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Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Inquiry Board

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    Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Inquiry Board
    (Established Pursuant to Article VI, Section 15 (d), Constitution of the State of Illinois )

    RULE 1 - DEFINITIONS

    When used in these Rules:

    (a) "Constitution" means the 1970 Constitution of the State of Illinois.

    (b) "Board" means the Judicial Inquiry Board created by the Constitution, Article VI, Section 15(b), (c) and (d).

    (c) "Commission" means the Courts Commission created by the Constitution, Article VI, Section 15(e), (f) and (g).

    (d) "Judge" means a judge or associate judge of the Supreme Court, the Appellate Court or any Circuit Court of the State of Illinois.

    (e) The term "misconduct" when used in reference to a judge or associate judge means and includes judicial misconduct (as distinguished from physical or mental disability) for which a judge is subject to discipline under the law and Constitution of Illinois and the rules adopted by the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 13(a) of Article VI of the Constitution.

    (f) The term "disability" when used in reference to a judge means a physical or mental disability to perform his or her duties. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    RULE 2 - BOARD PERSONNEL

    (a) The Board shall, with the concurrence of a majority of the appointed Board members, designate a Chair and a Vice-Chair, each to serve for a term of one year and until the designation, in like manner, of his or her respective successor. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (b) The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Board, shall preside at all meetings of the Board, and shall perform such other duties and have such other authority as the Board may delegate.

    (c) The Vice-Chair shall, in the absence or disability of the Chair, perform the duties and exercise the authorities of the Chair.

    (d) The Board may hire a staff, including an Executive Director.

    RULE 3 - MEETINGS

    (a) Meetings shall be held from time to time pursuant to the call of the Chair or three members of the Board.

    (b) Written notice stating the time and place of meetings shall be given to members of the Board at least two days prior to each meeting; but this two day written notice requirement may be waived by consent of all members of the Board. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (c) A majority of the appointed Board members shall constitute a quorum of the Board. The act of a majority of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board unless the act of a greater number is required by the Constitution or by these Rules of Procedure. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (d) Any action, except a determination to file a complaint, required to be taken by the Board or at any meeting of the Board shall be deemed the action of the Board if all members of the Board execute, either before or after the action is taken, a written consent thereto and the consent is filed with the records of the Board.

    RULE 4 - EXERCISE OF THE POWERS OF THE BOARD

    (a) The Board (1) on its own motion, or (2) in response to information received by it tending to suggest that a judge is guilty of misconduct or is suffering from a disability, and which is not, on preliminary examination or inquiry, determined to be patently frivolous or unfounded, may initiate and conduct an investigation to determine whether a reasonable basis exists for the filing of a complaint with the Commission. During an investigation, the Board is authorized to interview, take testimony from, or otherwise gather information from a judge. In particular, the Board is authorized to take the following actions, including but not limited to:

    (i) have an investigator, the Executive Director, or trial counsel appointed by the Board interview the judge outside of the presence of the Board;

    (ii) have the Executive Director or trial counsel appointed by the Board take sworn testimony of the judge outside the presence of the Board;

    (iii) have the Executive Director or trial counsel appointed by the Board take sworn testimony of the judge within the presence of the Board;

    (iv) issue written interrogatories or other written inquiries to the judge relating to conduct under investigation; and/or

    (v) request a judge to appear, with counsel if the judge so elects, to discuss issues relating to conduct under investigation. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (b) Following an investigation, the Board may determine that a reasonable basis exists to charge a judge with misconduct or disability in a complaint filed with the Commission. Such determination shall require the concurrence of not less than five members of the Board.

    (c) In determining whether a reasonable basis exists to charge a judge with misconduct or disability, the Board will consider the rules of conduct for judges and associate judges adopted by the Supreme Court of Illinois, and the provisions of Sections 13(b), 15(c) and 15(e) of Article VI of the 1970 Illinois Constitution.

    (d) The Board shall, before proceeding to a determination that a reasonable basis exists to charge the judge before the Courts Commission, give the judge written notice of the substance of the proposed charge. This written notice will set forth a date, place and time at which the judge shall be required to appear before the Board, accompanied by counsel if the judge so elects.

    (e) During this required appearance before the Board, the judge shall be questioned by the Board, the Executive Director, or trial counsel appointed by the Board concerning the proposed charge, and the judge will be given the opportunity to make such statement in respect to the proposed charge as he/she may desire. In addition, the judge will be given the opportunity to present to the Board such information, oral or written (including the names of any witness he/she may wish to have heard by the Board) in respect to the proposed charge as he/she may desire. Such written information and names of witnesses shall be forwarded to the Board not less than 5 days prior to the judge's appearance. A judge may, upon concurrence of the Board, in his/her own person or through counsel, in writing waive his/her required appearance before the Board to respond to charges. (Amended effective April 10, 1998; October 11, 2013.)

    (f) No hearing of or appearance before the Board shall be continued except upon written motion supported by good cause. No hearing of or appearance before the Board shall be continued more than once except under extraordinary circumstances.

    (g) The Board shall not disclose the identity of any informant or complainant or any witness unless the Board determines that such disclosure is required by the circumstances of the case.

    (h) The Board shall not be bound by formal rules of evidence.

    (i) Nothing contained in these Rules shall be construed as granting any judge the right to examine or cross-examine witnesses who may be heard by the Board or to have subpoenas issued by the Board on his or her behalf, provided, however, that the Board, in its discretion, may permit such action. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (j) Upon a finding by the Board that a reasonable basis exists for the filing of a complaint against a judge before the Commission, the Board shall designate one or more licensed attorneys-at-law who are not members of the Board to conduct the prosecution of the complaint before the Commission. Prior to making a determination to file a complaint against a judge before the Commission, the Board may also designate one or more licensed attorneys-at-law who are not members of the Board to assist with the Board's investigation to determine whether a reasonable basis exists for the filing of a complaint with the Commission. During an investigation, counsel for the Board is authorized to take the following actions, including but not limited to: issue subpoenas, interview a judge outside of the presence of the Board, take sworn testimony of a judge outside of the presence of the Board, take sworn testimony of a judge within the presence of the Board, and take any other appropriate measures in furtherance of its representation of the Board. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (k) Where the Board determines that a judge's conduct does not warrant initiation of formal proceedings at that time, the Board may issue a letter to the judge, calling the judge's attention to conduct which should be avoided in the future. In appropriate cases, the Board may also defer termination of an investigation for a period not to exceed two years for observation and review of a judge's conduct. In such cases, the judge shall be advised in writing of the type of behavior for which the judge is monitored and also, if applicable, advised in writing of any specific measures that the Board requests the judge complete before the Board makes a determination. If the Board elects to defer its determination, it shall not limit the Board's consideration of misconduct involving other types of behavior which may be observed or reported during the period of monitoring. (Adopted effective, April 10, 1998.; Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    RULE 5 - CONFIDENTIALITY

    (a) The proceedings of the Board and all information and materials, written or oral, received or developed by the Board in the course of its work, insofar as such proceedings and information or materials relate to the question of whether a judge is guilty of misconduct or suffers from disability, shall be confidential and privileged as a matter of law, except as where noted below. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (b) When the Board has conducted an investigation but determined not to propose any charges to the judge in question, the Board shall by letter notify the judge and the person, if any, who had brought the matter to the attention of the Board, that such a determination has been made; provided, however, that no such information need be furnished to the judge unless it appears to the Board that he knows, or has reason to know, that a communication was made about him or her to the Board or that the Board conducted an investigation which involved the judge.

    (c) When the Board has conducted an investigation and proposed charges to a judge, and subsequently determined that a reasonable basis does not exist for the filing of a complaint with the Commission, the Board shall by letter notify the judge and the person, if any, who had brought the matter to the attention of the Board, that such a determination has been made. The issuance of such letters does not mean that the repetition of such charged conduct, or other conduct violations coupled with the charged conduct or repetitions thereof, could not give rise to a future determination that a reasonable basis exists for the filing of a complaint with the Commission.

    (d) In matters of contempt or perjury in Board proceedings, the Board may initiate appropriate action, including court proceedings, in order to protect the integrity of Board proceedings. When the Board takes such action, the Board may make such disclosures as are necessary to prosecute the action. ( Amended effective, April 10, 1998.)

    (e) When the Board is in the process of conducting an investigation based upon factors or complaints submitted by the subject judge's chief or factors already disclosed to the public by some other manner, and where that chief judge, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 56, has temporarily assigned the judge to restricted duties or duties other than judicial duties, the Board may advise the chief judge when, and if, it is of the opinion that the judge subject to investigation may be returned to his or her regular assignment. Such disclosure may be made only upon the concurrence of the judge subject to investigation. In such circumstances, the chief judge shall be bound by the same rule of confidentiality and privilege as the Board itself. (Adopted effective, April 10, 1998; Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    RULE 6 - SUBPOENA POWER

    (a) Pursuant to the subpoena power granted to the Board by the Constitution, subpoena and subpoena duces tecum may be issued in the name and upon the authority of the Board by any member of the Board or licensed attorney-at-law who are so designated by the Board. Every subpoena shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony before the Board at a time and place therein specified. A subpoena duces tecum may also command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents or tangible things designated therein. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (b) The testimony or deposition of any witness, whether or not compelled by subpoena, may be taken, and any witness (and any books, records, papers or other documents) may be examined, on behalf of the Board, by or before:

    (i) the Board;

    (ii) a panel of the Board consisting of one or more members of the Board;

    (iii) the Executive Director or any staff investigator designated for that purpose by the Chair or the Executive Director;

    (iv) any licensed attorneys-at-law who are so designated by the Board;

    (v) any person as a delegate of the Board designated for that purpose by the Chair. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (c) In the performance of any of its responsibilities as set forth in paragraph 6(b) above, any Board member, the Executive Director, staff investigator , licensed attorney-at-law who is so designated by the Board or person delegated by the Chair, may administer oaths or affirmations. (Amended effective October 11, 2013.)

    (d) The fees of witnesses for attendance and travel shall be the same as the fees to witnesses before the Circuit Courts of Illinois. A subpoena or subpoena duces tecum shall be served in the same manner as a subpoena issued out of a Circuit Court of Illinois.

    RULE 7 - SERVICE OF NOTICES

    Any notice permitted or required to be given by the Board may be served by personal delivery, certified mail or registered mail.

     

    RULE 8 - AMENDMENT OF RULES

    These Rules may be altered, amended or repealed and new Rules may be adopted at any meeting of the Board by an affirmative vote of not less than five members present at any such meeting; provided however, that notice of a proposed new Rule, as the case may be, shall have been given to all members of the Board at least ten days prior to the meeting at which such action is to be taken

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    CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

    Any member of the Judicial Inquiry Board shall disqualify himself or herself from participating in any action of the Board where there exists a conflict of interest or an appearance thereof; as a guide in this area, the members of the Board will consider the standards of conduct applicable to Illinois judges.