JRC: Governing Statutes

Governing Statutes

RELEVANT CONNECTICUT GENERAL STATUTES GOVERNING
THE JUDICIAL REVIEW COUNCIL AND
ITS JURISDICTION

CHAPTER 872
JUDGES

Section
51-45b Medical examination of judge or family support magistrate ordered by Chief Court Administrator, when referred to Judicial Review Council
51-45c Investigation by Judicial Review Council regarding mental infirmity or illness, drug dependency or alcohol addiction of judge or family support magistrate. Findings. Authority.
51-46a Statement of financial interests to be reported
51-49 Disability retirement of judges, state's attorneys, public defenders, family support magistrates and compensation commissioners

CHAPTER 872a
REMOVAL, SUSPENSION AND CENSURE OF JUDGES

Section
51-51g Declaration of intent
51-51h Application of chapter
51-51i Grounds for removal, suspension and censure
51-51j Removal or suspension by Supreme Court
51-51k Judicial Review Council established
51-51l Investigation of judicial conduct
51-51m Vote of council
51-51n Authority of council
51-51o Witnesses to testify
51-51p Suspension of salary during suspension
51-51q Recommendation of council regarding appointment or reappointment of sitting judge
51-51r Appeals, rules
51-51s Disqualification of judge from sitting
51-51t Compensation of members

Chapter 872

Sec. 51-45b. Medical examination of judge or family support magistrate ordered by Chief Court Administrator. Matter referred to Judicial Review Council. Whenever the Chief Court Administrator has reason to believe that a judge or family support magistrate cannot fully perform his or her judicial or magisterial duties by reason of mental infirmity or illness or because of drug dependency or addiction to alcohol, the Chief Court Administrator shall direct such judge or family support magistrate to be examined by such qualified medical expert or experts as the Chief Court Administrator shall designate, at the expense of the judicial department. If the judge or family support magistrate fails to undergo any such examination or if, upon due consideration of the report of the expert or experts, the Chief Court Administrator is satisfied and concludes that the judge or family support magistrate cannot fully perform his or her judicial or magisterial duties, the Chief Court Administrator shall modify the assignment of the judge or family support magistrate, or shall remove said judge or family support magistrate from any assignment, and shall refer the matter together with the report, if any, of the expert or experts to the Judicial Review Council.

Sec. 51-45c. Investigation by Judicial Review Council re mental infirmity or illness, drug dependency or alcohol addiction of judge or family support magistrate. Findings. Authority. (a) The Judicial Review Council shall investigate every matter referred to it under section 51-45b. Not later than five days after receipt of such matter, the council, by registered or certified mail, shall notify the judge or family support magistrate under investigation of such referral. Any investigation and proceeding held to determine whether or not a judge or family support magistrate can fully perform his or her judicial or magisterial duties because of mental infirmity or illness or drug dependency or addiction to alcohol shall be confidential and any individual called by the council for the purpose of providing information shall not disclose his knowledge of such investigation and proceeding to a third party unless the judge or family support magistrate requests that such investigation and proceeding be open. The council may request the judge or family support magistrate to submit all medical and other records pertaining to said physical and mental condition of such judge or family support magistrate. If a judge or family support magistrate declines to submit such record, or if further information is needed, the Judicial Review Council may request the judge or family support magistrate to submit to independent medical or other examinations at the expense of the judicial department. A copy of the results of any independent examination shall be provided to the judge or family support magistrate. If a judge or family support magistrate fails or refuses to submit to an independent examination requested by the council, unless such failure or refusal is due to circumstances beyond the judge's or family support magistrate's control, the judge or family support magistrate shall be precluded from submitting reports of medical examinations done on the judge's or family support magistrate's behalf. The council may consider such judge's or family support magistrate's refusal or failure as evidence that the judge or family support magistrate has a mental infirmity or illness or drug dependency or addiction to alcohol. The judge or family support magistrate shall have the right to appear and be heard and to offer any information which may prove that he has no mental infirmity or illness or drug dependency or addiction to alcohol which prevents him or her from performing judicial or magisterial duties. The judge or family support magistrate shall also have the right to be represented by legal counsel and examine and cross-examine witnesses.

(b) The council shall not later than three business days after the termination of such proceeding notify the Chief Court Administrator and the judge or family support magistrate of the findings thereof.

