Print Version
Previous PageFile uploaded: 7/1/2021

Rule 3-104. Presidingjudges.


To establish theprocedure for election, term of office, role, responsibilities and authority ofpresiding judges and associate presiding judges.


This rule shall apply topresiding judges and associate presiding judges in the District and JuvenileCourts.

Statement of the Rule:

(1) Election andterm of office.

(1)(A) Presidingjudge. The presiding judge in multi-judge courts shall be elected by amajority vote of the judges of the court. The presiding judge's term of officeshall be at least two years. A district, by majority vote of the judges of thecourt, may re-elect a judge to serve successive terms of office as presidingjudge. In the event that a majority vote cannot be obtained, the presiding judgeshall be appointed by the presiding officer of the Council to serve for twoyears.

(1)(B) Associatepresiding judge.

(1)(B)(i) In a courthaving more than two judges, the judges may elect one judge of the court to theoffice of associate presiding judge. An associate presiding judge shall beelected in the same manner and serve the same term as the presiding judge inparagraph (1)(A).

(1)(B)(ii) When thepresiding judge is unavailable, the associate presiding judge shall assume theresponsibilities of the presiding judge. The associate presiding judge shallperform other duties assigned by the presiding judge or by the court.

(1)(C) Removal.A presiding judge or associate presiding judge may be removed as the presidingjudge or associate presiding judge by a two-thirds vote of all judges in thedistrict. A successor presiding judge or associate presiding judge shall thenbe selected as provided in this rule.

(2) Courtorganization.

(2)(A) Court enbanc.

(2)(A)(i) Multi-judgecourts shall have regular court en banc meetings, including all judges of thecourt and the court executive, to discuss and decide court business. Thepresiding judge has the discretion to excuse the attendance of the courtexecutive from court en banc meetings called for the purpose of discussing theperformance of the court executive. In single-judge courts, the judge shallmeet with the court executive to discuss and decide court business.

(2)(A)(ii) The presidingjudge shall call and preside over court meetings. If neither the presidingjudge nor associate presiding judge, if any, is present, the presiding judge'sdesignee shall preside.

(2)(A)(iii) Each courtshall have a minimum of four meetings each year.

(2)(A)(iv) An agendashall be circulated among the judges in advance of the meeting with a knownmethod on how matters may be placed on the agenda.

(2)(A)(v) In addition toregular court en banc meetings, the presiding judge or a majority of the judgesmay call additional meetings as necessary.

(2)(A)(vi) Minutes ofeach meeting shall be taken and preserved.

(2)(A)(vii) Other thanjudges and court executives, those attending the meeting shall be by courtinvitation only.

(2)(A)(viii) The issueson which judges should vote shall be left to the sound discretion and judgmentof each court and the applicable sections of the Utah Constitution, statutes,and this Code.

(2)(B) Absence ofpresiding judge. When the presiding judge and the associate presiding judge, ifany, are absent from the court, an acting presiding judge shall be appointed.The method of designating an acting presiding judge shall be at the discretionof the presiding judge. All parties that must necessarily be informed shall benotified of the judge acting as presiding judge.

(3) Administrativeresponsibilities and authority of presiding judge.

(3)(A)(i) Generally. Thepresiding judge is charged with the responsibility for the effective operationof the court. He or she is responsible for the implementation and enforcementof statutes, rules, policies and directives of the Council as they pertain tothe administration of the courts, orders of the court en banc and supplementaryrules. The presiding judge has the authority to delegate the performance ofnon-judicial duties to the court executive. When the presiding judge actswithin the scope of these responsibilities, the presiding judge is actingwithin the judge?s judicial office.

(3)(A)(ii) Caseload.Unless the presiding judge determines it to be impractical, there is apresumption that the judicial caseload of the presiding judge shall be adjustedto provide the presiding judge sufficient time to devote to the management andadministrative duties of the office. The extent of the caseload reduction shallbe determined by each district.

