Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since April 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R597. Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, Administration.

Rule R597-2. Administration of the Commission.

As in effect on April 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R597-2-1. Internal Operating Procedures.

(1) The commission may adopt procedures governing internal operations relating to judicial performance evaluation and meeting protocol, consistent with state statute and these rules.

(2) Proposed amendments to internal operating procedures shall be submitted in writing to all members of the commission in advance of the next regular meeting, at which time a majority of the commission is required for the adoption of the amendment. Amendments become effective immediately upon ratification.

R597-2-2. Disclosure, Recusal, and Disqualification.

(1) Disclosure.

(a) Commissioners shall make disclosures at the monthly commission meeting prior to the first scheduled meeting at which the retention evaluation reports for a given class of judges will be discussed or, in any event, no later than the beginning of the meeting at which a particular judge's evaluation is considered.

(b) Each commissioner shall disclose to the commission any professional or personal relationship or conflict of interest with a judge that may affect an unbiased evaluation of the judge.

(c) Relationships that may affect an unbiased evaluation of the judge include any contact or association that might influence a commissioner's ability to fairly and reasonably evaluate the performance of any judge or to assess that judge without bias or prejudice, including but not limited to:

(i) family relationships to a state, municipal, or county judge within the third degree (grandparents, parents or parents-in-law, aunts or uncles, children, nieces and nephews and their spouses);

(ii) any business relationship between the commissioner and the judge.

(iii) any personal litigation directly or indirectly involving the judge and the commissioner, the commissioner's family or the commissioner's business;

(d) A commissioner exhibits bias or prejudice when the commissioner is predisposed to decide a cause or an issue in a way that does not leave the commissioner's mind open to exercising the commissioner's duties impartially in a particular case.

(e) Disclosures made with respect to a judge subject to evaluation constitute a protected record pursuant to Subsection 78A-12-203(5)(e).

(2) Recusal.

(a) As used in this rule, recusal is a voluntary act of self-disqualification by a commissioner.

(b) Recusal encompasses exclusion both from participating in the commission's evaluation of judge and from voting on whether to recommend the judge for retention.

(c) After making a disclosure, a commissioner may voluntarily recuse if the commissioner believes the relationship with the judge will affect an unbiased evaluation of the judge.

(3) Disqualification.

(a) A commissioner may move to vote on the disqualification of another commissioner if:

(i) the other commissioner makes a disclosure and does not voluntarily recuse, and that commissioner's impartiality might reasonably be questioned; or

(ii) the other commissioner does not make a disclosure, but known circumstances suggest that the commissioner's impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

(b) A commissioner may not be disqualified from voting on whether to recommend that the voters retain a judge solely because the member appears before the judge as an attorney, a fact witness, or an expert, pursuant to Subsection 78A-12-203(5)(e)(i).

(c) A motion to disqualify must be seconded in order to proceed.

(d) During the discussion concerning possible disqualification, any commissioner may raise any facts concerning another commissioner's ability to fairly and reasonably evaluate the performance of any judge without bias or prejudice.

(e) A two-thirds vote of those present is required to disqualify any commissioner.

(f) Disqualification encompasses exclusion both from participating in the commission's evaluation of a judge and from voting on whether to recommend the judge for retention.

R597-2-3. Reporting Improper Attempts to Influence.

A commissioner shall report to the executive committee any form of communication that attempts to influence the evaluation process by improper means, including but not limited to undue pressure, duress, or coercion.

R597-2-4. Confidentiality.

(1) The commission enacts this rule to avoid the risk of inconsistent statements by commissioners and to maintain the credibility of the commission and the integrity of its work product.

(2) Only the commission's designated spokesperson may publicly discuss the evaluation of any particular judge or justice.

(3) No commissioner may publicly advocate for or against the retention of any particular judge or justice.

(4) Notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection, commissioners may publicly discuss the evaluation process, including but not limited to discussion of respondent groups, survey instruments, and the operation of the commission.

R597-2-5. Data Publicity.

In response to requests for the commission's data set, the commission shall choose appropriate methods to protect respondent confidentiality. The commission may:

(1) Elect to collapse data elements,

(2) Elect to withhold data elements from release, and

(3) Take other reasonable measures as necessary.

KEY

internal operating procedures, reporting improper attempts to influence, conflicts of interest, confidentiality

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

November 28, 2017

Notice of Continuation

April 13, 2015

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

78A-12-201 through 78A-12-206


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R597, please contact the promulgating agency (Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.