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Rule 9-109. Presidingjudges.



To establish theprocedure for election, term of office, role, responsibilities, and authorityof presiding judges, associate presiding judges, and education directors forJustice Courts.



This rule shall apply topresiding judges, associate presiding judges, and education directors in theJustice Courts.


Statement of the Rule:


(1) Election and term of office.


(1)(A) Presidingjudge.

(1)(A)(i) A presidingjudge in each judicial district shall be elected by a majority vote of theactive judges present at the district meetings held at the 2018 Justice CourtConference. Thereafter, regular elections shall take place at the Justice CourtConference in odd years for odd-numbered districts and in even years foreven-numbered districts. If the Justice Court Conference is canceled, presidingjudges shall be elected at district meeting held no later than the last day ofthe Annual Judicial Conference that same year. In the event that a majorityvote cannot be obtained, the presiding judge shall be determined by the Boardof Justice Court Judges. Interim elections, if necessary, shall take place asprovided in this rule. A presiding judge shall be an active judge, currentlyappointed to at least one court within the district. Senior judges areineligible to hold or vote for the office of presiding judge.

(1)(A)(ii) The presidingjudge's term of office shall be from the time of his or her election orappointment until he or she resigns or until the next regular election,whichever occurs first. A presiding judge may serve successive terms.


(1)(B) Associatepresiding judge.

(1)(B)(i) The activejudges of a district may, at their discretion, elect one judge of the districtto the office of associate presiding judge. An associate presiding judge shallbe elected in the same manner and serve the same term as the presiding judge inparagraph (1)(A). An associate presiding judge shallbe an active judge, currently appointed to at least one court within thedistrict. Senior judges are ineligible to hold or vote for the office ofassociate presiding judge.

(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.


(1)(C) Districteducation director.

(1)(C)(i) The activejudges of a district may, at their discretion, elect one judge of the districtto the office of education director. An education director shall be elected inthe same manner and serve the same term as the presiding judge in paragraph (1)(A). Senior judges are ineligible to vote for the office ofdistrict education director but may hold the office. If a district does notelect an education director, the associate presiding judge, if there is one,shall serve as the education director. If the district elects neither aneducation director nor an associate presiding judge, the presiding judge shallserve as the education director.

(1)(C)(ii) The educationdirector shall serve on the justice court education committee and shall workwith the Education Department of the Administrative Office in developing,planning and presenting relevant judicial training at the district level.


(1)(D) Removaland Other Vacancies of Office.

(1)(D)(i) If the officeof presiding judge becomes vacant, then the associate presiding judge shallserve the rest of the presiding judge?s term. If there is no associatepresiding judge, the district education director shall, if the educationdirector is an active judge, serve the unexpired term. Otherwise, the Chair ofthe Board of Justice Court Judges shall appoint a judge to serve until the nextdistrict meeting.

(1)(D)(ii) A presidingjudge may appoint, on an interim basis, an eligible judge of the district tofill an unexpired term of associate presiding judge or education director untilthe next district meeting. At the district meeting, the active judges presentshall ratify the appointment by majority vote. If they do not ratify theappointment, or if the presiding judge does not make an interim appointment,nominations and an election shall then be held at that meeting to fill theunexpired term.

(1)(D)(iii) A presidingjudge, associate presiding judge or education director may be removed from thatoffice by a two-thirds vote of the active justice court judges in the district.A successor presiding judge shall, or an associate presiding judge or educationdirector may, then be elected to fill the unexpired term of the vacant office.

(1)(D)(iv)In extraordinary circumstances, to preserve confidence in the fairadministration of justice, the Presiding Officer of the Judicial Council mayremove a judge from any office described in this rule. Vacancies shall befilled as provided in this rule.


(2) District meetings.

(2)(A) Each districtshall have regular meetings to discuss and decide district business, receivetraining, or address issues and concerns specific to the district.

(2)(A)(i) The presidingjudge shall call and preside over a meeting of other justice court judges inthe district at the annual Justice Court Conference.

(2)(A)(ii) Each districtshall have at least one other meeting during the calendar year in which amajority of active justice court judges is present, including the presidingjudge or associate presiding judge.


(2)(B) In addition toregular meetings, the presiding judge or a majority of the active judges maycall additional meetings as necessary.


(2)(C) An agenda shallbe circulated among the judges in advance of any meeting with a known method onhow matters may be placed on the agenda.


