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.
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 judges 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 judges Constitutional rights and their property interest in holding elective office with the countervailing interest of ensuring public confidence in the judicial system.
The provisions of this Rule 422 adopted April 12, 2016, effective immediately, 46 Pa.B. 2033.
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