The purpose of this chapter is to provide rules implementing the Ethics in Public Service Act (chapter 42.52 RCW) according to procedures prescribed in Article IV, Section 31, of the Constitution of the state of Washington and chapter 2.64 RCW for the commission on judicial conduct.
All proceedings involving state employees of the judicial branch of state government, except "judges" as defined in Commission on Judicial Conduct Rules of Procedure(CJCRP), shall proceed under the rules set forth in this chapter. All proceedings involving "judges" as defined in RCW 2.64.010 and the Code of Judicial Conduct shall proceed exclusively under the rules set forth in the CJCRP.
The commission on judicial conduct is constitutionally created to investigate and consider complaints concerning judges. The commission also has jurisdiction to investigate and consider complaints of violations of the Ethics in Public Service Act (chapter 42.52 RCW) or rules adopted under it, concerning state employees of the judicial branch.
Six members of the commission must be present to take action at a commission business meeting. The adoption of or amendment to the rules of the commission shall require the affirmative vote of six members of the commission.
In these rules:
"Adjudicative proceeding" means a proceeding before the commission in which the person involved is given notice and an opportunity to be heard after a determination of reasonable cause that a violation of chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it has been or is being committed.
"Administrative law judge" means a person assigned by the office of administrative hearings in accordance with chapter 34.12 RCW and appointed by the commission to hear and take evidence with respect to charges against a state employee of the judicial branch.
"Commission" means the commission on judicial conduct.
"Complainant" means the organization, association, or person who makes a complaint alleging violation of chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it.
"Complaint" means a written statement on a form provided by the commission alleging facts which may upon investigation lead to a finding of a violation of chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it.
"Determination" means a written statement finding that there is or that there is not reasonable cause to believe that a violation of chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it has been or is being committed.
"Employee" means a state employee or state officer (as defined in RCW 42.52.010) of the judicial branch of state government, except "judges" (as defined in RCW 2.64.010 and the Code of Judicial Conduct), or the employee's attorney, as the context suggests.
"Enforcement action" means the imposition of sanctions, which may include one or more of the following:
"Fact-finder" means the commission or an administrative law judge appointed by the commission.
"Hearing" means a public hearing conducted in an adjudicative proceeding.
"Meeting" means a business meeting of the commission for any purpose other than a public hearing or executive session involving the investigation or consideration of a complaint.
"Member" means a member of the commission and includes alternates acting as members.
"Public member" means a member of the commission who is neither a lawyer nor a judge.
"Reprimand" means an enforcement action of the commission that finds that the conduct of the respondent violates chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it. A reprimand may include a requirement that the respondent follow a specified corrective course of action. The commission shall issue a written reprimand and may require the respondent to appear personally before the commission for a public reading of the reprimand. The commission shall provide a copy of the reprimand to the respondent's employing agency.
"Respondent" means a state employee of the judicial branch who is the subject of a complaint, or the employee's attorney, as the context suggests.
"Staff" means the employees, or others under personal service contract or agreement, engaged to perform commission duties and to exercise commission powers.
If the commission determines that reasonable cause exists that the respondent has violated chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it, the commission shall schedule a public hearing on the merits of the complaint.
The respondent shall file a written answer to the complaint not later than thirty days after receipt of the determination that there is reasonable cause. Failure to file a written answer shall be deemed an admission to the facts alleged in the complaint and the determination.
Any matter before the commission may be disposed of by a stipulation at any stage of the proceeding. The respondent and a member of the commission staff shall sign the stipulation before presentation to the commission. The commission may impose any terms and conditions deemed appropriate. If the stipulation is rejected by the commission, the stipulation shall be withdrawn and cannot be used by or against the respondent in any proceeding. When a stipulation which disposes of a complaint is accepted by the commission, the commission shall provide a copy of the stipulation to the attorney general and the complainant.
Part IV--Adjudicative Proceedings--of chapter 34.05 RCW and the model rules of procedure, chapter 10-08 WAC, adopted by the chief administrative law judge pursuant to RCW 34.05.250, as now or hereafter amended, are hereby adopted for use by the commission. In the case of conflict between chapter 34.05 RCW or the model rules of procedure and procedural rules adopted in this chapter, the procedural rules adopted by the commission shall take precedence.
The statutes and court rules regarding pretrial procedures in civil cases in superior courts of the state of Washington shall be used where applicable unless in conflict with this chapter.
The presiding officer may permit discovery in an adjudicative proceeding. The presiding officer shall have the power to control the frequency and nature of discovery permitted and to order conferences to discuss discovery issues.
Any document filed with the commission under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW; model rules of procedure, chapter 10-08 WAC; and this chapter shall be filed with the Commission on Judicial Conduct, 210 11th Avenue SW, Suite 400, Olympia, WA 98504 or P.O. Box 1817, Olympia, WA 98507. Unless otherwise required by law, filing of a document with the commission shall be made personally, by first class mail, by certified or registered mail, by commercial parcel delivery company, or by facsimile and same-day mailing or original showing same-day postmark. Filing shall occur within the period of time specified for filing by statute, rule, or order.
All witnesses shall receive fees and expenses in the amount allowed by law for witnesses in the superior court. The person calling the witness shall be responsible for paying the witness's fees and expenses.
Except as otherwise provided by law, judicial review of a commission order that a violation of chapter 42.52 RCW or rules adopted under it has occurred is governed by the provisions of chapter 34.05 RCW applicable to review of adjudicative proceedings.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide substantive rules implementing the Ethics in Public Service Act (chapter 42.52 RCW). The substantive rules in this chapter are intended to apply to all state employees of the judicial branch of state government, including "judges" as defined in the Commission on Judicial Conduct Rules of Procedure (CJCRP).