(3)(A)(iii) Appeals. Anyjudge of the judicial district may ask the Chief Justice or Judicial Council toreview any administrative decision made by the presiding judge of thatdistrict.

(3)(B) Coordinationof judicial schedules.

(3)(B)(i) The presidingjudge shall be aware of the vacation and education schedules of judges and beresponsible for an orderly plan of judicial absences from court duties.

(3)(B)(ii) Each judgeshall give reasonable advance notice of his or her absence to the presidingjudge consistent with Rule 3-103(4).

(3)(C) Authorityto appoint senior judges.

(3)(C)(i) The presidingjudge is authorized to assign a senior judge for judicial assistance consistentwith Rule 3-108.?

(3)(C)(ii) The presidingjudge will notify the State Court Administrator or designee when a senior judgeassignment has been made.

(3)(D) Courtcommittees. The presiding judge shall, where appropriate, make use of courtcommittees composed of other judges and court personnel to investigate problemareas, handle court business and report to the presiding judge and/or the courten banc.

(3)(E) Outsideagencies and the media.

(3)(E)(i) The presidingjudge or court executive shall be available to meet with outside agencies, suchas the prosecuting attorney, the city attorney, public defender, sheriff,police chief, bar association leaders, probation and parole officers, countygovernmental officials, civic organizations and other state agencies. Thepresiding judge shall be the primary representative of the court.

(3)(E)(ii) Generally,the presiding judge or, at the discretion of the presiding judge, the courtexecutive shall represent the court and make statements to the media on matterspertaining to the total court and provide general information about the courtand the law, and about court procedures, practices and rulings where ethicspermit.

(3)(F) Docketmanagement and case and judge assignments.

(3)(F)(i) The presidingjudge shall monitor the status of the dockets in the court and implementimproved methods and systems of managing dockets.

(3)(F)(ii) The presidingjudge shall assign cases and judges in accordance with supplemental court rulesto provide for an equitable distribution of the workload and the promptdisposition of cases.

(3)(F)(iii) Individualjudges of the court shall convey needs for assistance to the presiding judge.The presiding judge shall, through the State Court Administrator, requestassistance of visiting judges or other appropriate resources when needed tohandle the workload of the court.

(3)(F)(iv) The presidingjudge shall discuss problems of delay with other judges and offer necessaryassistance to expedite the disposition of cases.

(3)(G) Courtexecutives.

(3)(G)(i) The presidingjudge shall review the proposed appointment of the court executive made by theState Court Administrator and must concur in the appointment beforeit will be effective. The presiding judge shall obtain the approval of amajority of the judges in that jurisdiction prior to concurring in theappointment of a court executive.

(3)(G)(ii) The presidingjudge for the respective court level and the state level administrator shalljointly develop an annual performance plan for the court executive.

(3)(G)(iii) Annually,the state level administrator shall consult with the presiding judge in thepreparation of an evaluation of the court executive's performance for theprevious year, also taking into account input from all judges in the district.

(3)(G)(iv) The presidingjudge shall be aware of the day-to-day activities of the court executive,including coordination of annual leave.

(3)(G)(v) Pursuant toCouncil policy and the direction of the state level administrator, the courtexecutive has the responsibility for the day-to-day supervision of thenon-judicial support staff and the non-judicial administration of the court.The presiding judge, in consultation with the judges of the jurisdiction, shallcoordinate with the court executive on matters concerning the support staff andthe general administration of the court including budget, facility planning,long-range planning, administrative projects, intergovernmental relations andother administrative responsibilities as determined by the presiding judge andthe state level administrator.

(3)(H) Courtroomsand facilities. The presiding judge shall direct the assignment ofcourtrooms and facilities.

(3)(I) Recordkeeping.Consistently with Council policies, the court executive, in consultation withthe presiding judge, shall:

(3)(I)(i) coordinate thecompilation of management and statistical information necessary for theadministration of the court;

(3)(I)(ii) establishpolicies and procedures and ensure that court personnel are advised and awareof these policies;

(3)(I)(iii) approveproposals for automation within the court in compliance with administrativerules.

