Judicial Administrative Code

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Wisconsin Administrative Code - Judicial Commission

Table of contents

JC 1 Authorization and definitions
JC 2 Commission organization
JC 3 General provisions

JC 4 Misconduct

JC 5 Disability

JC 6 Prosecution

Chapter JC 1

Authorizations and definitions

JC 1.01 Authorization

JC 1.02 Definitions

JC 1.01 Authorization. The rules in chs. JC 1 to 6 are adopted by the commission pursuant to s. 757.83 (3), Stats., and relate to ss. 757.81 to 757.99, Stats.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79.

JC 1.02 Definitions. The definitions in s. 757.81, Stats., apply in chs. JC 1 to 6. In addition, in chs. JC 1 to 6:

(1) "Allegation" means a charge of misconduct or disability directed to the commission.

(2) "Complaint" means a written document filed by the commission with the supreme court after a finding of probable cause, alleging misconduct.

(3) "Concern" means a non-disciplinary disposition of an allegation in which the commission communicates its views and suggestions to the judge or court commissioner regarding a matter that arose out of proceedings on an allegation.

(4) "Executive director" means the executive director of the commission.

(5) "Person" means any natural person, any partnership, corporation, group, association or organization or any political body. "Person" includes the executive director, the commission or any commissioner.

(6) "Petition" means a written document filed by the commission with the supreme court after a finding of probable cause, alleging that a judge or court commissioner has a permanent disability.

(7) "Probable cause" means that it is more probable than not that the allegation is true.

(8) "Warning" means a non-disciplinary disposition of an allegation in which the commission cautions the judge or court commissioner not to engage in specified proscribed behavior, and may advise the judge or court commissioner to follow a specified corrective course of action.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79, am. (2) and (6), Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; renum. (4) to be (4m) under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats, renum. (3) to be (4), am. (6), cr. (7) and (8), Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. (3), (6) and (8), r. (4m), Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

Chapter JC 2

Commission organization

JC 2.01 Officers

JC 2.02 Meetings

JC 2.03 Screening committee

JC 2.04 Other committees

JC 2.01 Officers. The officers of the commission are a chairperson and vice chairperson. If the chairperson is absent, unavailable, or otherwise unable to act, or refuses to act, the vice chairperson shall perform the duties of the chairperson. If the chairperson resigns or dies, the vice chairperson succeeds to the office of chairperson until the next regularly scheduled election of officers. The term for each office is one year. An officer may serve no more than 2 consecutive terms in a particular office, but is eligible to serve in an office other than the one previously held. Officers shall be elected at the first meeting after August 1 of each year.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 2.02 Meetings. (1) Regular meetings shall be held at least 6 times a year upon the call of and at a time and place fixed by the chairperson. Sufficient notice shall be given to enable the commissioners so notified to attend the meetings. Public notice of all meetings shall comply with s. 19.84, Stats.

(2) Special meetings shall be held at the request of the chairperson or at the request of any 3 commissioners. Commissioners shall be notified of the meeting not less than 72 hours in advance of the meeting, unless a majority of the commission agrees to meet on less than 72 hours' notice. A special meeting to consider the question of probable cause shall require at least 72 hours' notice to all commissioners not disqualified in the matter.

(3) Regular or special meetings may take place by telephone conference with the consent of a majority of the commission. Telephone conference meetings shall be accessible to the public.

(4) Any notice to commissioners required under this section may be given in person, in writing or by telephone, whichever is most practicable.

(5) All voting at commission meetings shall be by show of hands or roll call.

(6) The minutes of a commission meeting shall include all motions made and seconded, all voting, including abstentions, and all absences and disqualifications.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. (1), (2) and (4), r. and recr. (3), cr. (5) and (6), Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 2.03 Screening committee. The chairperson shall appoint a screening committee consisting of at least 3 commissioners to review annually a sample of decisions to close initial inquiries made by staff without commission action, for appropriateness and consistency of those decisions, to do preliminary evaluations of allegations when requested by the chairperson and otherwise to serve at the pleasure of the chairperson.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 2.04 Other committees. The chairperson shall appoint a personnel and a nominations committee and any additional committee that the commission establishes for a specified purpose, to serve at the pleasure of the chairperson or the commission.

