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Mississippi Code of 1972, ANNOTATED TITLE 9, CHAPTER 19​​

Section 

9-19-1. Membership.

9-19-3. Terms of office; prohibited activities of members; chairman.

9-19-5. Compensation.

9-19-7. Executive director; administrative staff.

9-19-9. Disqualification of commission member from acting on complaint.

9-19-11. Private Admonishments.

9-19-13. Disqualification of judge during pendency of proceedings.

9-19-15. Retirement or disability of judge.

9-19-17. Removed judge as ineligible for judicial office; suspension from practice of law.

9-19-19. Secrecy of proceedings before commission.

9-19-21. Subpoena of witness; inspection of documents and records; information for use in impeachment or recall election; retention of records of complaints outside commission’s jurisdiction.

9-19-23. Rules and regulations.

9-19-25. Receipt and expenditure of funds.

9-19-27. Annual Report.

9-19-29. Privileged character of complaints; immunity from civil suit.

9-19-31. Judicial Performance Fund created; purpose; distribution of monies from fund; fund to be a continuing fund; components of fund.

§ 9-19-1. Membership.

The Commission on Judicial Performance shall consist of the following members:

a. One (1) circuit court judge to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi upon the recommendation of the Governor;

b.One (1) chancellor to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi upon the recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor;

c. One (1) county court judge to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House;

d. One (1) justice court judge to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi;

e. One (1) practicing attorney to be appointed by the Chief Justice upon the recommendation of the Governing Board of The Mississippi Bar; and

f. Two (2) lay persons who shall not be residents of the same Supreme Court District to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi.

An alternate for each member shall be selected at the time and in the manner prescribed for initial appointments in each representative class to replace those members who might be disqualified or absent.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 1; Laws 1980, ch. 385, § 1; Laws 1981, ch. 483, § 1; Laws 1984, ch. 515; Laws, 2001, ch. 527, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2001.

§ 9-19-3. Terms of office- prohibited activities of members- chairman.

The terms of office of the commission members shall be six (6) years, except that the initial terms of office shall be as follows: the circuit judge member for six (6) years, the chancellor member for five (5) years, the county court judge member for five (5) years, the justice court judge member for four (4) years, one (1) of the lay members for three (3) years, the other lay member for two (2) years, and the attorney member for one (1) year. Members shall not be allowed to succeed themselves after serving a full term. Commission membership terminates if a member ceases to hold the position that qualified the member for appointment. A vacancy shall be filled by the appointing power for the remainder of the term.

No member of the commission, except a justice or judge, shall be eligible for state judicial office so long as he is a member of the commission and for a period of two (2) years thereafter. No member of the commission shall hold office in political party or participate in any campaign for judicial office and hold public office; provided that a judge may participate in his own campaign for judicial office and hold that office. The commission shall elect one (1) of its members as its chairman.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 2, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-5. Compensation.

The members of the commission on judicial performance shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary travel expenses and subsistence as may be incurred in the performance of their duties. Members of the commission who are judges shall serve without compensation. Other members of the commission shall receive a per diem in the amount authorized in Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, for each day or part thereof spent in performing their duties under this chapter.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 8,Laws, 1997, ch. 404, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§ 9-19-7. Executive director- administrative staff.

The commission may appoint and remove an executive director and such administrative staff as may be required. This staff shall report each charge filed to the commission.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 9, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-9. Disqualification of commission member from acting on complaint.

If a complaint is filed against a member of the commission, he shall be disqualified as to that complaint.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 3, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-11. Private Admonishments.

The commission on judicial performance may privately admonish a justice or judge found to have been engaged in improper action or a dereliction of duty affecting the administration of justice; subject to review in the supreme court; provided, however, that all appeals from private admonishment shall remain confidential.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 4, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-13. Disqualification of judge dur​ing pendency of proceedings.

Except as otherwise provided in Section 25-3-36(6); on recommendation of the commission on judicial performance, the Supreme Court may disqualify a judge from exercising any judicial function, without loss of salary, during pendency of proceedings before the commission or in the supreme court. If so disqualified, a special judge shall be appointed to perform his duties, as provided by law. ​

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 5; 1990, ch. 426, § 3, eff from and after June 18, 1990 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection to the amendment).

