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First Substitute S.B. 72
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the selection and retention of justice court judges, and makes other
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . provides for a performance evaluation and retention process for all justice court
15 . amends the jurisdiction of the District Court;
16 . specifies compensation for justice court judges; and
17 . creates a county-wide judicial nominating commission to fill vacancies in justice
19 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
21 Other Special Clauses:
22 This bill takes effect on January 1, 2009.
23 Utah Code Sections Affected:
25 20A-12-201, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 308
26 78A-5-102, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
27 78A-7-201, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
28 78A-7-203, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
29 78A-7-206, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
30 78A-7-213, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
31 REPEALS AND REENACTS:
32 78A-7-202, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
34 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
35 Section 1. Section 20A-12-201 is amended to read:
36 20A-12-201. Judicial appointees -- Retention elections.
37 (1) (a) Each judicial appointee to a court [
38 retention election at the first general election held more than three years after the judge or
39 justice was appointed.
40 (b) After the first retention election:
41 (i) each Supreme Court justice shall be on the regular general election ballot for an
42 unopposed retention election every tenth year; and
43 (ii) each judge of other courts [
44 for an unopposed retention election every sixth year.
45 (2) (a) Each justice or judge [
46 the year the justice or judge is subject to a retention election:
47 (i) file a declaration of candidacy as if a candidate for multi-county office in
48 accordance with Section 20A-9-202 ; and
49 (ii) pay a filing fee of $50.
50 (b) Each [
51 justice [
52 (i) file a declaration of candidacy as if a candidate for county office in accordance with
53 Section 20A-9-202 ; and
54 (ii) pay a filing fee of $25.
55 (3) (a) The lieutenant governor shall, by September 1 of each regular general election
57 (i) transmit a certified list containing the names of the justices of the Supreme Court
58 and judges of the Court of Appeals declaring their candidacy to the county clerk of each
59 county; and
60 (ii) transmit a certified list containing the names of judges of other courts declaring
61 their candidacy to the county clerk of each county in the geographic division in which the judge
62 filing the declaration holds office.
63 (b) Each county clerk shall place the names of justices and judges standing for
64 retention election in the nonpartisan section of the ballot.
65 (4) At the general election, the ballots shall contain, as to each justice or judge of any
66 court to be voted on in the county, the following question:
67 "Shall ______________________________(name of justice or judge) be retained in the
68 office of ___________________________?" (name of office, such as "Justice of the Supreme
69 Court of Utah"; "Judge of the Court of Appeals of Utah"; "Judge of the District Court of the
70 Third Judicial District;" "Judge of the Juvenile Court of the Fourth Juvenile Court District";
72 Yes ()
73 No ()."
74 (5) (a) If the justice or judge receives more yes votes than no votes, the justice or judge
75 is retained for the term of office provided by law.
76 (b) If the justice or judge does not receive more yes votes than no votes, the justice or
77 judge is not retained, and a vacancy exists in the office on the first Monday in January after the
78 regular general election.
79 (6) A justice or judge not retained is ineligible for appointment to the office for which
80 the justice or judge was defeated until after the expiration of that term of office.
81 Section 2. Section 78A-5-102 is amended to read:
82 78A-5-102. Jurisdiction -- Appeals.
83 (1) The district court has original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal, not
84 excepted in the Utah Constitution and not prohibited by law.
85 (2) The district court judges may issue all extraordinary writs and other writs necessary
86 to carry into effect their orders, judgments, and decrees.
87 (3) The district court has jurisdiction over matters of lawyer discipline consistent with
88 the rules of the Supreme Court.
89 (4) The district court has jurisdiction over all matters properly filed in the circuit court
90 prior to July 1, 1996.
91 (5) The district court has appellate jurisdiction to adjudicate trials de novo of the
92 judgments of the justice court and of the small claims department of the district court.