(c) (1) If the council finds that the judge or family support magistrate is not suffering from any mental infirmity or illness or drug dependency or addiction to alcohol and can fully perform his or her judicial or magisterial duties, the Chief Court Administrator shall reassign such judge or family support magistrate or modify such judge's or family support magistrate's assignment. (2) If the council finds that a judge or family support magistrate is suffering from a temporary mental infirmity, mental illness, drug dependency or addiction to alcohol which prevents the judge or family support magistrate from performing his or her judicial or magisterial duties, either on a full-time or part-time basis, the council shall request the judge or family support magistrate to seek appropriate treatment. A judge or family support magistrate who can perform his or her duties on a part-time basis while undergoing treatment shall be assigned by the Chief Court Administrator to duties as he or she deems fit. A judge or family support magistrate who cannot perform any duties while undergoing treatment shall seek a paid voluntary leave of absence. Upon completion of a treatment program as determined by the Judicial Review Council and a finding by the Judicial Review Council that said judge or family support magistrate can fully perform his or her judicial or magisterial duties, a judge or family support magistrate who was on leave of absence shall be reassigned by the Chief Court Administrator, or a judge or family support magistrate who was performing judicial or magisterial duties on a part-time basis shall resume full-time duties. The Judicial Review Council shall monitor compliance by the judge or family support magistrate in the treatment program which has been established and shall periodically report to the Chief Court Administrator as to the status of such judge or family support magistrate. If the judge or family support magistrate refuses to seek treatment, or does not fully cooperate in the treatment program, the council may (A) publicly censor the judge or family support magistrate; (B) suspend the judge or family support magistrate for a definite term not to exceed one year; (C) refer the matter to the Supreme Court with a recommendation that the judge or family support magistrate be suspended for a period longer than one year; or (D) refer the matter to the Supreme Court with a recommendation that the judge or family support magistrate be removed from office. (3) If the Judicial Review Council finds that a judge is permanently incapable of adequately fulfilling his or her duties because of mental infirmity or illness or drug dependency or addiction to alcohol, the judge shall thereupon be retired with retirement pay to be determined as provided in section 51-50. (4) If the Judicial Review Council finds that a family support magistrate is permanently incapable of adequately fulfilling his or her duties because of mental infirmity or illness or drug dependency or addiction to alcohol, the family support magistrate shall be removed from office. Such removal shall not preclude the family support magistrate from applying for benefits, which may be available, pursuant to chapters 65 and 66.

Sec. 51-46a. Statement of financial interests to be reported. (a) Each judge of the Superior Court, each judge of the Appellate Court, each judge of the Supreme Court and each family support magistrate shall file under penalty of false statement, a statement of financial interests for the preceding calendar year with the office of the Chief Court Administrator on or before April fifteenth next for any year in which the judge or family support magistrate holds such position.

(b) The statement, on a form provided by the office of the Chief Court Administrator, shall include the following information for the preceding calendar year in regard to the judge or family support magistrate, his or her spouse and the dependent children living in his or her household: (1) With respect to the judge or family support magistrate, the statement shall include: (A) The date, place and nature of any activity for which the judge or family support magistrate received compensation other than judicial or magisterial compensation for services rendered and the name of the payer and the amount of the compensation received provided, if the compensation received was a fee for an appearance or the delivery of an address to any meeting of any organization, the report of the fee so received shall be filed within thirty days after receipt of the fee; (B) the name of each security in excess of five thousand dollars at fair market value owned by the judge or family support magistrate or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of the judge or family support magistrate, except in the case of a trust established by a judge or family support magistrate for the purpose of divesting himself or herself of all control and knowledge of his or her assets in order to avoid a conflict of interest during his or her term of office, only the existence of the trust and the name of the trustee shall be included, but the value need not be specified; (C) all real property and its location, whether owned by the judge or family support magistrate or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of the judge or family support magistrate; (2) with respect to his or her spouse and dependent children living in his or her household, the statement shall include; (A) The name of all businesses with which the spouse or child is associated; (B) the category or type of all sources of income of his or her spouse or each child in excess of one thousand dollars, but amounts of income need not be specified, and the names and addresses of specific clients and customers who provide more than five thousand dollars of income, and amounts of income need not be specified; (C) the name of each security in excess of five thousand dollars at fair market value owned by the spouse or each child or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of the spouse or child, except in the case of a trust established by the spouse or child for the purpose of divesting the spouse or child of all control and knowledge of his or her assets in order to avoid a conflict of interest during the judge's or family support magistrate's term of office, only the existence of the trust and the name of the trustee shall be included, but the value need not be specified; (D) all real property and its location, whether owned by the spouse or child or held in the name of a corporation, partnership or trust for the benefit of the spouse or child; (E) any fees or honorariums received for any appearance or the delivery of an address to any meeting of any organization by the spouse or child shall be disclosed within thirty days after receipt of the fee or honorarium.

(c) The statement filed pursuant to this section shall be a matter of public information, except the list of names filed in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section shall be sealed and confidential and for the use of the Judicial Review Council and the Supreme Court only if an investigation has been initiated under section 51-51j and the Judicial Review Council or the Supreme Court is of the opinion that disclosure of the list is germane to investigation. The list may be subject to a subpoena in any criminal prosecution, impeachment proceedings or a hearing before the Supreme Court under section 51-51j.

(d) The financial statement, except as provided in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section shall be open to inspection at the office of the Chief Court Administrator of the Judicial Department or at a place designated by the Chief Court Administrator.

(e) The Chief Court Administrator shall report to the Judicial Review Council any judge or family support magistrate who fails to file any statement required by this section.

Sec. 51-49. Disability retirement of judges, state's attorneys, public defenders, family support magistrates, and compensation commissioners. (a) When the Chief Justice or any judge of the Supreme Court, or the Appellate Court, or the Superior Court, or the Chief State's Attorney, a Deputy Chief State's Attorney, or any state's attorney who had elected under the provisions of section 51-278 to be included within the provisions of this section, or any public defender, Chief Public Defender or Deputy Chief Public Defender who had elected under the provisions of section 51-295a to be included within the provisions of this section, or any family support magistrate who had elected under the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (i) of section 46b-231, or any compensation commissioner, has become so permanently incapacitated as to be unable to fulfill adequately the duties of his or her office, he or she may be retired by the Judicial Review Council as hereinafter provided, upon application by him or her or upon its own motion.

(b) If the Judicial Review Council finds that the justice, judge, Chief State's Attorney, Deputy Chief State's Attorney, state's attorney, Chief Public Defender, Deputy Chief Public Defender, public defender, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner is permanently incapacitated from adequately fulfilling his or her duties, (1) the justice, judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner shall thereupon be retired with retirement pay to be determined as provided by section 51-50, or (2) the Chief State's Attorney, Deputy Chief State's Attorney, state's attorney, Chief Public Defender, Deputy Chief Public Defender or public defender shall thereupon be retired and shall receive as retirement pay, annually, two-thirds the salary of the office which he or she held at the time of his or her retirement, as such salary may be changed from time to time. No judge shall be denied benefits under section 51-50 as a result of the expiration of his or her judicial term of office during the pendency of a disability matter before the Judicial Review Council. Any council proceedings pursuant to this section shall be confidential.

Chapter 872a

Sec. 51-51g. Declaration of intent. The General Assembly finds that for the impartial and effective administration of justice in this state (1) the continued independence of the judiciary is indispensable, (2) it is in the public interest to foster the dignity and integrity of the judiciary, (3) to the foregoing ends it is desirable to establish appropriate mechanisms and procedures for the maintenance of judicial discipline, and (4) the mere making of unpopular or erroneous decisions is not a ground for judicial discipline or for a finding of want of judicial integrity.

Sec. 51-51h. Application of chapter. This chapter shall apply to judges of the Superior Court, judges of the Appellate Court, judges of the Supreme Court and family support magistrates, and the term "judges" as used in this chapter refers to such judges and also to senior judges and state referees.

Sec. 51-51i. Grounds for removal, suspension and censure. (a) In addition to removal by impeachment and removal by the Governor on the address of two-thirds of each house of the General Assembly as provided in the Connecticut Constitution, a judge shall be subject, in the manner and under the procedures provided in this chapter to censure, suspension or removal from office for (1) conduct prejudicial to the impartial and effective administration of justice which brings the judicial office in disrepute, (2) wilful violation of section 51-39a or any canon of judicial ethics, (3) wilful and persistent failure to perform the duty of a judge, (4) neglectful or incompetent performance of the duties of a judge, (5) final conviction of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, (6) disbarment or suspension as an attorney-at-law, (7) wilful failure to file a financial statement or the filing of a fraudulent financial statement required under section 51-46a, or (8) temperament which adversely affects the orderly carriage of justice.