§ 9-19-15. Retirement or disability of judge.

A justice or judge retired by the supreme court or the seven member tribunal shall be considered to have retired voluntarily. The supreme court's finding of disability shall satisfy any certification of disability required by applicable retirement and disability law.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 6, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-17. Removed judge as ineligible for judicial office- suspension from practice of law.

A justice or judge removed by the supreme court or the seven member tribunal is ineligible for judicial office, and pending further order of the court, may be suspended from practicing law in this state.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 7, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-19. Secrecy of proceedings before commission.

All commission members, staff, witnesses or any other person privy to any hearing before the commission shall take an oath of secrecy concerning all proceedings before the commission, violation of which shall be punishable as contempt.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 10, eff from and after January 1, 1980.

§ 9-19-21. Subpoena of witness-inspection of documents and records; information for use in impeachment or recall election; retention of records of complaints outside commission's jurisdiction.

1. The commission shall be entitled to compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses, including the judge as witness, and to provide for the inspection of documents, books, accounts and other records.

2. If the commission, after investigation of a complaint, determines that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a hearing to determine whether or not there has been a violation under Section 177A, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the commission may employ counsel to prepare and present the complaint to the commission, a committee of the commission, its master or its fact finder, and to represent the commission before the Supreme Court.

3. The commission shall make transcripts of all hearings that are conducted under subsection (2) of this section. Such transcripts shall serve as a record in proceedings before the Supreme Court.

4. On request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives the President of the Senate or the Governor, the commission shall make available information for use in consideration of impeachment or recall election, respectively.

5. No records pertaining to complaints determined by the commission to be outside its jurisdiction shall be retained over twelve (12) months after such determination by the commission.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, § 13; 1980, ch. 385, §2, eff from and after passage (approved April 25, 1980).

§ 9-19-23. Rules and regulations.

The commission on judicial performance shall make rules implementing this act, including rules of practice and procedure concerning receiving, processing and handling of complaints or inquiries and for hearings of the commission, a committee of the commission, its master or its fact finder, and the Supreme Court, to be approved by the Supreme Court.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, §11; 1980, ch. 385, §3, eff from and after passage (approved April 25, 1980).

§ 9-19-25. Receipt and expenditure of funds.

The commission is authorized and empowered to receive and expend funds appropriated or granted for the purposes of this chapter.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 511, §12; 1980, ch. 385, §4, eff from and after passage (approved April 25, 1980).

§ 9-19-27. Annual Report.

The commission shall publish an annual statistical report which shall contain the number of complaints filed and the number of dispositions by type, specifying the number of complaints and dispositions for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit courts, chancery courts, county courts, justice courts, municipal courts and all other courts in existence in Mississippi. The annual report shall also contain all other data the commission deems appropriate; however, no judicial district, county, region or individual judge shall be referred to in the foregoing report. All references shall be only to general court types and shall comply with the applicable confidentiality requirements.

SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 11, § 14; Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 24, eff July 13, 1993 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

§ 9-19-29. Privileged character of complaints; immunity from civil suit.

All complaints filed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be absolutely privileged. The commission on judicial performance, its members, executive director, commission counsel, master or fact finder, and their assistants, staff and employees shall be immune from civil suit for any conduct arising out of the performance of their official duties.

SOURCES: Laws, 1981, ch. 483, § 2 eff from and after passage (approved April 15, 1981).

§ 9-19-31. Judicial Performance Fund created; purpose; distribution of monies from fund; fund to be a continuing fund; components of fund.

There is created in the State Treasury a special interest-bearing fund to be known as the Judicial Performance Fund. The purpose of the fund shall be to provide supplemental funding to the Commission on Judicial Performance. Monies from the funds derived from assessments under Section 99-19-73 shall be distributed by the State Treasurer upon warrants issued by the Commission on Judicial Performance. The fund shall be a continuing fund, not subject to fiscal-year limitations, and shall consist of: (a) monies appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of funding the Commission on Judicial Performance; (b) the interest accruing to the fund; (c) monies received under the provisions of Section 99-19-73; (d) monies received from the federal government; and (e) monies received from such other sources as may be provided by law.

SOURCES: Laws, 2004, ch. 543, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2004.

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