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SF 2079

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to courts; modifying the composition and powers of the Board of Judicial
Standards; modifying court rule provisions;amending Minnesota Statutes
2006, sections 490A.01; 490A.02; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections
480.056; 480.059, subdivision 7; 480.0591, subdivision 6.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 490A.01, is amended to read:


490A.01 BOARD ON JUDICIAL STANDARDS; ESTABLISHMENT.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment; composition.

The Board on Judicial Standards is
established. The board is a continuation of the board established by Laws 1971, chapter
909, sections 1 and 2, as amended.

Subd. 2.

Composition; appointment.

(a) The board consists of one judge of the
Court of Appeals, three trial court judges, two lawyers who have practiced law in the state
for at least ten years, and four citizens who are not judges, retired judges, or lawyers
eight
citizens of the state of Minnesota, one member of the house of representatives, and one
member of the senate. The citizen members will be selected at random from a pool of
volunteer state citizen applicants. The citizen members will appoint the members from the
house of representatives and the senate
.

(b) All members must be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of
the senate. Senate confirmation is not required for judicial members.

Subd. 3.

Term maximum; membership termination.

No member may serve
more than two full four-year terms or their equivalent. if a conflict of interest exists. If
there is a question of whether a conflict of interest exists, the board members will resolve
the conflict with a majority vote.
Membership terminates if a member ceases to hold the
position that qualified the member for appointment.

Subd. 4.

Member terms; compensation; removal.

(a) The membership terms, and
compensation, of board members are as provided in this section. The removal of members,
and filling of vacancies on the board are as provided in governed by section 15.0575.

(b) Citizen membership to the board is a full-time position, and compensation to
the citizen members shall be determined by the board and approved by the legislature.
The legislative members shall be compensated only for their time upon the board when
the legislature is not in session. The compensation for the legislative member is one-half
the salary of the citizen member.

(c) Citizen members are selected at random from a pool of applicants. Application
for citizen membership to the board is made to the secretary of state and the secretary of
state must conduct a random selection from qualified citizen applicants. Citizen applicants
must be current residents of the state of Minnesota. The term of membership for the
citizens is two years, after which time the citizen member may reapply. Of the first
appointees selected to serve on the board, one-half shall serve a one-year term, as decided
by the secretary of state. The term of membership of the legislative members is at the
discretion of the citizen members.

(d) The legislature shall provide office space and necessary office equipment for
the board.

Subd. 5.

Executive secretary appointment; salary.

(a) The board shall appoint
the executive secretary.

(b) The salary of the executive secretary of the board is 85 percent of the maximum
salary provided for an administrative law judge under section 15A.083, subdivision 6a.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 490A.02, is amended to read:


490A.02 JUDICIAL STANDARDS BOARD; POWERS.

Subdivision 1.

Judicial disqualification.

A judge is disqualified from acting as a
judge, without a loss of salary, while there is pending an indictment or any information
charging the judge with a crime that is punishable as a felony under either Minnesota law
or federal law, or while there is pending a recommendation to the Supreme Court by the
Board on Judicial Standards for the judge's removal or retirement
.

Subd. 2.

Judicial suspension.

On receipt of a recommendation of the Board on
Judicial Standards or on its own motion, the Supreme Court may suspend
A judge is
suspended
from office without salary when the judge pleads guilty to or no contest to or
is found guilty of a crime that is punishable as a felony under either Minnesota law or
federal law or any other crime that involves moral turpitude. If the conviction is reversed,
the suspension terminates and the judge must be paid a salary for the period of suspension.
If the judge is suspended and the conviction becomes final, the Supreme Court judge shall
remove the judge be removed from office.

Subd. 3.

Judicial disability.

On receipt of a recommendation of the Board on
Judicial Standards, the Supreme Court
(a) The Board of Judicial Standards may retire a
judge for a physical or mental disability that the court board determines seriously interferes
with the performance of the judge's duties and is or is likely to become permanent, and.
The board may
censure, warn, or remove a judge for an action or inaction that may
constitute persistent failure to perform the judge's duties, incompetence in performing
the judge's duties, violations of state or federal law, habitual intemperance, or conduct
prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute.

(b) If the board removes a judge under this subdivision, the judge shall have the right
to appeal the board's decision. Pending the appeal, the judge shall be suspended with pay.

Subd. 4.

Authority to reopen matters.

The board is specifically empowered to
reopen any matter wherein any information or evidence was previously precluded by a
statute of limitations or by a previously existing provision of time limitation.

Subd. 5.

Retirement status.

(a) A judge who is retired by the Supreme Court Board
of Judicial Standards for a physical or mental disability
must be considered to have retired
voluntarily. A judge who is removed by the Board of Judicial Standards forfeits any
state funded pension or retirement benefits.

(b) This section and section 490A.01 must not affect the right of a judge who is
suspended, retired, or removed hereunder from qualifying for any private pension or
other private retirement benefits to which the judge would otherwise be entitled by law
to receive.

Subd. 6.

Eligibility for judicial office; practice law.

A judge removed by the
Supreme Court Board of Judicial Standards is ineligible for any future service in a judicial
office. The question of the right of a removed judge to practice law in this state must be
referred to the proper authority for review.

Subd. 7.

Supreme Court rules Rulemaking authorization.

The Supreme Court
Board of Judicial Standards shall make rules to implement this section.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007.

Sec. 3. REPEALER.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 480.056; 480.059, subdivision 7; and 480.0591,
subdivision 6,
are repealed.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2007.

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