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Rule 6. Grounds for Discipline

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Commission on Judicial Conduct

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Commission on Judicial Conduct (Refs & Annos)
Section B. General Provisions
17C A.R.S. Jud.Conduct Comm.Rules of Proc., Rule 6
Rule 6. Grounds for Discipline
The grounds for judicial discipline include willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent failure to perform judicial duties, habitual intemperance, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute, or a violation of the code.


Added by Order dated Oct. 11, 2001, effective Jan. 1, 2002.

Editors' Notes

<Proceedings commenced prior to the January 1, 2002 effective date of these new rules shall continue to be governed by the rules effective prior to the effective date until the closure of the matter.>
The former rule, adopted May 24, 1990, effective July 1, 1990, amended March 27, 1995, effective June 1, 1995; Oct. 28, 1996, effective Dec. 1, 1996, was abrogated by Order dated October 11, 2001, effective December 31, 2001. Because the former rule has continuing effect for actions begun prior to the date of repeal, the text of the rule is set out below.
Rule 6. Preliminary Proceedings
(a) Filing of Complaint. The commission may institute a preliminary investigation upon its own motion and shall do so upon receiving a verified complaint, not obviously unfounded or frivolous, alleging facts indicating the existence of one of the jurisdictional grounds of inquiry regarding a judge. Complaints shall be copied and distributed to all members of the commission by the executive director.
(b) Initial Screening. The commission, or, at its discretion, the executive director, shall determine by examination of the complaint whether a complaint warrants further investigation and valuation. Complaints that are frivolous, unfounded, solely appellate in nature, or outside the jurisdiction of the commission shall be dismissed. A determination by the executive director shall be reported to and reviewed by the commission at its next scheduled meeting.
(c) Preliminary Investigation. If the executive director or the commission determines that a complaint is not obviously unfounded or frivolous, the executive director shall make or cause to be made, a prompt, discrete and confidential investigation or evaluation of the complaint, and report the findings to the commission. The investigation shall include the power to subpoena records, documents and witnesses for testimony under oath. The chairman may also delegate the duty to investigate, evaluate and report to any commission member or members.
(d) Report to the Commission. The executive director or investigating members shall report to the commission at its next meeting concerning all complaints received and the actions taken regarding the complaints.
(e) Request for Response From Judge. At any time after the institution of a preliminary investigation, the commission may notify the judge of the substance of the complaint and afford the judge a reasonable opportunity to respond; however, the commission shall not initiate formal proceedings without first having provided such notice and opportunity.
(f) Temporary Reassignment. At any time after the institution of a preliminary investigation, the commission may recommend to the chief justice, a chief judge or a presiding judge that the judge under investigation be temporarily reassigned pending the resolution of a complaint.
(g) Informal Discipline. At any time after the institution of a preliminary investigation, the commission may informally:
“(1) Reprimand a judge for conduct that is unacceptable under one of the grounds for judicial discipline that does not merit formal proceedings or further discipline by the supreme court;
“(2) Admonish a judge that the judge's conduct appears improper even though it may meet minimum standards of judicial conduct and warn the judge of ethical responsibilities imposed by the code and the need to avoid such conduct or inappropriate practices in the future;
“(3) Direct professional counseling and assistance for a judge and monitor the judge's subsequent behavior;
“(4) Impose conditions on a judge's conduct or instruct a judge to make specific changes in particular matters of conduct; or
“(5) Adjust a complaint by any other appropriate means consistent with these rules, including, but not limited to, the imposition of fees and costs.
(h) Consultation With Judge.
“(1) At any time after the institution of a preliminary investigation the commission may, by majority vote of its members, delegate to its executive director, its disciplinary counsel or to one or more of its members, but not more than three, the authority and responsibility to confer personally and confidentially with a judge. The executive director may participate in any delegation.
“(2) The commission shall instruct the delegates to discuss with the judge one or more of the following recommendations:
“(a) That the judge make specific changes in behavior or conduct;
“(b) That the judge obtain specified counseling or treatment;
“(c) That the judge retire; or
“(d) That the judge resign, with or without agreeing to refrain thereafter from performance of judicial offices or duties, as the commission may direct.
“(3) The judge shall have 10 days, or such additional period as the commission shall provide, to accept or reject the recommendations of the delegates and to inform the executive director of any decision.
“(4) The judge shall be informed by the delegates that if the judge decides to follow a commission recommendation of retirement or resignation, no further action will be taken by the commission concerning that complaint.
“(5) When changes in conduct or counseling or treatment are recommended, the judge shall be advised that if the recommendations are accepted, the proceedings will be suspended, and the commission will retain the authority to supervise and direct compliance with the accepted recommendations. If the commission later finds that the judge has failed to comply with the accepted recommendations, the suspended complaint may be reopened for further proceedings.”
17C A. R. S. Jud. Conduct Comm. Rules of Proc., Rule 6, AZ ST J COND COMM Rule 6
The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through 1/15/20. All other state court rules are current with amendments received through 2/15/20
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