(b) In addition to removal by the Governor for cause pursuant to subsection (f) of section 46b-231, a family support magistrate shall be subject, in the manner and under the procedures provided in this chapter to censure, suspension or removal from office for (1) conduct prejudicial to the impartial and effective administration of justice which brings the magisterial office in disrepute, (2) wilful violation of section 51-39a or any canon of judicial ethics, (3) wilful and persistent failure to perform the duty of a magistrate, (4) neglectful or incompetent performance of the duties of a magistrate, (5) final conviction of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, (6) disbarment or suspension as an attorney-at-law, (7) wilful failure to file a financial statement or the filing of a fraudulent financial statement required under section 51-46a, or (8) temperament which adversely affects the orderly carriage of justice.

(c) In addition to removal by the Governor for cause pursuant to subsection (e) of section 31-276, a compensation commissioner shall be subject, in the manner and under procedures provided in this chapter to censure, suspension or removal from office for (1) conduct prejudicial to the impartial and effective administration of his duties which brings the office of compensation commissioner in disrepute, (2) wilful violation of any provision of the code of ethics for workers’ compensation commissioners, (3) wilful and persistent failure to perform the duty of a compensation commissioner, (4) neglectful or incompetent performance of the duties of a compensation commissioner, (5) final conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, (6) disbarment or suspension as an attorney-at-law, or (7) temperament which adversely affects the orderly carriage of the duties of a compensation commissioner.

Sec. 51-51j. Removal or suspension by Supreme Court. (a) The Supreme Court may remove or suspend any judge or family support magistrate for any period upon recommendation of the Judicial Review Council, established under section 51-51k, or on its own motion. Upon receipt of such recommendation or on its own motion, the Supreme Court shall make an investigation of the conduct complained of and hold a hearing thereon, unless such an investigation and hearing has been held by the Judicial Review Council.

(b) If the recommendation or motion involves the conduct of a member of the Supreme Court, such member shall be disqualified with regard to the investigation, hearing and decision on the recommendation or motion.

(c) Hearings under this section shall not be public unless requested by the judge or family support magistrate under investigation.

(d) In determining whether to remove or suspend a judge or family support magistrate from office, the determination shall be made by a full court, as provided in section 51-207. A judge or family support magistrate shall not be removed except on the concurrent opinion of the members of the full court as provided in section 51-207, and a judge or family support magistrate shall not be suspended for any period of time, except upon a majority vote of the court.

Sec. 51-51k. Judicial Review Council. (a) There is hereby established a Judicial Review Council to be composed of the following members: (1) Three judges of the Superior Court, who are not also judges of the Supreme Court, who shall be appointed by the Governor, from a list of six judges selected by the members of the Superior Court, with the approval of the General Assembly, (2) three attorneys-at-law, who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the General Assembly, (3) six persons who are not judges or attorneys-at-law, who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the General Assembly, and (4) thirteen alternate members who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the General Assembly, as follows: (A) Two judges of the Superior Court who are not also judges of the Supreme Court, from a list of four judges selected by the members of the Superior Court, (B) two attorneys-at-law admitted to practice in this state, (C) three persons who are not judges or attorneys-at-law , (D) three compensation commissioners, and (E) three family support magistrates.

(b) An alternate member who is a judge, attorney-at-law or person who is not a judge or attorney-at-law shall serve at probable cause hearings and public hearings in lieu of a member who is a judge, attorney-at-law or person who is not a judge or attorney-at-law, respectively, when such member is absent or disqualified, as designated by the executive director of the council. An alternate member who is a compensation commissioner shall serve as a member of the council in lieu of one of the members who is a judge of the Superior Court, as designated by the executive director, when the subject of a complaint or investigation is a compensation commissioner. An alternate member who is a family support magistrate shall serve as a member of the council in lieu of one of the members who is a judge of the Superior Court, as designated by the executive director, when the subject of a complaint or investigation is a family support magistrate. An alternate member shall have the same power as the member he or she is temporarily replacing during the absence or disqualification of the member.