(3)(J) Budgets.The court executive, in consultation with the presiding judge, shall overseethe development of the budget for the court. In contract sites, the courtexecutive shall supervise the preparation and management of the county budgetfor the court on an annual basis and in accordance with the Utah Code.

(3)(K) Judicialofficers. In the event that another judge or commissioner of the courtfails to comply with a reasonable administrative directive of the presidingjudge, interferes with the effective operation of the court, abuses his or herjudicial position, exhibits signs of impairment or violates the Code ofJudicial Conduct, the presiding judge may:

(3)(K)(i) Meet with andexplain to the judge or commissioner the reasons for the directive given or theposition taken and consult with the judge or commissioner.

(3)(K)(ii) Discuss theposition with other judges and reevaluate the position.

(3)(K)(iii) Present theproblem to the court en banc or a committee of judges for input.

(3)(K)(iv) Require the judgeor commissioner to participate in appropriate counseling, therapy, education ortreatment.

(3)(K)(v) Reassign thejudge or commissioner to a different location within the district or to adifferent case assignment.

(3)(K)(vi) Refer theproblem to the Judicial Council or to the Chief Justice.

(3)(K)(vii) In the eventthat the options listed above in subsections (i) through (vi) do not resolvethe problem and where the refusal or conduct is willful, continual, and thepresiding judge believes the conduct constitutes a violation of the Code ofJudicial Conduct, the presiding judge shall refer the problem to the Council orthe Judicial Conduct Commission.

(3)(L) Casesunder advisement.

(3)(L)(i) A case isconsidered to be under advisement when the entire case or any issue in the casehas been submitted to the judge for final determination. For purposes of thisrule, ?submitted to the judge? is defined as follows:

(3)(L)(i)(a) When a matter requiring attention is placed by staffin the judge?s personal electronic queue, inbox, personal possession, orequivalent;

(3)(L)(i)(b) If a hearing or oral argument is set, at theconclusion of all hearings or oral argument held on the specific motion ormatter; or

(3)(L)(i)(c) If further briefing is required after a hearing ororal argument, when all permitted briefing is completed, a request to submit isfiled, if required, and the matter is placed by staff in the judge's personalelectronic queue, inbox, personal possession, or equivalent.

A case is no longer under advisement when thejudge makes a decision on the issue that is under advisement or on the entirecase.

The final determinationoccurs when the judge resolves the pending issue by announcing the decision onthe record or by issuing a written decision, regardless of whether the partiesare required to subsequently submit for the judge?s signature a final ordermemorializing the decision.

(3)(L)(ii) Once a montheach judge shall submit a statement on a form to be provided by the State CourtAdministrator notifying the presiding judge of any cases or issues heldunder advisement for more than two months and the reason why the case or issuecontinues to be held under advisement.

(3)(L)(iii) Once amonth, the presiding judge shall submit a list of the cases or issues heldunder advisement for more than two months to the appropriate state leveladministrator and indicate the reasons why the case or issue continues to beheld under advisement.

(3)(L)(iv) If a case orissue is held under advisement for an additional 30 days, the state leveladministrator shall report that fact to the Council.

(3)(M) Board ofjudges. The presiding judge shall serve as a liaison between the court andthe Board for the respective court level.

(3)(N) Supervisionand evaluation of court commissioners. The presiding judge is responsiblefor the development of a performance plan for the Court Commissioner serving inthat court and shall prepare an evaluation of the Commissioner's performance onan annual basis. A copy of the performance plan and evaluation shall bemaintained in the official personnel file in the Administrative Office.

(3)(O) Magistrateavailability. The presiding judge in a district court shall consult withthe justice court administrator to develop a rotation of magistrates thatensures regular availability of magistrates within the district. The rotationshall take into account each magistrate?s caseload, location, and willingnessto serve.


 Effective June 28, 2021