Download Zipped Introduced WP 9 SB0093S1.ZIP
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First Substitute S.B. 93
5 This act modifies the Judicial Code as it pertains to justice court judges. It requires them
6 to abide by all administrative policies of the county or municipality in which they are
8 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
10 78-3-21, as last amended by Chapter 221, Laws of Utah 2000
11 78-5-110, as enacted by Chapter 157, Laws of Utah 1989
13 78-5-106.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
14 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
15 Section 1. Section 78-3-21 is amended to read:
16 78-3-21. Judicial Council -- Creation -- Members -- Terms and election --
17 Responsibilities -- Reports.
18 (1) The Judicial Council, established by Article VIII, Section 12, Utah Constitution,
19 shall be composed of:
20 (a) the chief justice of the Supreme Court;
21 (b) one member elected by the justices of the Supreme Court;
22 (c) one member elected by the judges of the Court of Appeals;
23 (d) five members elected by the judges of the district courts;
24 (e) two members elected by the judges of the juvenile courts;
25 (f) three members elected by the justice court judges; and
26 (g) a member or ex officio member of the Board of Commissioners of the Utah State
27 Bar who is an active member of the Bar in good standing elected by the Board of
29 (2) (a) The chief justice of the Supreme Court shall act as presiding officer of the
30 council and chief administrative officer for the courts. The chief justice shall vote only in the
31 case of a tie.
32 (b) All members of the council shall serve for three-year terms. If a council member
33 should die, resign, retire, or otherwise fail to complete a term of office, the appropriate
34 constituent group shall elect a member to complete the term of office. In courts having more
35 than one member, the members shall be elected to staggered terms. The person elected to the
36 Judicial Council by the Board of Commissioners shall be a member or ex officio member of
37 the Board of Commissioners and an active member of the Bar in good standing at the time the
38 person is elected. The person may complete a three-year term of office on the Judicial Council
39 even though the person ceases to be a member or ex officio member of the Board of
40 Commissioners. The person shall be an active member of the Bar in good standing for the
41 entire term of the Judicial Council.
42 (c) Elections shall be held under rules made by the Judicial Council.
43 (3) The council is responsible for the development of uniform administrative policy for
44 the courts throughout the state. The presiding officer of the Judicial Council is responsible for
45 the implementation of the policies developed by the council and for the general management of
46 the courts, with the aid of the administrator. The council has authority and responsibility to:
47 (a) establish and assure compliance with policies for the operation of the courts,
48 including uniform rules and forms; and
49 (b) publish and submit to the governor, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the
50 Legislature an annual report of the operations of the courts, which shall include financial and
51 statistical data and may include suggestions and recommendations for legislation.
52 (4) (a) The Judicial Council shall make rules establishing:
53 (i) standards for judicial competence; and
54 (ii) a formal program for the evaluation of judicial performance containing the
55 elements of and meeting the requirements of this Subsection (4).
56 (b) The Judicial Council shall ensure that the formal judicial performance evaluation
57 program has improvement in the performance of individual judges, court commissioners, and
58 the judiciary as its goal.
59 (c) The Judicial Council shall ensure that the formal judicial performance evaluation
60 program includes at least all of the following elements:
61 (i) a requirement that judges complete a certain number of hours of approved judicial
62 education each year;
63 (ii) a requirement that each judge certify that he is:
64 (A) physically and mentally competent to serve; and
65 (B) in compliance with the Codes of Judicial Conduct and Judicial Administration; and
66 (iii) a requirement that the judge receive a satisfactory score on questions identified by
67 the Judicial Council as relating to judicial certification on a survey of members of the Bar
68 developed by the Judicial Council in conjunction with the American Bar Association.
69 (d) The Judicial Council shall ensure that the formal judicial performance evaluation
70 program considers at least the following criteria:
71 (i) integrity;
72 (ii) knowledge;
73 (iii) understanding of the law;
74 (iv) ability to communicate;
75 (v) punctuality;
76 (vi) preparation;
77 (vii) attentiveness;
78 (viii) dignity;
79 (ix) control over proceedings; and
80 (x) skills as a manager.