History: Cr. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

Chapter JC 3

General provisions

JC 3.01 Confidentiality

JC 3.02 Independent investigators

JC 3.03 Revised allegation

JC 3.04 Disqualification

JC 3.05 Internal proceedings

JC 3.06 Commission not to act as appellate court

JC 3.07 Jurisdiction

JC 3.08 Access to files by commissioners

JC 3.01 Confidentiality. The proceedings of the judicial commission prior to the filing of a formal complaint concerning misconduct or a petition concerning permanent disability are confidential, unless a written waiver of confidentiality has been made by the judge or court commissioner. If a person who makes an allegation under s. JC 4.01 or 5.01, breaches the confidentiality of the investigation, the commission may dismiss the allegation, admonish the person or take other appropriate action. Clarifying and other statements may be made by the commission regarding an investigation as provided in s. 757.93 (2), Stats.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 3.02 Independent investigators. The commission may authorize the executive director to appoint independent persons to investigate allegations of misconduct or permanent disability, with authority and duties specified by the executive director or commission.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 3.03 Revised allegation. The commission may decide after an investigation has started that a particular allegation of misconduct is properly an allegation of disability or that a particular allegation of disability is properly an allegation of misconduct. If an allegation is revised in this manner, a new allegation shall be made and

proceedings shall

continue under ch. JC 4 or 5, whichever is applicable.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 3.04 Disqualification. (1) A member shall not participate in any matter if a judge similarly situated would be disqualified in a court proceeding. In cases other than mandatory disqualification if the propriety of participation is challenged, the question shall be decided by a majority of the other commissioners present and voting.

(2) A member who while serving on the commission makes any financial or other public contribution supporting or opposing a candidate for election or appointment to judicial office shall not participate in any matter involving a judge or court commissioner who at the time of the contribution was a candidate for that office. Public contributions include signing or circulating nomination papers, soliciting campaign contributions, and openly endorsing or opposing the election or appointment of a particular candidate.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; renum. to be (1) and am., cr. (2), Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. (2), Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 3.05 Internal proceedings. The commission shall prescribe procedures for its internal proceedings as the commission deems appropriate.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82.

JC 3.06 Commission not to act as appellate court. The commission shall not function as an appellate court to review the decisions of a court, judge, or court commissioner or to exercise superintending or administrative control over determinations of courts, judges or court commissioners.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; renum. from JC 3.07, Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 3.07 Jurisdiction. Allegations may be considered only if they relate to actions or conduct occurring while the judge or court commissioner holds judicial office or is eligible to serve as a reserve judge under s. 753.075, Stats., and applicable supreme court rules. Actions or conduct of a person prior to assuming judicial office or subsequent to leaving judicial office, unless the person is eligible to serve as a reserve judge under s. 753.075, Stats., and applicable supreme court rules, are not within the jurisdiction of the commission.

Note: "Applicable supreme court rules" include SCR 32.08, which requires a judge to earn annually 5 continuing education credits in order to be eligible for appointment as a reserve judge.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; renum. from JC 3.08 and am., Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 3.08 Access to files by commissioners. A commissioner shall have access to all commission records, whether open to the public or confidential, except for those confidential records on a matter in which the commissioner is, was, or would have been disqualified.