(c) Appointment and terms of members on and after December 1, 1992. On and after December 1, 1992, members shall be appointed in accordance with subsection (a) as follows: One judge shall be appointed for a term of two years, one judge shall be appointed for a term of three years and one judge shall be appointed for a term of four years; one attorney shall be appointed for a term of two years, one attorney shall be appointed for a term of three years and one attorney shall be appointed for a term of four years; two lay members shall be appointed for terms of two years, two lay members shall be appointed for terms of three years, and two lay members shall be appointed for terms of four years. Thereafter members shall serve for terms of four years. Members may continue in office until a successor is appointed and qualified. No member appointed on or after December 1, 1992, may serve consecutive terms, and if the member is an attorney, no member of his firm may serve a term consecutive to such member, provided no member may serve for more than two terms. Vacancies on the council shall be filled for the unexpired portion of any term in the same manner as the original appointment. Any member who is a judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner and retires from full-time active service as a judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner shall automatically cease to be a member of the council, and a vacancy shall be deemed to occur. Alternate members shall be appointed for terms of three years and shall not serve consecutive terms as alternate members.

(d) Holding elected or appointed positions restricted. No member of the council, except a judge, family support magistrate or compensation commissioner, may hold any elected or appointed position with compensation within the state or United States, or be a selectman or chief executive officer of any municipality, or a full or part-time employee of the judicial department or workers’ compensation commission, or a member of a national or state central committee, or a chairperson of any political party.

(e) Executive director. (1) The Judicial Review Council shall employ an executive director and such other staff as is necessary for the performance of its functions and duties. (2) The Executive director may investigate any complaint filed pursuant to section 51-51l and present evidence obtained pursuant to any such investigation to the council.

(f) Brochure. The Judicial Review Council shall develop a concise brochure written in plain language to provide the public with information concerning the purpose, authority, jurisdiction and process of the Judicial Review Council. The council shall distribute the brochure to all court administrative offices and to any person who files a complaint pursuant to section 51-51l.

(g) Annual Report. The Judicial Review Council shall submit to the Governor, the Judicial Department, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the Judicial Review Council, and the judges of the Superior Court annually on or before September first, a report of its activities for the previous fiscal year including the number of complaints received and the number of each type of complaint disposition, including the number of dismissals, the number of admonishments and the number of cases in which probable cause was found.

(h) Office space. The Commissioner of Public Works shall provide the Judicial Review Council office space for the conduct of duties of the council.

(i) Regulations. The Judicial Review Council shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish rules and procedures for the council in the discharge of its duties under this chapter and to provide standards for the identification of and procedures for the treatment of conflicts of interest for council members, which standards shall require that any professional or ethical codes of conduct shall apply to any professional member of the council subject to such codes of conduct.

Sec. 51-51l. Investigation of conduct of judge, compensation commissioner or family support magistrate. (a) Except as provided in subsection (d), the Judicial Review Council shall investigate every written complaint brought before it alleging conduct under section 51-51i, and may initiate an investigation of any judge, compensation commissioner or family support magistrate if (1) the council has reason to believe conduct under section 51-51i has occurred or (2) previous complaints indicate a pattern of behavior which would lead to a reasonable belief that conduct under section 51-51i has occurred. The council shall, not later than five days after such initiation of an investigation or receipt of such complaint, notify by registered or certified mail any judge, compensation commissioner or family support magistrate under investigation or against whom such complaint is filed. A copy of any such complaint shall accompany such notice. The council shall also notify the complainant of its receipt of such complaint not later than five days thereafter. Any investigation to determine whether or not there is probable cause that conduct under section 51-51i has occurred shall be confidential and any individual called by the council for the purpose of providing information shall not disclose his knowledge of such investigation to a third party prior to the decision of the council on whether probable cause exists, unless the respondent requests that such investigation and disclosure be open, provided information known or obtained independently of any such investigation shall not be confidential. The judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate shall have the right to appear and be heard and to offer any information which may tend to clear him of probable cause to believe he is guilty of conduct under section 51-51i. The judge, compensation commissioner or family support magistrate shall also have the right to be represented by legal counsel and examine and cross-examine witnesses. In conducting its investigation under this subsection, the council may request that a court furnish to the council a record or transcript of court proceedings made or prepared by a court reporter, assistant court reporter or monitor and the court shall, upon such request, furnish such record or transcript.

(b) The Judicial Review Council shall, not later than three business days after the termination of such investigation, notify the complainant, if any, and the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate that the investigation has been terminated and the results thereof. If the council finds that conduct under section 51-51i has not occurred, but the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate has acted in a manner which gives the appearance of impropriety or constitutes an unfavorable judicial or magisterial practice, the council may issue an admonishment to the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate recommending a change in judicial or magisterial conduct or practice. If an admonishment is issued, the council shall (1) notify the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary that an admonishment was issued and provide said committee with the substance of the admonishment, including copies of the complaint file, and (2) inform the complainant, if any, that an admonishment was issued if the admonishment is the result of misconduct alleged in the complaint. Except as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the substance of the admonishment shall not be disclosed to any person or organization.

(c) If a preliminary investigation indicates that probable cause exists that the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate is guilty of conduct under section 51-51i, the council shall hold
a hearing concerning the conduct or complaint. All hearings held pursuant to this subsection shall be open. A judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate appearing before such a hearing shall be entitled to counsel, to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses. The council shall make a record of all proceedings pursuant to this subsection. The council shall not later than thirty days after the close of such hearing publish its findings together with a memorandum of its reasons therefor.

(d) No complaint against a judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate alleging conduct under section 51-51i shall be brought under this section but within one year from the date the alleged conduct occurred or was discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered, except that no such complaint may be brought more than three years from the date the alleged conduct occurred.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the council shall disclose any information concerning complaints received by the council on and after January 1, 1978, investigations, and disposition of such complaints to the legislative program review and investigations committee when requested by the committee in the course of its functions, in writing and upon a majority vote of the committee, provided no names or other identifying information shall be disclosed.

(f) On and after December 19, 1991, any judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate who has been the subject of an investigation by the Judicial Review Council as a result of a complaint brought before such council may request that such complaint, investigation and the disposition of such complaint be open to public inspection.

(g) Whenever a complaint against a judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate is pending before the Judicial Review Council within the final year of the term of office of such judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate, the Judicial Review Council shall designate such complaint as privileged and shall conduct an expedited investigation and hearing so that its duties with respect to such complaint are completed in sufficient time to enable the Judicial Review Council to make its recommendation concerning any such judge to the judicial selection commission and the Governor under section 51-51q in a timely manner.

Sec. 51-51m. Vote of council. Findings to be indexed. (a) The Judicial Review Council may take any action upon a majority vote of its members present and voting, except that twelve members of the Judicial Review Council shall constitute a quorum for any action to publicly censure a judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate, suspend a judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate for any period, refer the matter to the Supreme Court with a recommendation that a judge or family support magistrate be suspended for a period longer than one year or refer the matter to the Supreme Court with a recommendation that a judge or family support magistrate be removed from office or to the Governor with a recommendation that a compensation commissioner be removed from office, and the concurring vote of seven of such members shall be required.

(b) The council shall make its findings in writing and all such findings shall be compiled and indexed.

Sec. 51-51n. Authority of council. (a) The Judicial Review Council may, after a hearing pursuant to subsection (c) of section 51-51l, (1) publicly censure the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate, (2) suspend the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate for a definite term not to exceed one year, (3) refer the matter to the Supreme Court with a recommendation that the judge or family support magistrate be suspended for a period longer than one year, (4) refer the matter to the Supreme Court with a recommendation that the judge or family support magistrate be removed from office or to the Governor with a recommendation that the compensation commissioner be removed from office or (5) exonerate the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate of all charges.

(b) If public censure is recommended, the chairman shall prepare and forward the censure in writing to the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate being censured, the chief justice, the Chief Court Administrator, and the joint standing committee on judiciary, at least ten days prior to the publication of the censure. The censure shall be a public record as defined in section 1-19. An appeal from the decision of the council for public censure shall automatically stay the publication of the censure.

(c) If the council exonerates a judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate, a copy of the proceedings and report of the council shall be furnished to the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate.

Sec. 51-51o. Witnesses to testify. (a) Any person may be compelled, by subpoena signed by competent authority, to appear before the Supreme Court or Judicial Review Council to testify in relation to any complaint brought to or by the court or council against a judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate for conduct alleged in section 51-51i, or in relation to any matter referred to the council by the Chief Court Administrator pursuant to section 51-45b, and may be compelled, by subpoena signed by competent authority, to produce before the court or council, for examination, any books or papers which in the judgment of the court or council or any judges, compensation commissioners, or family support magistrates under investigation are relevant to the inquiry or investigation. The court or council, while engaged in the discharge of its duties, shall have the same authority over witnesses as is provided in section 51-35 and may commit for contempt for a period no longer than thirty days.

