or violates the Code of Judicial Conduct, the presiding judge may,depending on the severity of the issue and consistent with legal and ethicalobligations:

(3)(E)(i) Consult withappropriate staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts and/or discuss theissue with other presiding judges;

(3)(E)(ii) Meet with the judge to explain the reasons forthe directive given or the position taken, consult with the judge aboutalternative solutions and reevaluate the directive or position, as appropriate;

(3)(E)(iii) Present the problem to the Board of JusticeCourt Judges for input;

(3)(E)(iv) Require the judge toparticipate in appropriate counseling, therapy, education or treatment; or

(3)(E)(v) Refer the problem to the Judicial Council, theChief Justice, or the Judicial Conduct Commission, as appropriate.

(3)(F) Liaison. The presidingjudge or his or her designee shall serve as a liaison between the justicecourts of the district and (i) the Board of Justice Court Judges and (ii) thepresiding judges of Juvenile Court and District Court.

(3)(G) Reassignment.

(3(G)(i)In the event that a motion to disqualify a judge or judges is filed and noappointed judge of the court is available or empowered to hear the motion, thepresiding judge shall consider the motion and, if necessary, assign any judgeduly appointed pursuant to Utah Code section 78A-7-208 to serve as a temporaryjustice court judge.

(3)(G)(ii) In the event that all of the appointed judgesof a court recuse themselves from a matter, the presiding judge shall assignany judge duly appointed pursuant to Utah Code section 78A-7-208 to serve as atemporary justice court judge.

(3)(H) Compliance withstandards. The presiding judge shall monitor and ensure that judges arecomplying with performance standards established by the Council or as otherwiserequired by law.

(3)(I) Performanceevaluations. Pursuant to Utah Code 78A-12-203, the presiding judge shallreceive the midterm reports prepared by the Judicial Performance EvaluationCommission for the other justice court judges in his or her district. Thepresiding judge shall consult with the evaluated judge and the Justice CourtAdministrator to develop a plan for addressing the issues resulting in lessthan satisfactory scores.

 

Effective June 25, 2018