History: Cr. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

Chapter JC 4

Misconduct

JC 4.01 Allegation

JC 4.02 Preliminary evaluation

JC 4.03 Investigation

JC 4.04 Report to commission

JC 4.05 Commission consideration

JC 4.06 Informal appearance; disposition

JC 4.07 Cause to proceed further; formal appearance

JC 4.08 Commission finding

JC 4.09 Dismissed allegations

JC 4.01 Allegation. The commission shall consider any allegation of misconduct or permanent disability on the part of a judge or court commissioner from any source which reasonably indicates the existence of a cause justifying inquiry. Any person who submits a statement to the commission alleging misconduct or permanent disability by a judge or court commissioner may request that his or her identity be kept confidential, which request shall be complied with prior to the filing of a formal complaint or petition with the supreme court under s. 757.85 (5), Stats. The executive director may seek additional facts relative to the allegation. The executive director shall make an initial determination of whether the allegation indicates the existence of a cause justifying review by the commission. If there is cause for review, the allegation shall be reduced to writing and filed as a request for investigation.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 4.02 Preliminary evaluation. (1) The executive director, or at the chairperson's request, the screening committee, shall undertake an initial review of a request for investigation for preliminary analysis and clarification of the matters alleged.

(2) If the screening committee does the preliminary evaluation, the committee either shall recommend that the allegation be dismissed or shall authorize an investigation and refer the matter to the executive director for investigation under s. JC 4.03.

If the committee decides to recommend dismissal, the matter shall be referred to the commission. The commission may vote either to dismiss the allegation or to authorize an investigation under s. JC 4.03.

(3) If the executive director does the preliminary evaluation, he or she may engage in limited and discreet fact-finding intended to aid the commission in determining whether to authorize an investigation. The director shall report the preliminary evaluation to the commission, which may vote to dismiss the allegation or to authorize an investigation under s. JC 4.03.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. (1) and (2), cr. (3), Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 4.03 Investigation. (1) If the commission or the screening committee determines that an investigation is warranted, the matter shall be referred to the executive director for investigation. The executive director shall notify the person who made the allegation of the investigation. The executive director shall also notify the judge or court commissioner of the investigation unless the commission determines otherwise for good cause. The executive director shall conduct a full, fair and prompt investigation. The investigation shall be conducted so as to avoid unnecessary embarrassment to and publicity for the judge or court commissioner. Persons contacted for information shall be requested not to disclose that an investigation is being conducted or the nature of any inquiries. Any person

providing information may request that his or her identity be kept confidential. The request shall be complied with prior to the filing of a formal complaint or petition with the supreme court under s. 757.85 (5), Stats. A judge or court commissioner, if notified under this subsection, may present such evidence to the executive director as the judge or court commissioner deems appropriate. The judge or court commissioner may be represented by counsel during all stages of the commission's proceedings.

(2) The commission, by its chairperson or executive director, may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, including the judge or court commissioner, and to command the production of books, papers, documents or tangible things designated in the subpoena in connection with an investigation.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 4.04 Report to commission.(1) The executive director shall report to the commission on the status of all pending requests for investigation at each regular meeting.

(2) The executive director shall prepare a report of each investigation made, which shall be given or mailed to each commission member participating in the matter.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.

JC 4.05 Commission consideration. After considering the report of the investigation under s. JC 4.03, and the facts furnished to it, the commission shall either dismiss the allegation, hold the matter open for further investigation during which the commission may request the judge or court commissioner to make an informal appearance before the commission, or find that there is cause to proceed further.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 4.06 Informal appearance; disposition (1) If the judge or court commissioner is requested to make an informal appearance before the commission under s. JC 4.05 the request shall include notice of the nature of the allegation and the matters to be discussed at the appearance.

(2) Following the conclusion of an informal appearance, or if the judge or court commissioner fails to appear after reasonable notice of the request, the commission shall either dismiss the matter, hold the matter open for further investigation, find that there is cause to proceed further, or take any of the actions under s. JC 4.08 (3), (4), (5) or (7).

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; r. and recr. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 4.07 Cause to proceed further; formal appearance. If after investigation the commission determines that there is cause to proceed further, the judge or court commissioner shall be notified and be requested to respond. Notice shall include the substance of the allegation and its factual basis in writing. The judge or court commissioner may be given such further information concerning the allegation as the commission deems proper under the circumstances. The judge or court commissioner shall be requested to file a written response to the commission within 20 days of receipt of the notice unless the commission or its chairperson shortens or enlarges the time to respond for good cause. The judge or court commissioner shall also be requested to make a formal appearance in person before the commission. The formal appearance shall be recorded verbatim and a transcript shall be provided to the judge or court commissioner at commission expense.