(2)(D) Other than judgesand the Justice Court Administrator, attendance at district meetings shall beby invitation of the presiding judge only.


(2)(E) The issues on whichjudges vote shall be left to the sound discretion and judgment of each districtand the applicable sections of the Utah Constitution, statutes, and this Code.


(3) Administrative responsibilities andauthority of presiding judge.

(3)(A) Generally. The presiding judge ischarged with the responsibility for the effective operation of the justicecourts within a district. He or she is responsible for the implementation andenforcement of statutes, rules, policies, and directives of the JudicialCouncil and the Board of Justice Court Judges as they pertain to theadministration of the courts. When the presiding judge acts within the scope ofthese responsibilities, the presiding judge is acting within the judge?sjudicial office.


(3)(B) Coordinationof required training.

(3)(B)(i) The presidingjudge, associate presiding judge, or education director shall: (a) beresponsible to see that judges in his or her district are appropriatelytrained, (b) assist in planning statewide trainings as part of the EducationCommittee, (c) plan district training to be held in connection with themeetings required by section (2), (d) recommend mentors for new judges, and (e)arrange for individual training, as needed.

(3)(B)(ii) Presidingjudges are encouraged to observe the hearings of judges within the district toassess training needs.


(3)(C) Court committees. The presiding judgeshall, where appropriate, make use of committees composed of other judges andcourt personnel to investigate problem areas and improve the administration ofjustice.


(3)(D) Outsideagencies and the media.

(3)(D)(i) The presidingjudge shall be available to meet with the media, outside agencies, such as prosecuting attorneys, city attorneys,county attorneys, public defenders or associations of defense counsel,sheriffs, police chiefs, bar association leaders, probation providers, government officials of cities or counties locatedwithin the district, civic organizations, and other state agencies.

(3)(D)(ii) The presidingjudge shall be the primary judicial representative of the justice court judgesin the district.

(3)(D)(iii) Nothing inthis rule shall replace or interfere with the statutory and administrativeresponsibilities of an appointed judge to the appointing authority of a court.


(3)(E) Judicial officers. The presiding judgeshall discuss significant concerns, problems or complaints regarding the judgesin his or her district with the Justice Court Administrator, who shall worktogether to resolve the concern. In the event that another judge in thedistrict fails to comply with a reasonable administrative directive of thepresiding judge, interferes with the effective operation of the court, abuseshis or her judicial position, exhibits signs of impairment, or violates theCode of Judicial Conduct, the presiding judge may, depending on the severity ofthe issue and consistent with legal and ethical obligations:

(3)(E)(i) Consult with appropriate staff at the AdministrativeOffice of the Courts and/or discuss the issue with other presiding judges;

(3)(E)(ii) Meet with thejudge to explain the reasons for the directive given or the position taken,consult with the judge about alternative solutions and reevaluate the directiveor position, as appropriate;

(3)(E)(iii) Present the problem to the Board of Justice CourtJudges for input;

(3)(E)(iv)Require the judge to participate in appropriate counseling,therapy, education or treatment; or

(3)(E)(v) Refer theproblem to the Judicial Council, the Chief Justice, or the Judicial ConductCommission, as appropriate.


(3)(F) Liaison. The presiding judge or his orher designee shall serve as a liaison between the justice courts of thedistrict and (i) the Board of Justice Court Judges and (ii) the presidingjudges of Juvenile Court and District Court.


(3)(G) Reassignment.

(3(G)(i)In the event that a motion to disqualify a judge or judges is filed and noappointed judge of the court is available or empowered to hear the motion, thepresiding judge shall consider the motion and, if necessary, assign any judgeduly appointed pursuant to Utah Code section 78A-7-208 to serve as a temporaryjustice court judge.

(3)(G)(ii) In the eventthat all of the appointed judges of a court recuse themselves from a matter,the presiding judge shall assign any judge duly appointed pursuant to Utah Codesection 78A-7-208 to serve as a temporary justice court judge.


(3)(H) Compliance with standards. Thepresiding judge shall monitor and ensure that judges are complying withperformance standards established by the Council or as otherwise required bylaw.


(3)(I)Performance evaluations. Pursuantto Utah Code 78A-12-203, the presiding judge shall receive the midterm reportsprepared by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission for the otherjustice court judges in his or her district. The presiding judge shall consultwith the evaluated judge and the Justice Court Administrator to develop a planfor addressing the issues resulting in less than satisfactory scores.


Effective August 21,2020