(b) In making any investigation, the court or council may use the services of the Division of State Police with the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or any other state agency, provided only the court may use the services of the Division of Criminal Justice.

Sec. 51-51p. Suspension of salary during suspension. During the period of suspension from office for conduct described in section 51-51i, all judicial salary provided for in section 51-47 or salary provided for in section 31-277 or 46b-231, as the case may be, including any benefits relating thereto, shall be suspended and time shall not be accrued for any rights in any pension plan. If the suspension from office is overruled by the Supreme Court or the Governor, as the case may be, all salary and benefits and time for vesting of pension rights, which may have been suspended, shall be paid or credited to the judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate who was suspended.

Sec. 51-51q. Recommendation of council regarding appointment or reappointment of judge and reappointment of family support magistrate and compensation commissioner. (a) (1) The Judicial Review Council shall submit its recommendations concerning the nomination for appointment to a different court of any judge or nomination for reappointment of any judge whose term of office is about to expire, including a report of any complaint filed against any such judge and the disposition of any such complaint, and including any investigation of any such judge by the council to the Governor, to the Judicial Selection Commission and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary, provided the Judicial Selection Commission shall not consider any investigation of the Judicial Review Council which resulted in the exoneration of a judge. (2) In addition to the information required to be submitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Judicial Review Council shall make all complaint files concerning any such judge available to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, if the disposition of a complaint filed against any such judge involved the issuance of an admonishment to or the public censure or suspension of such judge, (A) no information pertaining to the complaint and the investigation and disposition of such complaint may be removed, redacted or otherwise withheld by the Judicial Review Council prior to making such complaint files available to said committee as required by this subdivision, and (B) the Judicial Review Council shall provide to said committee any information, including, but not limited to, any confidential information in its possession concerning such judge that may be requested in writing by the cochairpersons of said committee. Such information shall be provided to said committee not later than three business days following the date the request is received by the Judicial Review Council. Any confidential information provided to said committee as required by this subdivision shall not be further disclosed to any person or organization. (3) If the Judicial Review Council has reason to believe any such judge is guilty of conduct under section 51-51i, material neglect of duty or incompetence in the conduct of his office, it may refuse to recommend such judge for nomination for appointment to a different court or for reappointment. The Judicial Review Council shall not recommend a judge for nomination for appointment to a different court or for reappointment if the council finds such judge has willfully violated section 51-39a or has been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

(b) The Judicial Review Council shall submit its recommendations concerning the reappointment of any family support magistrate whose term of office is about to expire, including a report of any investigation of any such magistrate by the council, to the Governor.

(c) The Judicial Review Council shall submit its recommendations concerning the nomination for reappointment of any compensation commissioner whose term of office is about to expire, including a report of any investigation of such compensation commissioner by the council, to the Governor and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary. The Judicial Review Council shall provide information to said committee concerning any complaint filed against such compensation commissioner and the investigation and disposition of such complaint, including, but not limited to, confidential information, in the same manner and subject to the same requirements as information provided under subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section.

(d) If a complaint against any such judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate is received by the Judicial Review Council and the Judicial Review Council is unable to make its findings and complete its duties with respect to such judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate prior to the expiration of the term of office of such judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate, the Judicial Review Council shall not refuse to recommend such judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate for reappointment based on such complaint, but shall report the fact of such complaint to the Governor and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary.

Sec. 51-51r. Appeals, rules. Any judge or family support magistrate aggrieved by any decision of the Judicial Review Council may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court in accordance with such procedure for the appeal as the Supreme Court shall adopt by rule.

Sec. 51-51s. Disqualification of judge, compensation commissioner or family support magistrate. A judge, compensation commissioner, or family support magistrate is disqualified from acting as a judge, compensation commissioner, or a family support magistrate, as the case may be, while there is pending (1) a charge against him for a crime punishable as a felony under the laws of this state or federal law, or a charge against him in another jurisdiction which would be punishable as a felony under Connecticut or federal law, or (2) a charge against him for a crime under the law of any jurisdiction which involves moral turpitude under Connecticut law, or (3) a recommendation to the Supreme Court or the Governor, as the case may be, by the Judicial Review Council for his suspension or removal.

Sec. 51-51t. Compensation of members. (a) Members of the Judicial Review Council shall not receive compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties as members.

(b) The council may apply for and receive grants from private sources and the federal government.





Content Last Modified on 8/15/2007 7:42:10 AM