Title 207—JUDICIAL CONDUCT
PART IV. COURT OF JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE
[ 207 PA. CODE CHS. 3, 4 AND 5 ]
Amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Judicial Discipline; Doc. No. 1 JD 94
[46 Pa.B. 2033]
[Saturday, April 23, 2016]
And Now, this 12th day of April, 2016, the Court, pursuant to Article 5, Section 18(b)(4) of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, having adopted the amendments to Rules of Procedures Nos. 303, 422, and 501, as more specifically hereinafter set forth, It Is Hereby Ordered:
That said Rules shall become effective immediately.
ROBERT J. COLVILLE,
TITLE 207. JUDICIAL CONDUCT
PART IV. COURT OF JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE
ARTICLE II. PROCEEDINGS BASED ON THE FILING OF FORMAL CHARGES
CHAPTER 3. INITIATION OF FORMAL CHARGES
Rule 303. [Board Complaints; Amendment and Consolidation.] Amendments to Pleadings; Consolidation; Withdrawal.
(A) Amendments. [Upon motion of the Board, the Conference Judge may, in his or her discretion, permit substantive amendments to a Board Complaint with the written consent of the Judicial Officer or after a hearing on the motion in open court.] Upon motion, the Court or the Conference Judge may permit amendments to a Board Complaint with the written consent of the Judicial Officer or after hearing in open court where the Judicial Officer fails to demonstrate undue prejudice. Any party may file any other amended pleading by consent of the other party or by leave of court. The proposed amended pleadings shall be attached to any motion to amend.
(1) The Conference Judge may, for purposes of trial, upon his or her own motion, after notice to the Board and the Judicial Officer, or upon motion of the Board or the Judicial Officer, consolidate some or all of the charges against an individual Judicial Officer contained in separate Board Complaints filed pursuant to Rule 301(A).
(2) The Conference Judge may, on his or her own motion, and after notice to the Board and the Judicial Officer, consolidate two or more Board Complaints against an individual Judicial Officer for purposes of imposing sanctions pursuant to Rule 504.
(3) In matters pending before the Court which involve a common question of law or fact or which arise from the same transaction or occurrence, a Conference Judge may, for any purpose, upon his or her own motion, after notice to the Board and the Judicial Officers, or upon motion of the Board or a Judicial Officer, order the matters consolidated, and may make orders which avoid unnecessary costs or delay.
(C) Withdrawal. Upon motion, a Board Complaint may be withdrawn by the Board with the written consent of the Judicial Officer or after a hearing in open court where the Judicial Officer fails to demonstrate undue prejudice. Such undue prejudice may occur at the time of withdrawal or at the time of possible future refiling.
Official Note: This rule is derived from former interim Rule 18.
CHAPTER 4. PRE-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS
DEFERRAL OF DISPOSITION
(Editor's Note: The following rule is new and printed in regular type to enhance readability.)
Rule 422. Deferral of Disposition.
(a) The Court may defer the litigation of a case where a direct criminal appeal is pending and the judicial officer still holds his or her judicial office, or for other good cause.
(b) In cases where the judicial officer has resigned, retired, or no longer holds office, including cases where the judicial office has been forfeited as a result of a criminal conviction of a felony, deferral is unlikely to be granted absent other substantial factors sufficient to overcome the presumption that a prompt disposition of the case is in the best interests of the judicial system.
Official Note: The Court regularly receives requests to defer the disposition of judicial discipline cases where the respondent judge is either awaiting trial on criminal charges, a criminal indictment is impending, or the judge has been convicted of criminal conduct but an appeal is pending. In such cases, the Court recognizes that the respondent judge's right to avoid incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and applicable provisions in the Constitution of Pennsylvania, have a chilling effect on the ability of the judge to offer testimony at a trial on judicial disciplinary issues. At the same time, the Court must seek to protect public confidence in the judiciary and the integrity of the judicial system through a prompt disposition of cases pending before it. This Rule is intended to balance those competing interests by protecting a respondent judge's Constitutional rights and their property interest in holding elective office with the countervailing interest of ensuring public confidence in the judicial system.
CHAPTER 5. TRIAL PROCEDURES
Rule 501. Appointment of Panel.
(A) The President Judge may appoint a Panel which shall be authorized to act on behalf of the Court. The Panel shall conduct the trial on the Board Complaint.
(B) The Panel shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Court, one of whom shall be the Conference Judge, [adopted] appointed pursuant to Rule 301(B)[, and, whenever possible, one of whom shall be a non-lawyer elector]. The Conference Judge shall preside at the trial.
Official Note: This rule is derived from former interim Rule 24.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-689. Filed for public inspection April 22, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]
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