Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2341 Allocation of vacant judgeships.(2015-2016)



SECTION 1.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that this act shall not be construed to limit any of the following:
(a) The authority of the Legislature to create and fund new judgeships pursuant to Section 4 of Article VI of the California Constitution.
(b) The authority of the Governor to appoint a person to fill a vacancy pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16 of Article VI of the California Constitution.
(c) The authority of the Chief Justice of California to assign judges pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 6 of Article VI of the California Constitution.

SEC. 2.

 Section 69614.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

69614.5.
 (a) To provide for a more equitable distribution of judgeships and upon notice to the applicable courts, up to five vacant judgeships shall be allocated from superior courts with more authorized judgeships than their assessed judicial need to superior courts with fewer authorized judgeships than their assessed judicial need pursuant to the requirements of this section.
(b) The allocation of vacant judgeships pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be in accordance with a methodology approved by the Judicial Council after solicitation of public comments. The determination of a superior court’s assessed judicial need shall be in accordance with the uniform standards for factually determining additional judicial need in each county, as updated and approved by the Judicial Council, pursuant to the Update of Judicial Needs Study, based on the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 69614.
(c) If a judgeship in a superior court becomes vacant, the Judicial Council shall determine whether the judgeship is eligible for allocation to another superior court under the methodology, standards, and criteria described in subdivision (b). If the judgeship is eligible for allocation to another superior court, the Judicial Council shall promptly notify the applicable courts, the Legislature, and the Governor that the judgeship vacated in one court shall be allocated to another court.
(d) (1) For purposes of this section only, a judgeship shall become “vacant” when an incumbent judge relinquishes the office through resignation, retirement, death, removal, or confirmation to an appellate court judgeship during either of the following:
(A) At any time before the deadline to file a declaration of intention to become a candidate for a judicial office pursuant to Section 8023 of the Elections Code.
(B) After the deadline to file a declaration of intention to become a candidate for a judicial office pursuant to Section 8023 of the Elections Code if no candidate submits qualifying nomination papers by the deadline pursuant to Section 8020 of the Elections Code.
(2) For purposes of this section, a judgeship shall not become “vacant” when an incumbent judge relinquishes the office as a result of being defeated in an election for that office.