93 (6) Appeals from the final orders, judgments, and decrees of the district court are under
94 Sections 78A-3-102 and 78A-4-103 .
95 (7) The district court has jurisdiction to review:
96 (a) agency adjudicative proceedings as set forth in Title 63, Chapter 46b,
97 Administrative Procedures Act, and shall comply with the requirements of that chapter, in its
98 review of agency adjudicative proceedings; and
99 (b) municipal administrative proceedings in accordance with Section 10-3-703.7 .
100 (8) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), the district court has subject matter jurisdiction in
101 class B misdemeanors, class C misdemeanors, infractions, and violations of ordinances only if:
102 (a) there is no justice court with territorial jurisdiction;
103 (b) the offense occurred within the boundaries of the municipality in which the district
104 courthouse is located and that municipality has not formed, or formed and then dissolved, a
105 justice court; or
106 (c) they are included in an indictment or information covering a single criminal episode
107 alleging the commission of a felony or a class A misdemeanor.
108 (9) The district court has jurisdiction of actions under Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 2,
109 Child Protective Orders, if the juvenile court transfers the case to the district court.
110 Section 3. Section 78A-7-201 is amended to read:
111 78A-7-201. Justice court judge eligibility -- Mandatory retirement -- Service after
113 (1) A [
114 (a) a citizen of the United States;
115 (b) 25 years of age or older;
116 (c) a resident of Utah for at least three years immediately preceding his appointment;
117 (d) a resident of the [
118 adjacent county for at least six months immediately preceding appointment; and
119 (e) a qualified voter of the [
128 as a qualification to hold office but shall have at the minimum a [
130 accredited four year college or university. This requirement does not apply to justice court
131 judges holding office on [
132 continuing education requirements under Section 78A-7-205 .
134 judgment, integrity, and the ability to understand and apply appropriate law with impartiality.
136 (4) Justice court [
145 retirement and who is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the office may hear
146 a case as prescribed by rule of the Supreme Court.
147 (b) The retired justice court judge shall take and subscribe an oath of office only upon
148 the first appointment. The retired justice court judge shall receive reasonable compensation for
149 services as set by local ordinance of the municipality or county.
150 Section 4. Section 78A-7-202 is repealed and reenacted to read:
151 78A-7-202. Justice court judges to be appointed -- Procedure -- Retention
152 (1) As used in this section:
153 (a) "Local government executive" means:
154 (i) the chair of the county commission in counties having the county commission form
155 of county government;
156 (ii) the county executive in counties having the county executive-council form of
158 (iii) the chair of the city council or town council in municipalities having the traditional
159 management arrangement established by Title 10, Chapter 3, Part 1, Governing Body;
160 (iv) the city manager, in the council-manager optional form of government defined in
161 Section 10-3-101 ; and
162 (v) the mayor, in the council-mayor optional form of government defined in Section
163 10-3-101 .
164 (b) "Local legislative body" means:
165 (i) the county commission or county council; and
166 (ii) the city council or town council.
167 (2) There is created in each county a county justice court nominating commission to
168 review applicants and make recommendations to the appointing authority for a justice court
169 position. The commission shall be convened when a new justice court judge position is created
170 or when a vacancy in an existing court occurs for a justice court located within the county.
171 (a) Membership of the justice court nominating commission shall be as follows:
172 (i) one member appointed by:
173 (A) the county commission if the county has a county commission form of
174 government; or
175 (B) the county executive if the county has an executive-council form of government;
176 (ii) one member appointed by the municipalities in the counties as follows:
177 (A) if the county has only one municipality, appointment shall be made by the
178 governing authority of that municipality; or
179 (B) if the county has more than one municipality, appointment shall be made by a
180 municipal selection committee composed of the mayors of each municipality in the county;
181 (iii) one member appointed by the county bar association; and
182 (iv) two members appointed by the governing authority of the jurisdiction where the
183 judicial office is located.
184 (b) Members appointed under Subsections (a)(i) and (a)(ii) may not be an elected
185 official of the county or municipality.
186 (c) The nominating commission shall submit at least two names to the appointing
187 authority of the jurisdiction expected to be served by the judge. The local government
188 executive shall appoint a judge from the list submitted and the appointment ratified by the local
189 legislative body.
