RULES OF COURT
|IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE AMENDMENTS TO GR 29(K) - PRESIDING JUDGE IN SUPERIOR COURT OR COURT DISTRICT AND LIMITED JURISDICTION COURT DISTRICT - JUDICIAL SERVICES CONTRACT||)
Now, therefore, it is hereby
(a) That pursuant to the provisions of GR 9(g), the proposed amendment as attached hereto is to be published for comment in the Washington Reports, Washington Register, and on the Washington State Bar Association and Office of the Administrator for the Courts' websites expeditiously.
(b) The purpose statement as required by GR 9(e), is published solely for the information of the Bench, Bar and other interested parties.
(c) Comments are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. Mail or Internet E-Mail by no later than 60 days from the published date. Comments may be sent to the following addresses: P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, Washington 98504-0929, or Camilla.Faulk@courts.wa.gov. Comments submitted by e-mail message must be limited to 1500 words.
DATED at Olympia, Washington this 3rd day of October, 2008.
|For the Court
|Gerry L. Alexander|
GENERAL RULES (GR)
Rule Amendment 29(k) Judicial Services Contracts
The Ethics Advisory Committee's Ethics Opinion 99-9, addressing the propriety of judges entering into judicial services contracts, cautioned about contract provisions that "create an impropriety or appearance of impropriety concerning a judge's activities." New judges may be unknowingly lured into ethical jeopardy by the content and form of these personal services contracts.
In addition, there has been recent discussion within the Administrative Office of the Courts and some courts concerning the categorization of pro tem judges as 'employees' as opposed to 'independent contractors' for purposes of taxes and benefits. The IRS and Social Security Administration have taken the position that pro tem judges and pro tem commissioners are considered employees for federal tax purposes. If a pro tem is classified as an "employee," certainly the judge must be also. Not all municipal governments take this position.
PRESIDING JUDGE IN SUPERIOR COURT DISTRICT AND
LIMITED JURISDICTION COURT DISTRICT
Judicial Services Employment Contracts. A part-time
judicial officer may contract with a municipal or county
authority for salary and benefits to serve as a judicial
officer. The personal service employment contract shall not
contain provisions which conflict with this rule, the Code of
Judicial Conduct or statutory judicial authority, or which
would create an impropriety or the appearance of impropriety
concerning the judge's activities. The employment contract
should acknowledge the court is a part of an independent
branch of government and that the judicial officer or court
employees are bound to act in accordance with the provisions
of the Code of Judicial Conduct and this Washington State
Court rules. Commentary
The Board for Judicial Administration should establish a model judicial services contract.
Reviser's note: The brackets and enclosed material in the text of the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.