A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWS PERTAINING TO INTERLOCUTORY APPEALS AS RELATED TO FAMILY LAW.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Changes the long title.
Amends GS 7A-374.2 and GS 7A-376, concerning the powers of the Judicial Standards Commission (Commission), providing that the Supreme Court, based on a written recommendation by the Commission, has the power to issue a public reprimand to a judge, removing that power from the Commission. Changes the title of GS 7A-376 to Grounds for discipline by Commission; public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal by the Supreme Court. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 7A-377, concerning the procedures of the Commission, providing that the Commission cannot recommend a justice or judge for a public reprimand unless she or he has been given a hearing affording due process of law. Provides that all records, investigations, recommendations, and hearings of the Judicial Standards Commission and hearings by the Supreme Court are confidential until the Supreme Court issues a public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal (previously, they were not considered confidential). Makes conforming changes relating to the issuance of public reprimands by the Supreme Court, upon recommendation by the Commission.
Amends GS 7A-378, modifying the procedure for determining whether a justice of the Supreme Court should receive a public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal. Establishes that instead of the Court of Appeals making the determination it would be made as follows:
(1) The Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives will be required to appoint a three-judge panel, with each appointing one judge, to review the recommendation and the record of the Judicial Standards Commission.
(2) If the three-judge panel determines the Commission's recommendation should be made to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will determine whether a public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal should be issued.
(3) If the three-judge panel determines the recommendation should not be made to the Supreme Court, the record would be returned to the Commission and no further proceedings will be conducted on the same record.
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