190 (d) The state court administrator shall provide staff to the commission. The Judicial
191 Council shall establish rules and procedures for the conduct of the commission.
192 (3) Judicial vacancies shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation, through
193 the Utah State Bar, and other appropriate means.
194 (4) Selection of candidates shall be based on compliance with the requirements for
195 office and competence to serve as a judge.
196 (5) Once selected, the Judicial Council shall certify the judge as qualified to hold office
197 upon successful completion of the orientation program.
198 (6) The selection of a person to fill the office of justice court judge is effective upon
199 certification of the judge by the Judicial Council. A justice court judge may not perform
200 judicial duties until certified by the Judicial Council.
201 (7) Upon the expiration of a justice court judge's term of office the judge shall be
202 subject to an unopposed retention election in the county or counties in which the court to which
203 the judge is appointed is located, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section
204 20A-12-201 .
205 (8) Before each retention election, each justice court judge shall be evaluated in
206 accordance with the performance evaluation program established in Subsection 78A-1-104 (5).
207 Section 5. Section 78A-7-203 is amended to read:
208 78A-7-203. Term of office for justice court judge.
209 (1) [
210 Monday in [
212 vacancy before January 1, 2009 hold office until [
219 Section 6. Section 78A-7-206 is amended to read:
220 78A-7-206. Determination of compensation and limits -- Salary survey -- Limits
221 on secondary employment.
222 (1) [
223 governing body of the respective municipality or county [
225 (a) The governing body of the municipality or county may not set a full-time justice
226 court judge's salary at less than 50% nor more than 90% of a district court judge's salary.
227 (b) The governing body of the municipality or county shall set a part-time justice court
228 judge's salary as follows:
229 (i) The governing body shall first determine the full-time salary range outlined in
230 Subsection (1)(a).
231 (ii) The caseload of a part-time judge shall be determined by the office of the state
232 court administrator and expressed as a percentage of the caseload of a full-time judge.
233 (iii) The judge's salary shall then be determined by applying the percentage determined
234 in Subsection (1)(b)(ii) against the salary range determined in Subsection (1)(a)(i).
235 (c) A justice court judge shall receive an annual salary adjustment at least equal to the
236 average salary adjustment for all county or municipal employees for the jurisdiction served by
237 the judge.
241 judge, may not receive a total salary for service as a justice court judge greater than the salary
242 of a district court judge.
256 federal, state, or justice court or appear as an attorney in any justice court or in any juvenile
257 court case involving conduct which would be criminal if committed by an adult.
259 contracting for services in any justice agency of state government or any political subdivision
260 of the state including law enforcement, prosecution, criminal defense, corrections, or court
263 organization engaged in any political activity or serve as an elected official in state government
264 or any political subdivision of the state.
266 which regularly litigates in small claims court.
268 Conduct Commission under Title 78A, Chapter 11, Judicial Conduct Commission.
269 Section 7. Section 78A-7-213 is amended to read:
270 78A-7-213. Trial facilities -- Hours of business.
271 (1) A justice court judge shall conduct all official court business in a courtroom or
272 office located in a public facility which is conducive and appropriate to the administration of
274 (2) Each county, city, or town shall provide adequate courtroom and auxiliary space for
275 the justice court. The facility need not be specifically constructed for or allocated solely for the
276 justice court if existing facilities adequately serve the purposes of the justice court.
277 (3) [
278 shall be transacted:
279 (a) five days per week; or
280 (b) no less than four days per week for at least 11 hours per day.
281 (4) The legislative body of the county, city, or town shall establish operating hours for
282 the justice courts within the requirements of Subsection (3) and the code of judicial
284 (5) The hours the courts are open shall be posted conspicuously at the courts and in
285 local public buildings.
286 (6) The clerk of the court and judges of [
287 attend the court at regularly scheduled times.
288 (7) By July 1, 2011, all justice courts shall use a common case management system and
289 disposition reporting system as specified by the Judicial Council.
290 Section 8. Effective date.
291 This bill takes effect on January 1, 2009.
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