Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 8. THE ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF COURTS [68070 - 77655]

  ( Title 8 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 206. )

CHAPTER 2.5. Commission on Judicial Performance [68701 - 68756]

  ( Heading of Chapter 2.5 amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 56, Sec. 93. )

ARTICLE 3. Investigations and Hearings [68750 - 68756]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 564. )

68750.
  

In the conduct of investigations and formal proceedings, the commission or the masters may (a) administer oaths; (b) order and otherwise provide for the inspection of books and records; and (c) issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of papers, books, accounts, documents and testimony relevant to any such investigation or formal proceeding.

The power to administer oaths, to issue subpoenas, or to make orders for or concerning the inspection of books and records may be exercised by a member of the commission or a master, unless the commission shall otherwise determine.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 564.)

68751.
  

In any investigation or formal proceeding in any part of the State, the process extends to all parts of the State. A person is not obliged to attend as a witness in any investigation or proceeding under this chapter unless the person is a resident within the state at the time of service.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 792, Sec. 1.)

68752.
  

If any person refuses to attend or testify or produce any writings or things required by any such subpoena, the commission or the masters may petition the superior court for the county in which the hearing is pending for an order compelling such person to attend and testify or produce the writings or things required by the subpoena before the commission or the masters. The court shall order such person to appear before it at a specified time and place and then and there show cause why he has not attended or testified or produced the writings or things as required. A copy of the order shall be served upon him. If it appears to the court that the subpoena was regularly issued, the court shall order such person to appear before the commission or the masters at the time and place fixed in the order and testify or produce the required writings or things. Upon failure to obey the order, such person shall be dealt with as for contempt of court.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 564.)

68753.
  

In any pending investigation or formal proceeding, the commission or the masters may order the deposition of a person residing within or without the state to be taken in such form and subject to such limitations as may be prescribed in the order. If the judge and counsel for the commission do not stipulate as to the manner of taking the deposition, either the judge or counsel may file in the superior court a petition entitled “In the Matter of Proceeding of Commission on Judicial Performance No. ________ (state number),” and stating generally, without identifying the judge, the nature of the pending matter, the name and residence of the person whose testimony is desired, and, directions, if any, of the commission or masters, asking that an order be made requiring that person to appear and testify before a designated officer. Upon the filing of the petition, the court may make an order requiring that person to appear and testify. A subpoena for the deposition shall be issued by the clerk and the deposition shall be taken and returned, in the manner prescribed by law for depositions in civil actions. If the deposition is that of a person residing or present within this state, the petition shall be filed in the superior court of the county in which the person resides or is present; otherwise in the superior court of any county in which the commission maintains an office.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 454, Sec. 82.)

68754.
  

Each witness, other than an officer or employee of the State or a political subdivision or an officer or employee of a court of this State, shall receive for his attendance the same fees and all witnesses shall receive the same mileage allowed by law to a witness in civil cases. The amounts shall be paid by the commission from funds appropriated for the use of the commission.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 564.)

68755.
  

No award of costs shall be made in any proceeding before the commission, masters, or Supreme Court.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 564.)

68756.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission shall be given access, on an ex parte basis, to all nonpublic records of court proceedings, including confidential sealed records and transcripts, relevant to the performance of any judge, former judge, or subordinate judicial officer (hereafter, collectively, judicial officer) within the commission’s jurisdiction under Sections 18 and 18.1 of Article VI of the Constitution. The commission shall make a written request to the court in which the proceedings occurred. The court shall file the request under seal. Access to the requested records shall be provided within 15 days of the written request.

(b) (1) If the commission or the judicial officer who is the subject of the commission’s investigation or proceeding intends to publicly disclose any nonpublic records or information obtained pursuant to subdivision (a), the commission or judicial officer shall petition the court that granted access to the records or another court that has jurisdiction, for authorization to disclose. The petition, filed under seal, shall identify the records or information to be disclosed and the reason for disclosure. To the extent that it does not unduly lessen the evidentiary value of the records or otherwise defeat the purpose of disclosure, the petitioner shall redact from the records names and other identifying information.

(2) The court shall grant the petition if it determines that there is good cause for disclosure. The court may issue protective orders, including further redaction of names or other identifying information, to the extent that they do not unduly lessen the evidentiary value of the records or otherwise defeat the purpose of disclosure. Within 15 days after the filing of a petition, the court may order the petitioner to give notice of the intended disclosure to any person who may be adversely affected by the disclosure. Any person who has been provided notice pursuant to this section may, within 20 days of service of the notice, file an objection to the intended disclosure with the court and serve the objection on the petitioner.

(3) The court shall grant or deny the petition in whole or in part, stating its reasons therefore, within 15 days of a timely objection, or the expiration of time for filing an objection if no objection is filed, or within 15 days of the filing of the petition for which no notice is required.

(c) Access to, and disclosure of, records under this section shall not be limited by any court order sealing those records.

(d) Persons entitled to file an objection to the intended disclosure shall not include the judge, former judge, or subordinate judicial officer who is the subject of the commission’s investigation or disciplinary proceedings, unless he or she was a party or parent, guardian, or conservator of a party in the underlying action. A request or petition filed under this section shall not be considered or ruled on by a judicial officer who is the subject of the commission’s investigation or disciplinary proceedings related to the requested information.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 567, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 2007.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV3