File No. 33062

This rule was published in the November 1, 2009, issue (Vol. 2009, No. 21) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, Administration

Rule R597-3

Judicial Performance Evaluations

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Amendment)

DAR File No.: 33062
Filed: 10/15/2009 12:29:20 PM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The rule is being changed so that the jury and attorney surveys will be on the same time line as the other statutorily-mandated surveys. The protocol for distributing, collecting, and disseminating survey results is being simplified to accommodate electronic distribution of results to judges.

Summary of the rule or change:

The amendment changes the time line for attorney and juror surveys for the 2012 retention election so that these surveys are on the same time line as the litigant, witness, and court staff surveys. The amendment also changes the procedures for distributing, collecting, and disseminating the results of the juror surveys.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Sections 78A-12-101 through 78A-12-206

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

Because the rule only explains the timing of evaluation cycles and the conditions under which surveys will be conducted, there are no anticipated costs or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

Because the commission has no authority with respect to local government, there is no anticipated cost or savings to local government.

small businesses:

Because the commission has no authority with respect to small businesses, there is no anticipated cost or savings to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

Because the commission has no authority with respect to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities, there is no anticipated cost or savings to these entities.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

The commission assumes all compliance costs. Any affected persons do not assume compliance costs of the statute.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

Because the commission does not regulate business, there is no fiscal impact on business.

Joanne C. Slotnik, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission
Administration
420 N STATE ST
SENATE BUILDING B-330
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84114

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Joanne Slotnik at the above address, by phone at 801-538-1652, by FAX at 801-538-1024, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

12/01/2009

This rule may become effective on:

12/08/2009

Authorized by:

V. Lowry Snow, Chair

RULE TEXT

R597. Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, Administration.

R597-3. Judicial Performance Evaluations.

R597-3-1. Evaluation Cycles.

(1) For judges not serving on the supreme court:

(a) The mid-term evaluation cycle. The mid-term evaluation cycle begins upon the appointment of the judge or on the first Monday in January following the retention election of the judge and ends 2 1/2 years later, on June 30th of the third year preceding the year of the judge's next retention election.

(b) The retention evaluation cycle. The retention evaluation cycle begins the day after the mid-term evaluation cycle is finished and ends two years later, on June 30th of the year preceding the year of the judge's next retention election.

(2) For justices serving on the supreme court:

(a) The initial evaluation cycle. The initial evaluation cycle begins upon the appointment of the justice or on the first Monday in January following the retention election of the justice and ends 2 1/2 years later, on June 30th of the seventh year preceding the year of the justice's next retention election.

(b) The mid-term evaluation cycle. The mid-term evaluation cycle begins the day after the initial evaluation cycle is finished and ends four years later, on June 30th of the third year preceding the year of the justice's next retention election.

(c) The retention evaluation cycle. The retention evaluation cycle begins the day after the mid-term evaluation cycle is finished and ends two years later, on June 30th of the year preceding the year of the justice's next retention election.

(3) Transition Evaluation Cycles

(a) For judges standing for retention election in 2012:

(i) The mid-term evaluation cycle shall be conducted in 2009, ending on December 31, 2009.

(ii) [The retention evaluation cycle for surveys of attorneys and jurors shall begin on January 1, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011, for attorneys and jurors.

(iii) ]The retention evaluation cycle for all [pilot program categories]surveys shall begin no later than July 1, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011.

(b) For judges not on the supreme court standing for retention election in 2014:

(i) The mid-term evaluation cycle for surveys of attorneys and jurors shall begin in 2009 and finish on June 30, 2011.

(ii) The mid-term evaluation cycle for all pilot program categories shall begin no later than July 1, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011.

(iii) The retention evaluation cycle will be as described in R597-3-1(1)(b),

supra.

(c) For supreme court justices standing for retention election in 2014:

(i) The mid-term evaluation cycle for surveys of attorneys shall begin in 2009 and end on June 30, 2011.

(ii) The mid-term evaluation cycle for relevant pilot programs categories shall begin no later than July 1, 2010, and end on June 30, 2011.

(iii) The retention evaluation cycle shall be as described in R597-3-1(2)(b)-(c).