81 (e) (i) The Judicial Council shall provide the judicial performance evaluation
82 information and the disciplinary data required by Subsection 20A-7-702 (2) to the Lieutenant
83 Governor for publication in the voter information pamphlet.
84 (ii) Not later than August 1 of the year before the expiration of the term of office of a
86 evaluation information required by Subsection 20A-7-702 (2) to the appointing authority of a
88 (5) The council shall establish standards for the operation of the courts of the state
89 including, but not limited to, facilities, court security, support services, and staff levels for
90 judicial and support personnel.
91 (6) The council shall by rule establish the time and manner for destroying court
92 records, including computer records, and shall establish retention periods for these records.
93 (7) (a) Consistent with the requirements of judicial office and security policies, the
94 council shall establish procedures to govern the assignment of state vehicles to public officers
95 of the judicial branch.
96 (b) The vehicles shall be marked in a manner consistent with Section 41-1a-407 and
97 may be assigned for unlimited use, within the state only.
98 (8) (a) The council shall advise judicial officers and employees concerning ethical
99 issues and shall establish procedures for issuing informal and formal advisory opinions on
100 these issues.
101 (b) Compliance with an informal opinion is evidence of good faith compliance with the
102 Code of Judicial Conduct.
103 (c) A formal opinion constitutes a binding interpretation of the Code of Judicial
105 (9) (a) The council shall establish written procedures authorizing the presiding officer
106 of the council to appoint judges of courts of record by special or general assignment to serve
107 temporarily in another level of court in a specific court or generally within that level. The
108 appointment shall be for a specific period and shall be reported to the council.
109 (b) These procedures shall be developed in accordance with Subsection 78-3-24 (10)
110 regarding temporary appointment of judges.
111 (10) The Judicial Council may by rule designate municipalities in addition to those
112 designated by statute as a location of a trial court of record. There shall be at least one court
113 clerk's office open during regular court hours in each county. Any trial court of record may
114 hold court in any municipality designated as a location of a court of record. Designations by
115 the Judicial Council may not be made between July 1, 1997, and July 1, 1998.
116 (11) The Judicial Council shall by rule determine whether the administration of a court
117 shall be the obligation of the administrative office of the courts or whether the administrative
118 office of the courts should contract with local government for court support services.
119 (12) The Judicial Council may by rule direct that a district court location be
120 administered from another court location within the county.
121 (13) The Judicial Council shall establish and supervise the Office of Guardian Ad
122 Litem Director, in accordance with the provisions of Sections 78-3a-911 and 78-3a-912 , and
123 assure compliance of the guardian ad litem program with state and federal law, regulation, and
124 policy, and court rules.
125 (14) The Judicial Council shall establish and maintain, in cooperation with the Office of
126 Recovery Services within the Department of Human Services, the part of the state case registry
127 that contains records of each support order established or modified in the state on or after
128 October 1, 1998, as is necessary to comply with the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 654a.
129 Section 2. Section 78-5-106.5 is enacted to read:
130 78-5-106.5. Justice court judge administrative responsibilities.
131 (1) Justice court judges shall comply with and ensure that court personnel comply with
132 applicable county or municipal rules and regulations related to personnel, budgets, and other
133 administrative functions.
134 (2) Failure by the judge to comply with applicable administrative county or municipal
135 rules and regulations may be referred, by the county executive or municipal legislative body, to
136 the state Justice Court Administrator.
137 (3) Compliance with appropriate administrative requirements shall be considered as
138 part of the Judicial Council's judicial performance evaluation program for justice court judges.
139 (4) Repeated or willful non-compliance may be referred, by the county executive or
140 municipal legislative body, to the Judicial Conduct Commission.
141 Section 3. Section 78-5-110 is amended to read:
142 78-5-110. Compensation and expenses -- Clerical personnel.
143 (1) The county, city, or town creating or maintaining a justice court shall provide and
144 compensate clerical personnel to conduct the business of the court.
145 (2) The selection, supervision, and discipline of court clerical personnel shall be in
146 accordance with local government personnel policies[
148 (3) Clerical personnel are governed by Title 52, Chapter 3, regarding employment of
150 (4) The county, city, or town assumes the cost of travel and training expenses of
151 clerical personnel at training sessions conducted by the Judicial Council.
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