7 LONG TITLE
8 Committee Note:
9 The Judiciary Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10 Legislative Vote: 14 voting for 0 voting against 3 absent
11 General Description:
12 This bill amends provisions related to retention elections for justice court judges.
13 Highlighted Provisions:
14 This bill:
15 ▸ amends the ballot requirements for a retention election of a justice court judge; and
16 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
17 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19 Other Special Clauses:
21 Utah Code Sections Affected:
23 20A-12-201, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 401
25 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26 Section 1. Section 20A-12-201 is amended to read:
27 20A-12-201. Judicial appointees -- Retention elections.
28 (1) (a) Each judicial appointee to a court is subject to an unopposed retention election
29 at the first general election held more than three years after the judge or justice was appointed.
30 (b) After the first retention election:
31 (i) each Supreme Court justice shall be on the regular general election ballot for an
32 unopposed retention election every tenth year; and
33 (ii) each judge of other courts shall be on the regular general election ballot for an
34 unopposed retention election every sixth year.
35 (2) (a) Each justice or judge of a court of record who wishes to retain office shall, in
36 the year the justice or judge is subject to a retention election:
37 (i) file a declaration of candidacy with the lieutenant governor, or with the county clerk
38 in the candidate's county of residence, within the period beginning on July 1 and ending at 5
39 p.m. on July 15 in the year of a regular general election; and
40 (ii) pay a filing fee of $50.
41 (b) (i) Each justice court judge who wishes to retain office shall, in the year the justice
42 court judge is subject to a retention election:
43 (A) file a declaration of candidacy with the lieutenant governor, or with the county
44 clerk in the candidate's county of residence, within the period beginning on July 1 and ending
45 at 5 p.m. on July 15 in the year of a regular general election; and
46 (B) pay a filing fee of $25 for each judicial office.
47 (ii) If a justice court judge is appointed or elected to more than one judicial office, the
48 declaration of candidacy shall identify all of the courts included in the same general election.
49 (iii) If a justice court judge is appointed or elected to more than one judicial office,
50 filing a declaration of candidacy in one county in which one of those courts is located is valid
51 for the courts in any other county.
52 (3) (a) The lieutenant governor shall, no later than August 31 of each regular general
53 election year:
54 (i) transmit a certified list containing the names of the justices of the Supreme Court
55 and judges of the Court of Appeals declaring their candidacy to the county clerk of each
56 county; and
57 (ii) transmit a certified list containing the names of judges of other courts declaring
58 their candidacy to the county clerk of each county in the geographic division in which the judge
59 filing the declaration holds office.
60 (b) Each county clerk shall place the names of justices and judges standing for
61 retention election in the nonpartisan section of the ballot.
62 (4) (a) At the general election, the ballots shall contain:
63 (i) at the beginning of the judicial retention section of the ballot, the following
65 "Visit judges.utah.gov to learn about the Judicial Performance Evaluation
66 Commission's recommendations for each judge"; and
67 (ii) as to each justice or judge of any court to be voted on in the county, the following
69 "Shall ______________________________(name of justice or judge) be retained in the
70 office of ___________________________? (name of office, such as "Justice of the Supreme
71 Court of Utah"; "Judge of the Court of Appeals of Utah"; "Judge of the District Court of the
72 Third Judicial District"; "Judge of the Juvenile Court of the Fourth Juvenile Court District";
73 "Justice Court Judge of (name of county) County or (name of municipality)")
74 Yes ()
75 No ()."
76 (b) If a justice court exists by means of an interlocal agreement under Section
77 78A-7-102, the ballot question for the judge shall include the name of that court.
78 (5) (a) If the justice or judge receives more yes votes than no votes, the justice or judge
79 is retained for the term of office provided by law.
80 (b) If the justice or judge does not receive more yes votes than no votes, the justice or
81 judge is not retained, and a vacancy exists in the office on the first Monday in January after the
82 regular general election.
83 (6) A justice or judge not retained is ineligible for appointment to the office for which
84 the justice or judge was defeated until after the expiration of that term of office.
90 (7) (a) If a justice court judge is standing for retention for one or more judicial offices
91 in a county in which the judge is a county justice court judge or a municipal justice court judge
92 in a town or municipality of the fourth or fifth class, as described in Section 10-2-301, or any
93 combination thereof, the election officer shall place the judge's name on the county ballot only
94 once for all judicial offices for which the judge seeks to be retained.
95 (b) If a justice court judge is standing for retention for one or more judicial offices in a
96 municipality of the first, second, or third class, as described in Section 10-2-301, the election
97 officer shall place the judge's name only on the municipal ballot for the voters of the
98 municipality that the judge serves.