History: Cr. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 4.08 Commission finding. Following the conclusion of proceedings under s. JC 4.07, the commission shall do any of the following:

(1) Refer the matter back to the executive director for further investigation under s. JC 4.03. The judge or court commissioner may respond under s. JC 4.07 if the commission decides there is cause to proceed further on an additional allegation.

(2) Find that probable cause of misconduct or permanent disability does not exist, and dismiss the allegation.

(3) Find that by reason of the lapse of time or other circumstances the conduct described in the allegation is no longer relevant to his or her continued conduct as a judge or court commissioner, and dismiss the allegation.

(4) Dismiss the matter with such expression of concern or warning as the commission deems appropriate upon finding that there is credible evidence that any of the following exists:

(a) A violation of one or more standards of the code of judicial ethics that is not aggravated or persistent.

(b) A violation of a rule of the code of judicial ethics that is not wilful.

(c) A failure to perform official duties that is not wilful or persistent.

(d) The allegation does not warrant prosecution because of its minor nature or other circumstances.

(5) Find that any misconduct or disability specified in the allegation is caused by a mental or physical condition for which treatment is appropriate and, with the agreement of the judge or court commissioner, hold open the allegation until the judge or court commissioner completes an appropriate treatment program. Upon successful completion of the program and demonstration that the conduct is unlikely to be repeated, the allegation shall be dismissed. Otherwise, a finding shall be made under sub. (6) or (7).

(6) Find that probable cause exists that a judge or court commissioner has engaged or is engaging in misconduct, and file a formal complaint, or that the judge or court commissioner has a permanent disability and file a formal petition, with the supreme court under s. 757.85 (5), Stats.

(7) Make such other disposition of the matter as is appropriate under the circumstances.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am, (1) (d), r. (1) (f), renum. (1) (g) to be (1) (f) and am., cr. (1) (d) 1. to 4. and (1) (g), Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; renum. from JC 4.07 and am., r. (2), Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. (1), (3), (5) and (6), Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

JC 4.09 Dismissed allegations. (1) If the allegation is dismissed, the commission shall notify the person who made the allegation and the judge or court commissioner, whether or not the judge or court commissioner has previously been notified of the matter, unless the commission determines for good cause that the judge or court commissioner not be notified.

(2) The dismissal of an allegation by the commission does not preclude later consideration of any matter involved in it to the extent that it may evidence a pattern or practice or is otherwise relevant to the consideration of any other matter properly before the commission. A dismissed allegation may be reconsidered if new information is received upon the basis of which the commission determines that reconsideration is necessary to fulfill the purposes of the judicial conduct and disability system.

History: Cr. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. (1), Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

Chapter JC 5

Disability

JC 5.01 Allegation

JC 5.02 Medical examination and reports

JC 5.01 Allegation. The provisions of ch. JC 4 apply to allegations of permanent disability except as provided in this chapter.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82.

JC 5.02 Medical examination and reports. (1) The commission may require a judge or court commissioner who is under investigation for a permanent disability to submit to a medical examination arranged and paid for by the commission. The report of the medical examiner shall be provided to the commission and to the judge or the court commissioner or the judge's or court commissioner's attorney. For purposes of this provision, an investigation of a permanent disability

continues through any period in which an allegation is held open for treatment under s. JC 4.08 (5).

(2) Medical records or reports obtained by the commission during an investigation of an allegation of permanent disability or as a result of the judge's or court commissioner's participation in a treatment program under s. JC 4.08 (5) may be considered by the commission at any stage of its proceedings.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; r. and recr. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. Register, June, 1993, No. 450, eff. 7-1-93.

Chapter JC 6

Prosecution

JC 6.01 Prosecution

JC 6.01 Prosecution. The commission may authorize the executive director, or may engage special counsel, to prosecute a case on behalf of the commission.

History: Cr. Register, May, 1979, No. 281, eff. 6-1-79; am. Register, February, 1982, No. 314, eff. 3-1-82; am. Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91.


 

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