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Rule 9. Public Access and Confidentiality

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 9
Rule 9. Public Access and Confidentiality
(a) Public access. As a general rule, complaints against judges shall be available to the public following, but not before, final disposition, except in formal proceedings, as set forth below.
(1) Dismissed Cases: Only the complaint and the commission's order shall be public after all identifying information pertaining to an individual or court has been redacted.
(2) Other Informal Proceedings: The record, as defined in these rules, shall be public after the complainant and the judge are notified of the outcome of the proceedings and the time provided for further commission review has expired.
(3) Motions for Reconsideration: Motions for reconsideration will not generally be made public, except when specifically authorized by the commission.
(4) Formal proceedings: The record shall be public after the filing of the judge's response to formal charges or the expiration of the time provided for such a response, the entry of an order approving an agreement for discipline by consent, or the waiver of confidentiality by the judge.
(b) Confidential matters. All other commission correspondence, draft documents, computer records, investigative reports, attorney work product, commission deliberations, and records in dismissed cases, except as provided in the preceding paragraph, are confidential.
(c) Discretionary disclosure.
(1) The commission may disclose a complaint to a judge and a judge's response to a complainant upon request by the complainant and a finding by the commission that such disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice.
(2) It may also disclose confidential information to confirm a pending investigation in a case in which an investigation has become public or to clarify proceedings in such a case; to protect individuals, the public, or the administration of justice; and to comply with official requests from agencies and other organizations involved in criminal prosecutions, bar discipline investigations, or judicial nomination, selection, and retention proceedings.
(3) Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, complainants, respondent judges and witnesses or other individuals involved in complaint investigations are not prohibited from disclosing the existence of proceedings or from disclosing any documents or correspondence served on or provided to those persons.
(d) Protective orders. Upon motion by a party or by a person from whom the information was obtained, or by disciplinary counsel, and for good cause shown, the commission, an investigative panel, a hearing panel or a hearing officer may make an order sealing a portion of the record. Sealed materials shall be opened and viewed only by the commission or one of its corresponding panels, a hearing officer, commission staff, or the supreme court. The information shall not otherwise be disclosed unless the parties and the person providing the information are given notice and an opportunity to be heard.
(e) Press Releases. Commission staff may issue press releases for the purpose of informing the public regarding formal proceedings.
(f) Notification of Commission Action. Commission staff shall notify the chief or presiding judge of the state, county, or municipality in which any respondent judicial officer receiving a sanction for ethical misconduct serves.


Added by Order dated Oct. 11, 2001, effective Jan. 1, 2002. Amended June 8, 2004, effective Dec. 1, 2004; June 15, 2004, nunc pro tunc June 8, 2004; June 9, 2005, effective Jan. 1, 2006. Amended and effective Jan. 20, 2006; Feb. 19, 2010; Sept. 2, 2014, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Editors' Notes

<The order dated June 9, 2005, effective Jan. 1, 2006, stated, “These changes shall be effective as to cases in which the complaint is filed on or after January 1, 2006.”>
<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, 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 9. Hearings
(a) Before the Commission. The chairman shall designate the time and place of the hearing before the commission, and the judge shall be given at least 15 days notice of the time and place of the hearing. At the discretion of the commission, either the executive director or disciplinary counsel, or both, shall present the matter at the hearing. At the hearing, such evidence shall be received as would be admissible in the superior court of this state, and oral evidence shall be taken on oath or affirmation. The chairman or any member designated by the chairman may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and production of records, documents or other tangible things designated therein, as may be required.
(b) Before a Panel or Special Master. Upon consent of a majority of the commission, the chairman may appoint a three-member panel of the commission or a special master, who is not a member of the commission, to hear and take evidence at a formal hearing for purposes specified by the commission, in accordance with all of the procedural requirements of this rule.
(c) Rights of Judge. The judge shall have the right to defend against the charges, to be represented by counsel, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to require the issuance of subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses or for the production of any evidentiary matter. If it appears to the commission at any time during the proceedings that the judge is not competent to defend himself or herself, the commission may request the supreme court to appoint a guardian ad litem for the judge.
(d) Recording of Proceedings. The proceedings at all formal hearings shall be recorded and shall be transcribed if the commission files a recommendation with the supreme court.”
17C A. R. S. Jud. Conduct Comm. Rules of Proc., Rule 9, AZ ST J COND COMM Rule 9
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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