(d) For supreme court justices standing for retention election in 2016:

(i) The initial evaluation cycle shall be combined with the mid-term evaluation, beginning in 2009 and ending on June 30, 2013.

(ii) The combined initial/mid-term evaluation cycle for surveys of attorneys shall begin in 2009 and end on June 30, 2013.

(iii) The combined initial/mid-term evaluation cycle for relevant pilot programs categories shall begin no later than July 1, 2010.

(iv) The retention evaluation cycle shall be as described in R597-3-1(2)(c).

 

R597-3-2. Survey.

(1) General provisions.

(a) All surveys shall be conducted according to the evaluation cycles described in R597-3-1, supra.

(b) The commission shall distribute the survey questionnaires upon which the judge shall be evaluated to each judge at the beginning of the survey cycle. Within a single evaluation cycle, all survey questions shall remain the same.

(c) In 2010, the commission shall finalize survey questionnaires and implementation procedures for each respondent classification.

(2) Respondent Classifications

(a) Attorneys

(i) Identification of survey respondents. Within 10 business days of the end of the evaluation cycle, the clerk for the judge or the Administrative Office of the Courts shall identify as potential respondents all attorneys who have appeared before the judge who is being evaluated at a minimum of one hearing or trial during the evaluation cycle.

(ii) Number of survey respondents. For each judge who is the subject of a survey, the surveyor shall identify 180 potential respondents or all attorneys appearing before the judge, whichever is less.

(iii) Sampling. The surveyor shall make a random selection of respondents and shall otherwise design the survey to comply with generally-accepted principles of surveying.

(iv) Distribution of surveys. Surveys shall be distributed by the third-party contractor engaged by the commission to conduct the survey.

(b) Jurors

(i) Identification and number of survey respondents. All jurors who participate in deliberation[rendering a verdict in a case and all jurors with at least three hours of trial time with the judge] shall be given a juror questionnaire.

(ii) Distribution of surveys. Prior to the jury being dismissed, the bailiff or clerk in charge of the jury shall distribute surveys[questionnaires and comment cards] to the jurors. The bailiff or clerk shall collect completed surveys, seal them in an envelope, and mail them [completed questionnaires in sealed envelopes ] to the surveyor. [The bailiff or clerk shall deliver comment cards that the jurors have sealed in separate envelopes directly to the judge.]The surveyor shall deliver survey results electronically to each judge.

(c) Court Staff

(i) Identification of survey respondents. Court staff who have worked with the judge shall include, where applicable:

(A) court clerks;

(B) bailiffs;

(C) law clerks;

(D) probation and intake officers;

(E) courthouse staff;

(F) Administrative Office of the Courts staff.

(ii) Pilot program. The commission shall run a pilot program in 2009 to evaluate the methodology, content, and administrative feasibility of surveying court staff.

(d) Litigants

(i) Identification of survey respondents. A litigant is a party to a cause of action before a judge who is being evaluated.

(A) The following categories of litigants may be surveyed:

(I) any competent person 14 years of age or older;

(II) the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of any minor;

(III) the designated representative of a corporate or like entity.

(B) The representative of the prosecuting entity in a criminal case shall be

surveyed as an attorney. Prosecutor responses to the judicial temperament part of the survey shall be reported in both the attorney and litigant portions of the judicial evaluation report.

(ii) Pilot Program. The commission shall run a pilot program in 2009 to evaluate the methodology, content, and administrative feasibility of surveying litigants.

(e) Witnesses

(i) Identification of survey respondents. A witness is anyone not surveyed as a litigant who testifies in court before a judge who is being evaluated. Any witness who is competent and who is 14 years of age or older is qualified as a witness survey respondent.

(ii) Pilot Program. The commission shall run a pilot program in 2009 to evaluate the methodology, content, and administrative feasibility of surveying witnesses.

 

KEY: judicial performance evaluations, judges, evaluation cycles, surveys

Date of enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: May 1, 2009

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 78A-12

 


Additional Information

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Joanne Slotnik at the above address, by phone at 801-538-1652, by FAX at 801-538-1024, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected].