ARIZONA CODE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION Proposal Cover Sheet Section 1-303: Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees Effect of the Proposal: The current version of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees was last adopted by administrative order on June 9, 1997. This code of conduct sets forth ethical rules to govern the conduct of all persons serving the judicial department other than judges. The pending proposal would incorporate the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees into the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration as new section 1-303. In order to assure that where the same standards of conduct apply to judges and judicial employees substantially the same language is used to define and describe those standards, the proposed code of conduct (1) matches the current provisions of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees to the new Code of Judicial Conduct so canon and rule numbers correspond as much as possible (See the attached Table of Contents with Cross References), (2) blends the comparable language of the current employee code (text in standard font) with the language of the new judicial code (text italicized), (3) adds language from the new judicial code that reasonably should apply to employees as well as judges (underlining in italicized text). The pending proposal also includes amendments to the current employee code originally proposed in 2008 and other changes made in response to comments during the circulation of this proposal (strikethrough and underlining). Significant New or Changed Provisions: The proposal contains new provisions imported from the Code of Judicial Conduct concerning job performance and disability and impairment and major amendments concerning two subjects, court staff assistance to court users and employees seeking judicial department elective office and other elective office. During the review process the need was recognized for additional clarifying amendments concerning the definition of “court manager”, the definition of “courtroom clerk”, the provision concerning contracting with former employees, the application of the code to part time employees, volunteers and employee volunteer activities, and the distinction between a personal interest and a financial conflict of interest. Committee Actions and Comments: This proposed ACJA section was presented to the presiding judges and court administrators in the summer and the Clerks, probation chiefs and directors, and juvenile presiding judges in the Fall. Versions of the proposal were considered and approved by the Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts on September 16 and October 28. The Committee on Superior Court considered and tabled the proposal on September 25 and adopted the proposal on November 6, with the exception of Rule 2.6, Assistance to Litigants for reasons stated in comments received from judges of the superior court in Pima County. The proposal has been circulated for comment several times and was available for comment on the ACJA Web Forum during the month of November. Comments submitted have been incorporated into 1 the attached version of the proposal. Comments suggesting substantive changes and the response to those comments are contained in the attached Comments and Response chart. Controversial Issues: In the course of the review and comment regarding this revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees, four major issues emerged which require resolution by AJC. Alternative language regarding these issues is provided below for adoption. 1. Rule 2.6 Assistance to Litigants Whether a judicial employee should be required (“shall”) or just permitted (“may”) to provide the authorized assistance listed in paragraphs A through I? In March, 2007 the AJC approved the report of the Legal Advice – Legal Information Task Force, including the recommendation that the guidelines concerning provision of legal information be implemented by incorporating them in the Code of Conduct for judicial Employees and by displaying them on signage in every court. The specific contents of the signage provided by Administrative Order 2007-28 (attached) includes a commitment to provide the assistance court staff is able to provide. Choices presented for the introductory paragraph of this rule are the language contained in the proposal or one of the alternatives below. Further discussion of these choices is contained in the comment and responses chart. Alternative 1 (By Judge Harrington and Superior Court, Pima County Commenters) A judicial employee shall assist litigants to access the courts by providing prompt and courteous customer service and accurate information while remaining neutral and impartial and avoiding the unauthorized practice of law. A judicial employee shall may provide authorized assistance, consistent with the employee’s responsibilities and knowledge and the court’s resources and procedures. An employee who is unable to provide authorized assistance shall may refer the litigant to an available court resource to assist the litigant. Employees are authorized to provide the following assistance: Alternative 2 (By editor in response to comments) A judicial employee shall assist litigants to access the courts by providing prompt and courteous customer service and accurate information while remaining neutral and impartial and avoiding the unauthorized practice of law. A judicial employee must provide the assistance authorized below, when such assistance is consistent with the employee’s assigned duties and established court policies and within of the employee’s knowledge and experience. An employee who cannot provide assistance authorized below shall refer the litigant to another court employee, if appropriate, or a legal professional, as provided in paragraph H below. Employees are authorized to provide the following assistance: 2 2. Rule 4.3 Elected Judicial Department Office Whether judicial employees should be permitted to continue their employment while campaigning for elected judicial department office (judge of the superior court, justice of the peace, or clerk of superior court) under the conditions provided in this rule? Under the current code of conduct court managers and judges’ personal staff must resign and other employees must take an approved leave of absence in order to campaign for any partisan elective office. Allowing all employees to campaign for judicial department office without resigning or taking a leave of absence (1) eliminates restrictions not necessary to the separation of the courts from politics, (2) allows highly qualified court employees who cannot currently afford to do so to campaign for judicial department office, (3) eliminates harsher restrictions on court employees than apply to judges and clarifies restrictions on court managers, and (4) can provide statewide consistency concerning the right of judicial employees to campaign for judicial department office. Some clerks of superior court have raised concerns about this change as indicated in the comment and responses chart. An amendment may be offered on behalf of the Clerks Association. 3. Relationship of Canon 4 to local personnel rules. Should the adopted provisions of Canon 4: (1) supersede all conflicting provisions of local personnel rules to provide court employees statewide the same right to campaign for judicial department office, (2) yield to local personnel rules to maintain consistency within each county regarding employees campaigning for any elective office, or (3) supersede only less restrictive local personnel rules as the current code provides which maintains a minimum standard but results in inconsistency within counties and between counties. 4. Rule 4.5 Comment - Bumper Stickers in Court Parking Lot Should the following comment in Rule 4.5 be retained or deleted. A personal vehicle parked in a space or a parking lot reserved for court employees is covered by these work place limitations. Where such reserved parking exists, displaying political materials on vehicles brings political advocacy to the workplace because the parking lot is part of the workplace. Rule 4.1of the judicial code states that a judge shall not “(8) use court staff, facilities, or other court resources in a campaign for judicial office” or “(3) publicly endorse or oppose another candidate for any public office.” Rule 4.5 of the employee code states, “During scheduled work hours or at the workplace, judicial employees shall not engage in political campaign activities and shall not display 3 literature, badges, stickers, signs, or other political advertisements…” The comment in question is a logical extension of these rules designed to avoid association of the court with political candidates and causes due to the activities of any judicial employee. Further discussion of this issue is contained in the attached comment and responses chart. Recommendation: Approve the code section as proposed or if the alternatives or other changes are approved, with amendments. 4 Comments and Responses to ACJA Section 1-303: Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees SECTION General Comment General Comment Purpose and Intent COMMENTER Billie Grobe Adult Probation Superior Court Yavapai County Margaret Maxwell Superior Court Pima County Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County COMMENT RESPONSE Seems too wordy and it doesn’t seem that the extensive comments are necessary. Most of it seems to be common sense.” Comments were expanded in the revision of the Code of Judicial Conduct to provide clearer guidance. Refer to judge as judicial officer, and thus The definition of “judge” covers this avoid any confusion regarding court concern. commissioners, hearing officers, special commissioners, full time judges pro tem, etc. Third paragraph add “merit rules” to Included. personnel policies and general or special ethical standards. Judicial employees should maintain the dignity of the judiciary at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. . . . The struck portion should remain in the text. Many of the code provisions impact conduct in employees’ personal lives and the preamble should correctly reflect that. Not included. The Code of Judicial Conduct reaches broadly into the personal lives of judges. This is generally not the case with judicial employees so this broad statement implies too much. As noted, this code specifically impacts employee’s personal lives where necessary. The next paragraph in Section A of the preamble notes the code “establishes uniform standards for the ethical conduct of judicial department officials not covered by the Code of Judicial Conduct and judicial employees.” Not included. This would be redundant and by implication not include other components of the judicial department. The term “judicial employee” is defined to include “any person other than a 1 We propose changing the last portion of this sentence to be “judicial branch employees including adult and juvenile probation employees.” Terminology judge who performs duties in the judicial department of this state, as defined in Az. Const. Art. 6 § 1. This constitutional provision states the judicial department includes a superior court. By statute the superior court in each county includes a probation department. Add a Rule 5 that establishes enforcement George Logan Surprise Municipal Court language such as: “An employee who is found to be in violation of this code is subject to Maricopa County disciplinary action that may result in a fine, suspension, dismissal, or termination of appointment.” Not included. The last sentence of the purpose and intent section already reads: “Violations of this code shall be enforced locally and in the same manner as violations of local personnel rules that apply to judicial employees.” Kip Anderson Superior Court Mohave County “Canon” it still mentions there are – five – canons. Corrected. Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County “Court managers” replace “the official acts” Not included – since “official acts” is a legal term. with “representative acts” “Economic interest” Insert “or insignificant” Included. after de minimis; insert “court manager or judicial employee” following “Except for situations in which the judge…”; and insert at the end of (4) “court manager or judicial employee.” “Impartial,” “impartially” “impartiality,” 2 and Changed to read: “means absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, in communication or conduct as well as maintenance of neutrality concerning issues that may come before a judge.” Debi Schaefer Superior Court Yavapai County “Impropriety” Insert “merit rules” after court rules. Included. Nancy Swetnam Certification & Licensing AOC The word “volunteer” should be defined in the draft code. In addition, some provisions of the draft code may be problematic for volunteers, i.e., a volunteer who is also an attorney and the gift limitation provision. Added definition: “Volunteer” is a person appointed or assigned under the authority of a court official to perform specified duties on behalf of the court. Added to end of judicial employee definition: “and except Rule 3.4 shall apply only to a gift from a person with whom a part time employee or a volunteer has been involved while performing court duties.” The Clerks assert that the problem with the definition of “Judicial Employee” is that all regular employees (full or part-time) should be subject to the elective office provisions of sections 4.3 and 4.4. Also elected Clerks of Court should be added to the list of approving authorities with presiding judges, chief judges and the chief justice. Rewrote “Judicial Employee” definition and moved part time and volunteer exceptions to the rules for which the exceptions are made, Rules 3.1, 3.4 and 4.4 and added 3.5. Limited Rule 4.4 exception to volunteers as recommended. Deleted the Rule 3.1 (B) (2) exception as unnecessary due to clarifying change in that subsection. In each rule clarified the requirement for approval of each activity by chief justice, each chief judge, or each presiding judge and, additionally, each Patricia Noland Superior Court Pima County 3 clerk of superior court subject to other provisions of the employee and judicial codes. Also added clerks of superior court as an approving authority in the “Court Manager” definition. Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County “Member of a judicial employee’s family residing in the employee’s household” change to read as follows: means any relative of a judge or judicial employee by blood, marriage or domestic partnership, or a person treated by a judge or judicial employee as a member of the judge’s or judicial employee’s family, who resides in the judge’s or judicial employee’s household. Changed to read: “relative of judicial employee”.Did not include “or domestic partnership” due to inconsistency with judicial code. Changed to read: “treated by the judicial employee” Deleted all references to “judge’s”. “Nonpublic information” Insert at the end of Added “and any information contained in the paragraph “and any information withheld records that are closed under Arizona from public inspection pursuant to Rule 123 of Supreme Court Rule 123.” the Arizona Supreme Court.” Add this section “Third degree of relationship” – The following persons are relatives within the third degree of relationship: great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, nephew or niece. Patricia Noland Superior Court Pima County Not included as new definition. Instead the relations were inserted in Rule 2.11(A)(2), replacing the term “third degree of relationship”. “Courtroom clerks” suggested new Included. language: “means staff of the elected clerk of court, the chief clerk or a judge of a justice or municipal court, who works regularly in the 4 courtroom with a judge. “Judicial employee” remove “full-time” and Included by rewriting definition of replace with “regular employee (full or part- “Judicial Employee” to be inclusive. time) or volunteer”. Moved part time employee and volunteer exceptions to the rules (3.1, I don’t understand why any employee (full- 3.4, 3.5 and 4.4) to which they apply. time or part-time) would not be subject to Clarified the need for approval of these 3.1(B) (1), (2), and (4) and Rule 4.4 unless exceptions and added Clerk of Court as granted permission by the Presiding Judge or an approving authority. Clerk of Court. 4.4 Should apply to any employee, but not a Included change. volunteer. After presiding judge in the 6th line, add “clerk Included. of court,” Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County Karen Ferrara Superior Court Cochise County “Nonpublic information” there is no mention of probation information that is nonpublic. We propose expanding the definition to include work product of the probation departments. This definition should also refer to closed and confidential documents, as both closed and confidential are terms used in statutes regarding court files. Probation officer work product is closed under Rule 123(d)(2)(A) so the reference to Rule 123 covers this. Added references to “confidential” and law other than Rule 123. “Court managers” references trial courts and Included names of the three types of appellate courts, but not limited jurisdiction trial courts. Chief clerk of a limited jurisdiction court could be designated a courts (add chief clerk?). manager by the judge. Do all LJ courts have a “chief clerk”? 5 George Logan Surprise Municipal Court Maricopa County “Economic interest” Anticipate questions – “de minimis” can be tough to define. Added “or insignificant”. Comment. It is mentioned that each judge can determine which staff are considered to be court managers. This could prompt questions – and are we suggesting that judges do determine who may or may not be a court manager? What if there are inconsistent interpretations or determinations – and in two very similar courts, certain staff are holding virtually the same jobs but held to different conduct standards. Any additional management staff positions that exist across all or most courts of a particular type should be identified and included. The authority to designate is for management positions unique to particular courts. “Economic interest” amend the definition of The existing language is verbatim from as follows: “means income or ownership …” the Code of Judicial Conduct already Explanation: adding this language broadens approved by the Supreme Court. the definition to include income which is not addressed directly. “Volunteer” amend the definition as follows: Volunteer is a person appointed or assigned by Included. an authorized court official or an appointing authority to perform specified duties on behalf of the court.” Explanation: this language would ensure that volunteers appointed by other than a court official, such as, members of judicial advisory boards who are appointed by mayors, city councils, the governor, or other public officials, are include within the 6 coverage of the code. CANON 1 Rule 1.1(C) Compliance with the Law Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County (C) Insert “on behalf of the court” after shall Included. not do business. Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County This provision on former employees is confusing and switches the usually assumed burden from the former employee to the current employee not to do business with a former employee. The criteria are almost impossible to comply with since it requires the current employee to 1) know he or she is working with a former employee who separated within the last 12 months, 2) that whatever they are working on is something the former employee had previously worked on, and 3) that the former employee had substantial discretion over the operation. The current employee is unlikely to know the three above items. The former employee seems to be in a better position to know. The employee code of conduct can only govern the actions of court employees. Added the condition that the former employee be known. Rachelle Resnick Supreme Court I agree with Lori Ash’s comment. Adding the condition that the former employee be known only eliminates one of the three troubling criteria. I suggest deleting “known” from the first line and adding “if this information is known to the judicial employee”. Instead reworded and added a new Comment 2 with the following language:. “A judicial employee who knows a person who seeks to do business with the court is a former employee must determine whether the former employee is disqualified under paragraph (C).” Jeffry Viemont This section appears to be too restrictive. In the example provided Bob would not 7 Rule 1.1 Comments Compliance with the Law be precluded from contracting with the court unless Bob had substantial and material administrative authority over the function for which he now wants to contract. Added the word “administrative” to clarify and match the statute. Admin. Office of Courts Does this mean that a Judicial Employee cannot conduct court business with someone who recently left the employ of the court? For example: Bob left court employment on 1/1/2010. Bob stats a consulting business that could benefit the court in the same way he was employed with the court. According to this, the court cannot ‘hire’ Bob until 1/1/2011. Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Comments Delete “under A.R.S. §13-1802” Not included. and replace “A.R.S. § 13-2310” with “Arizona Statutes are self explanatory. statutes”. Editor’s note regarding the last sentence – This phrase needs clarification or perhaps the whole sentence could be deleted. Rachelle Resnick Supreme Court Criminal penalties and ARS sections can change. Are the citations necessary? If so, someone will need to monitor. (This applies to other ARS sections that are cited in these rules as well.) The criminal statutes are cited to provide the basis of some of the provisions and to allow reference for clarity. They have not changed since the original adoption of the code and will be checked. The public’s trust in the judiciary can be eroded by misconduct/appearance of impropriety by any employee, regardless of their position. The “position of the employee” language is not necessary and gives rise to an argument that the same conduct is acceptable for some employees but not others. Deleted from comment 2 “due to the position of the employee or the circumstances” and from comment 3 “that apply to the judicial employee’s position.” 8 Rule 1.2 Comment 2. Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Karen Ferrara Superior Court Cochise County Comment 2. Delete “, depending on the Deleted but added to end: “that affects the position of the judicial employee and the public perception of the court due to the position of the employee or the circumstances,” circumstances.” Needs clarification. Depending on the Addressed as indicated above. position of the judicial employee and the circumstances this could suggest that there may be certain positions or circumstances where an activity that creates the appearance of impropriety may be okay. Comment 3. Replace “the code” with “this Not deleted. The restrictions are different code” and delete “that apply to the judicial depending on the position of the employee. employee’s position.” Rule 1.2 Comment 3. Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Rule 1.2 Comment 4. Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Rule 1.2 Comment 5. Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Comment 4. Insert “the judiciary or of” after Included. “impartiality of” in the first sentence. Rule 1.3 Abuse of Position CANON 2 Rule 2.1 Giving Priority to Judicial Employment Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Change to read “A judicial employee, at all times when at work and at other times when requested, shall give priority to court duties over all other activities to the extent possible.” Comment 5. replace “personal and” with Not included, due to inconsistency with judicial code. “family”. Editor’s note regarding the last sentenceEven with the suggested change, this last sentence is too vague, making it hard to interpret. 9 Not included. Instead, changed title to read: “Giving Priority to Ethical Duties” and changed rule to read: “A court employee shall regard the ethical duties provided in this code of conduct as having the highest priority.” Rule 2.1 Giving Priority to Judicial Employment Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Comment Delete “that would result in Not included. Instead, changed last frequent disqualification from” and replace phrase to read: “the risk of conflict with the performance of court duties.” “with the effective”. Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness - Comment Billie Grobe Adult Probation Superior Court Yavapai County How likely is it that “opposing parties and counsel,” “involved in a proceeding,” would know the details of their opponents life, finances, capabilities or legitimate limitations? Is “fair” defined as equal? Or is fair defined as “according to specific circumstances? I’m not sure what corrective recommendation would be appropriate, but “fair” should not (I believe), be defined as: how opposing parties and counsel who are involved in the proceeding are likely to view the situation.” Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Comment change “should” to “shall” in first Change in first sentence not included. sentence and insert “who are involved in the Instead changed first sentence to read: “Judicial employees may appear to be proceeding” after counsel in last sentence. treating litigants, counsel or other persons who do business with the court preferentially if they discuss the merits of a case pending before the court or behave in a particularly friendly manner.” Included change in second sentence. Rule 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Delete “in the performance of court duties,” 10 The comment concerns the perception of the fairness and impartiality a party can expect to receive as indicated by the judicial employee’s behavior rather than the actual fairness of the court employee’s actions, which is based upon adherence to the rules and the law. Accordingly the term “action” is replaced by “behavior.” Not included in the interest consistency with the judicial code. of Wouldn’t any manifestation of bias or prejudice impair "the perception of fairness of the court proceeding" rather than the actual fairness of the proceeding? Judges are certainly able to ignore an employee's bias or prejudice and still be fair, and we should not inadvertently convey otherwise, but the public's perception of the impact of employee bias may be different. Also, the comment refers only to court proceedings: perhaps it should also reference "the execution of the employee's court duties" to cover functions outside the courtroom. Change to read “…impairs the perception of the fairness of the court proceeding…” Comment 1 Comment 2 Billie Grobe Adult Probation Superior Court Yavapai County Changed to read: “A judicial employee who manifests bias or prejudice in the conduct of court business impairs the fairness of the judicial process and brings the judiciary into disrepute.” As noted bias or prejudice by an employee in the performance of court duties outside of the judicial proceeding implicates fairness, but actually not just as a matter of perception since such behavior potentially impedes a litigant’s opportunity to present the litigant’s case. Because facial expressions and body language can be interpreted as the same, and both seem to fall under the umbrella of Kinesics, it may be appropriate to use the term “nonverbal communication.” One benefit of using this term is that it does not exclude other areas of nonverbal communication to where there may be suspected or perceived bias, such as Vocalics. For example, the manner in which someone says something can certainly color the content of what was said. Therefore, a Added “and other forms of nonverbal Judiciary employee should be consistent in communication” what is spoken, and in the manner to which it is delivered. By using the term “nonverbal communication,” instead of facial expressions, and body language, I feel we cover more 11 Rule 2.3 Comment 4. Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment Susan Edwards Rule 2.4 External Influences on Court Duties Gary Krcmarik Superior Court Coconino County Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Jeffry Viemont Admin. Office of Courts Rule 2.5 Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Comment 2 Jeffry Viemont Admin. Office of Courts Rule 2.6 Assistance to Kent Batty Superior Court bases, and heighten employee expectancies, with respect to personal demeanor, through the application of that term. Reword rule to clarify. Included. Comment 4. Change last sentence to read “See the relevant Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Order for the judiciary’s sexual harassment policy.” Rule 2.4 (B) is a little too harsh. In regards to not letting family affect your performance of duties—this is sometimes very difficult. Take a court employee with a spouse that is going through medical issues. If that does not affect ones work performance then I would argue that person is not normal. Not included, due to inconsistency with judicial code. Judges have influence over others. Should employees be responsible for the directing the conduct of fellow employees? (D) Change to read: A judicial employee, when authorized, shall furnish to those who request it accurate, timely information …according to established procedures. Deleted “or permit others to convey” as an inappropriate requirement for employees. Not included since procedures may require provision of information routinely rather than on request. Does not require a court manager ‘seek and find’, just an attempt? Changed “affected” to “influenced” in section A and “affect” to “influence” in section B. Yes. The ultimate authority for provision of resources to the court is a legislative body that exercises discretion though a court manager may seek a judicial remedy if the discretion is abused. Insert as first sentence “A judicial employee Reworded and incorporated in part. In shall assist litigants, consistent with the response to this comment changed first 12 Litigants Pima County court’s resources, with matters within the paragraph to read “A judicial employee scope of his/her responsibilities and shall assist litigants to access the courts by providing prompt and courteous knowledge.” customer service and accurate Delete last sentence and replace with information while remaining neutral and “Employees are expected to provide the impartial and avoiding the unauthorized practice of law. A judicial employee following assistance:” shall provide authorized assistance, with the employee’s Insert at end of this section: “In the event the consistent employee is incapable of providing this responsibilities and knowledge and the assistance, the employee should refer the court’s resources and procedures. An litigant to the most appropriate court resource employee who is unable to provide authorized assistance shall refer the available to assist the litigant.” litigant to an available court resource to assist the litigant. Employees are authorized to provide the following assistance:” Change (G). to read as follows: Cite statutes, court rules, policies or ordinances that the employee knows to be accurate, in order to perform the employee’s job without performing legal research for court customers; Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County Not included. This language was approved by the AJC in its acceptance of the Legal Information, Legal Advice Task Force report. (B) This should refer to Rule 3.2, rather than Correction made. Cannon 3(d). (C) This is unclear. This provides little guidance as to what assistance a judicial Added semicolons for phrasing Added comment employee can provide. Examples may be clarification. referencing the task force work product helpful in clearing up any confusion. on which this rule is based: Guide to Court Customer Assistance: Legal Advice - Legal 13 Information Guidelines for Arizona Court Personnel Judge Charles Harrington Motion made at 9/25/09 COSC meeting: Provision of the authorized assistance Superior Court Change to read “A judicial employee may cannot be made completely discretionary Pima County shall provide authorized assistance…” by use of the term “may” consistent with the Legal Advice – Legal Assistance task force report which concluded the KC Stanford In the first paragraph of Rule 2.6 it says that authorized legal assistance should be Superior Court judicial employees “shall provide authorized provided whenever possible. Pima County assistance…” to court customers or if the employee is unable to do so, then they “shall In light comments changed the opening refer the litigant to available court resources paragraph to read: “A judicial employee to assist the litigant.” shall assist litigants to access the courts I recommend you change the word from by providing prompt and courteous “shall” to “may”. The choice would then be customer service and accurate discretionary not mandatory. I have worked information while remaining neutral 12 years in family law and would not want and impartial and avoiding the my staff mandated to provide assistance unauthorized practice of law. A when discretion is a much sounder judicial employee must provide the management approach to the many folks assistance authorized below, when such calling their offices seeking legal guidance. assistance is consistent with the employee’s assigned duties and established court policies and within of Deborah Bernini, Pima I am writing to express my concerns about the employee’s knowledge and County Superior Court the language of proposed Rule 6.2 regarding experience. An employee who cannot judicial employees. I have been a Superior provide assistance authorized below Court Judge for 16 years and have served shall refer the litigant to another court multiple rotations on various benches. I have employee, if appropriate, or a legal listened to the phone calls that my Judicial professional, as provided in paragraph Assistant has fielded in that time and while I H below. Employees are authorized to have been impressed with her civility, provide the following assistance:” courtesy, professionalism and knowledge, I 14 C. Harrington, Superior have been shocked at the types of calls and callers with which she had had to deal. Individuals have no reservations about calling a judge's chambers directly to demand information that we cannot provide. Callers are often rude, random and push for legal advice that our judicial assistants cannot give. Many individuals call multiple times and take out the frustrations caused by their legal situations on my staff. While I agree that it is important to provide access to the courts, the language of this rule suggests that it is job of the judges and their staff to provide far more assistance than is appropriate. Individuals often do not understand that they are seeking legal advice. Comments by staff are often misunderstood, misinterpreted, or outright distorted. The drafters of this rule meant well, but did not take into consideration the realities of what the rule would mean for members of our staff. Judge Harrington of our bench suggested a simple change, switching the word "may" for "shall", that would alleviate many of our concerns. I agree wholeheartedly. It would prevent the rewriting of the rule, address the very substantial concerns of myself and most of my colleagues on the Superior Court bench and would not negatively affect the intent of the drafters. Please consider making this simple change. 15 The language above clearly limits the obligation to provide assistance to matters that are consistent with an employee’s assigned duties, knowledge and experience. It allows for court management to define employee duties and adopt policies concerning who should provide authorized assistance and the manner of providing that assistance. It provides for a judicial employee to refer a litigant to another judicial employee who is able to provide the requested assistance or to a legal professional. Court, Pima County. Karen Adam The reason for Rule 2.6 (per Mr. Withey at the recent COSC meeting) is to protect employees who provide assistance to litigants. That is a good thing. However the language "shall provide authorized assistance..." and "shall refer the litigant..." in the first paragraph of the rule appears to do just the opposite. If an attorney or self represented litigant made an ethical complaint that an employee did not cite statutes or court rules when asked for assistance, even though the employee knew the appropriate law, the committee would have no choice but to discipline the employee. We get many calls from both attorneys (somewhat surprisingly, it is often) and self represented litigants on how to bring a case or a motion or some other legal proceedings. Some of my law clerks are experienced lawyers who know how to do these things. Some requests require answers that are very complicated both substantively and procedurally. If my clerk doesn't share her knowledge, she has violated the above rule. That is not just in too many real world situations. This unintended consequence can be avoided by substituting the word "may" for "shall" in the portions of the rule quoted above. 16 Unlike the Code of Judicial Conduct, this code is enforced by local hiring authorities and supervisors rather than a disciplinary commission. Any complaint concerning failure of an employee to provide assistance and any action taken will be the responsibility of the management of the employee’s court. Any action taken must be consistent with the employee’s duties and court policies as well as this code. This provision would provide the basis for such action where an employee’s duties and training and court policies require assistance and the employee fails to provide it without a valid reason. The suggested discretionary language would not provide the basis for such action. Juvenile Court Pima County Arizona has long been a leader in providing equal access to justice, especially in the challenging area of self-representation. We have one of the few Codes of Conduct for Judicial Employee and it mirrors, where appropriate, the Code of Judicial Conduct. Our on-line resources, self-service centers, and kiosks are national models. The Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct was recently amended to allow judges to make reasonable accommodations to ensure due process to self-represented litigants. However, the proposed changes to the Employee Code of Conduct provide great detail what is only broadly described as "reasonable accommodations" in the judicial code. These proposed changes closely mirror, in content, the mandatory signage prescribed by the Administrative Order which derived from the Advice-Information Task Force. This topic--Advice vs. Information--is being addressed nationally, as more and more litigants self-represent. I support the additional detailed guidance provided by the proposed change to the Code. Case law and ethics opinions have established that the specific examples listed are in the nature of advice rather than information, also described as procedural vs. substantive. Whether the rule is made mandatory (which 17 Ted Borek Superior Court Pima County would help ensure equal treatment for all) or discretionary (which takes pressure off of staff who are not comfortable with subject matter areas), I would urge the inclusion of the language defining and thereby limiting, that which is INFORMATION. I share the concerns of all my judicial colleagues who express concerns about the proposed rule. Nearly every paragraph is fraught with possible conflict, miscommunication, or misunderstanding. I believe paragraphs A, B, C, E, F, and G are particularly troublesome because information provided by an employee may be based on incomplete information provided by a caller. Responses could be misleading or misinterpreted. All but paragraph G of the rule could be interpreted to require research or investigation by the employee. Already I have heard of a particularly demanding unrepresented litigant reporting that “the Court said …,” totally misrepresenting what the litigant was told. The potential for conflict is rampant. In addition, we are getting more and more calls not just from unrepresented litigants but also from the staff of attorneys asking questions they should resolve themselves, such as counting days before a pleading is due and seeking interpretation of rules. I fear a mandatory Rule 2.6 will result in 18 In addition to supporting the suggested change from mandatory to discretionary language, this comment questions the recommendations of the Legal Advice – Legal Information task force which the code of conduct is simply a means of implementing. If there is a need to reconsider these recommendations this should be done apart from consideration of this code of conduct proposal. conflicts, not just between the unrepresented and the court but also between judges and judicial employees. “May” would be better, but I think it preferable to identify the communication as aspirational, not mandatory, and with fewer examples of what could be discussed. I agree that judicial employees should be helpful to the public, but it seems to me this rule opens the door to requiring services beyond what time may permit and beyond what can be done accurately and competently by some employees. Rule 2.8 Professionalism Rule 2.9 Communication with Judges Jeffry Viemont Admin. Office of Courts (A) The only manner of communication accepted by the court is the ‘filing’ process. If a judicial employee has ‘personal knowledge’ they wish to communicate, it may be communicated to proper channels – not prohibit. Define term “party”. If a judicial employee becomes a party to the case, what then? The facts of a case may only be received by the court as evidence presented on the record. A judicial employee with persona knowledge may have to be disqualified from participating, especially if the employee is a party. Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County (B) Change to read: Based upon general direction by a judge, a judicial employee may communicate information which does not address substantive matters from a party to the judge for scheduling, administrative, or emergency purposes,. Italicized language not included since judge’s direction should be sufficient to avoid the need to have employees distinguish between substantive and procedural matters. Rule 2.10 Statements on 19 Pending and Impending Cases Rule 2.11 Personal Interest Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Rachelle Resnick Supreme Court (A) Change to read: “A judicial employee shall inform the appropriate supervisor of any potential conflict (or the appearance of a conflict) between an economic interest of the employee individually or as a fiduciary or of the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child, or any other member of the judicial employee’s family residing in the judicial employee’s household and the judicial employee’s performance of his/her court duties.” Did not include“(or the appearance of a conflict)” due to vagueness. Other changes were included in part and reworded. (B)(3) Clarify de minimis Added “(insignificant)” (E) I propose that the language of Section (E) be broadened as follows: "A judicial employee shall withdraw...due to a personal relationship, personal bias or prejudice...." Not included. Personal relationships for which withdrawal is mandated are covered in paragraph (D) and withdrawal on this ground may be waived under (F). Paragraph (E) is specifically concerned with withdrawal due to bias or prejudice which may not be waived under paragraph (F). The citation in Paragraph F was corrected. (C) This paragraph is difficult to understand. Reworded to clarify. For example, does “either of them” apply to the nephew or niece, or to the employee and spouse/domestic partner? Also, does the provision apply to the spouse/domestic partner of relatives listed of the spouse/spouse’s 20 domestic partner? I believe this is the intent but it is not clear. Perhaps if this sentence was broken into 2 or more sentences, it would be easier to understand. Rule 2.13 Employment of Relatives Rule 2.14 Disability and Impairment Jeffry Viemont Admin. Office of Courts (D) Does “court business” mean court employment? It means the employee must withdraw from performing any duties that would involve the persons in whom the employee has a personal interest. Rachelle Resnick Supreme Court (F) The judge/court clerk has to participate in order to disclose the conflict and to put the agreement into the record. I suggest changing “participation” to “influence”. Changed to read: “the parties and lawyers agree, without participation by the judge or court personnel in this decision, that the court employee need not withdraw. Billie Grobe Adult Probation Superior Court Yavapai County seems to infer that it is ok not to report the suspicion to a supervisor when a judicial employee suspects that a coworker is impaired. Whereas Rule 2.15 “Duty to Report” it states that the employee “shall” report….From my perspective if impairment is suspected it must be reported. The rest of it looks fine. Changed to require immediate report. Rule 2.14 is different than Rule 2.15 in that it requires reporting impairment regardless of whether a violation of the code or the law has yet occurred which is the trigger for the Rule 2.15 duty to report. Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County The reference to "the Human Resources Included. Office" should be modified slightly to "the appropriate human resources office," to remove the inference that there is a single HR office to which such conduct should be 21 Rule 2.14 Disability and Impairment Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County Karen Ferrara Superior Court Cochise County reported. This section concerns the Superior Court in Maricopa County. The rule is vague, inconsistent, and open to a variety of interpretations. In most cases, it would not be advisable to speak directly with an impaired Deleted option of speaking with the person, and supervisory and/or HR impaired person and added immediate notification should be mandatory, for report requirement. consistency, the safety of the impaired person and others, and the potential liability from not taking reasonable action. Telling an obviously impaired person to get help or referring them to a treatment program is not a reasonable action if the person leaves the premises and kills or injures himself/herself or someone else in traffic or other accident. It is also problematic to give discretion to the employee who notices the impairment. It will create differences between court agencies, supervisors, and managers as to how these matters are handled. These rule and its comments should be phrased on concrete requirements to provide guidance to judicial employees, and to promote the integrity of the judiciary through accountability and consistency. How far does an employee need to go to have done due diligence? If they take it to a supervisor, have they done their job? If the supervisor does nothing, is the employee required to take it to a higher source? Or is 22 Clarified to require employee who observes behavior to report to management and to require management employee to take appropriate action. Accordingly, the observing employee is the employee required to report that the only responsible for the initial report. supervisor has not taken action? Kim Cantoni Human Resources AOC Rule 2.15 Duty to Report Kim Cantoni Human Resources AOC Change to read “A judicial employee who has a reasonable belief that the performance of another judicial employee or a judge is acting in an impaired manner impaired by drugs or alcohol, or by a mental, emotional, or physical condition, shall immediately report the alleged impaired behavior to their supervisor, administrator, Human Resources, appropriate authority or body take appropriate action, which may include a confidential referral to an appropriate assistance program.” Changed to require immediate report. A judicial employee should only be reporting the alleged behavior or activity of another employee or judge – not addressing it themselves. There are a number of reasons for this, such as, the employee has no business or authority to take any kind of action over another employee; and it can hide a problem from management and hinder efforts to properly and promptly addressing an issue because the employee may not report the alleged impairment to management. Since management has responsibility for addressing issues of impairment in the workplace, they should be the only ones addressing it. Change to read “the applicable code of conduct” and delete “another” in first paragraph. Deleted option of speaking with the impaired person and added immediate report requirement. 23 Clarified that the impaired employee must agree to contact the assistance program since such programs only provide services requested by the person receiving the services. Changed to read: “…any violation of the law or the applicable code of conduct by a judge, another judicial employee or the reporting employee.” Kim Cantoni Human Resources AOC Change to read “…if such report is made in Added “shall cooperate and be candid good faith and shall fully cooperate and be and honest” candid and honest in any investigation and disciplinary proceeding.” Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County Delete “a judge or” and insert as second sentence: “Violations of the law or this code by a judge shall be reported to the supervisor and the presiding judge.” Not included, due to need for multiple reporting options. The supervisor can report to the presiding judge as provided by policy, if necessary. Rachelle Resnick Supreme Court This provision seems overly broad. (a judicial employee shall report…any violation of the law…” (emphasis added)) Does an employee have a duty to report minor moving violations committed in their personal vehicle on personal time if driving is not one of their jobrelated duties? Changed to read “A judicial employee shall report to a supervisor, administrator or judge within the judicial department any violation of the law in the course of court employment or that may affect the violator’s ability to perform court duties…” Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County Comment 3. Reflects a possibility of Deleted Comment 3. inconsistent handling of instances of possible misconduct. If a court employee receives information indicating a “substantial likelihood” that misconduct has occurred, the information should be immediately reported to the appropriate authority. To allow individual employees to make a decision whether or not to report the misconduct is inconsistent with the “duty to report,” promotes inconsistency, and interferes with the concept of an 24 “independent, fair, and impartial judiciary.” CANON 3 Rule 3.1 Outside Activities in General Marla Randall Superior Court Navajo County A court reporter employed full time by the court owns a freelance court reporting business with which the court contracts to cover divisions of the Court during the absence of regularly employed court reporters (including the owner). This practice appears to be inconsistent with this provision. Changed Rule 3.1(B)(1) to read: “Involves an organization or private employer whose officers, employees or agents are regularly involved as a litigant, an attorney, or a witness in cases filed with the court in which the judicial employee is employed;” Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County Comment 1. Should provide more examples. Judicial employees have a hard time distinguishing what constitutes a conflict of interest for these purposes. Examples should include the types of employment that would be considered a conflict of interest. For example, adding performing security work or services, work as a private investigator, or other similar work would create a conflict of interest. What about working in adult establishments, such as such as strip clubs or adult bookstores? Would this be considered a conflict? An expansion of the examples would provide consistency between courts and departments. A more comprehensive list of unsuitable employment and volunteer work for judicial employees, including probation employees, would help guide both employees and the managers who must approve or deny these secondary employment requests. No change. Work for an employer that regularly appears in court as a private security officer or private investigator or that requires the employee to appear in court would be prohibited under the current language of Rule 3.1 (B) (1) and (4). The employee could avoid PI jobs that involve any probationer. Work for adult establishments that is legal should be addressed by outside employment policies that require approval of all outside employment in order to avoid embarrassment of the court employer. This code does not preclude the adoption of more restrictive outside employment policies. 25 Jeffrey Schrade Education Services AOC Debi Schaefer Superior Court Yavapai County Jeffry Viemont Admin. Office of Courts Justice Hurwitz Supreme Court Rule 3.2 Use of Nonpublic Information Rule 3.3 Solicitation for Outside Activities Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County (B)(2) add to end of sentence “unless approved leave is taken;” In some cases people will take a vacation day to do consulting or other work so that it is not on court time. Normal working hours could be interpreted more broadly to mean any weekday between 8-5 (or whatever the established normal working hours are of the individual). Given the neutral role of a part time court interpreter (not advising or taking action on behalf of the court or anyone else – simply repeating what is said), I don’t feel there is a real or potential conflict of interest and I’m unaware of any negative impression employment of the interpreter by parties who appear before the court may have given. Not included. Instead, changed “normal” to “scheduled” to provide flexibility for occasional outside work that does not conflict with a full time employee’s court duties and for the schedules of part time employees and volunteers. Provided an exception with approval for a part time employee or volunteer to engage in an outside business activity that involves an entity that regularly does business with the court or may appear in court. Included (B) Add “judicial” before “employee in each subsection. Included Remove approval requirement for paragraph (C) volunteer exception to paragraphs B (2) and (4) (A) Delete “the court” and place with Not included, but changed to read: “his/her” and delete “in connection with” and “…shall not use the employee’s…” replace “activities” with “the workplace.” Solicitation of funds in the workplace is not generally prohibited. 26 Rule 3.4 Gifts and Extra Compensation Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County (A) Change to read “A judicial employee should not personally request, or by action or inference, solicit subordinates to contribute funds to any organization or activity but may provide…” Karen Ferrara Superior Court Cochise County Kent Batty Superior Court Pima County (A) Should this read “a judicial employee Included shall not use their court position…”? (A) The language of the first two lines of (A) can be read to imply that soliciting gifts or favors from the list in (B) is authorized. That is not what we want. For those items in (B), the concepts of solicitation and acceptance should be separated. Replace “or” with “others, and shall not”. Included Changed to read: “A judicial employees shall not solicit gifts or favors nor accept gifts or favors, other than those listed in paragraph B …” (B)(2) Replace “disqualification of” with Included due to the fact that 2.11 uses the “withdrawal from participation”. term withdrawal. (B)(8) Change to read “gifts, awards or Included but reworded. benefits associated with the business, profession, or other separate activity of a spouse, a domestic partner, or other family member of a judicial employee residing in the judge’s (sic) judicial employee’s household, but that incidentally benefit the judicial employee;” Nancy Swetnam Certification & Comment 1. Add “or a judicial employee’s action” after “judge’s decision”. 27 Included. Licensing AOC Comment 2. Delete “disqualification” and Included. Deleted last sentence as inapplicable to judicial employees. replace with “withdrawal”. In addition, some provisions of the draft code Added exception allowing volunteer to may be problematic for volunteers, i.e., a receive a gift outside the context of court volunteer who is also an attorney and the gift duties. limitation provision. Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County Karen Ferrara Superior Court Cochise County Rule 3.5 Reimbursement of Expenses and Waivers of Fees for Charges CANON 4 Rule 4.1 General Activities Rule 4.2 Personal Staff, Courtroom Clerks, and Managers Clerks Association (B)(3) Fails to define social hospitality. This Added to Comment 3 explanatory leaves a lot of room for interpretation. It language from JEAC Opinion 95-13. should be defined. (B)(9) Needs clarification. What does “gifts Added “or other event honoring the incident to a public testimonial” mean? Is this recipient.” like a honorarium for speaking to school kids? The Clerks assert that allowing a judge’s personal staff to run for an elective office, according to the restrictions of the judicial canons, should be allowed under principles of fairness. Like judges, judicial staff, courtroom clerks and managers should have to resign to run for an elective office outside the court. To run for an elective judicial office within the 28 This provision as proposed requires resignation to campaign for office outside the judicial branch and defers to Rule 4.3 concerning judicial department office. These employees can be authorized to take a leave of absence to campaign for judicial department office by amending Rule 4.3. The last phrase prohibits a Rule 4.3 Elective Judicial Department Office Patricia Noland Superior Court Pima County Clerks Association same court, the judge’s personal staff should take a leave of absence, as required in proposed Rule 4.3. To take office, the individual must resign from court employment prior to assuming office. Delete “and may not hold any elective office.” I do not believe it is proper to allow a judicial employee to run for a position in their own court – even for an open position – and not take a leave of absence or resign. This can and will lead to real problems. The problem mentioned was multiple employees from the same court running for the same office in another court or in the same court if the incumbent is not seeking reelection. person from simultaneously holding a position close to the judge and any elective office, including a nonpartisan office. Therefore, it should not be deleted as recommended. The apparent choice between resignation or a leave of absence in section 4.3 differs from section 4.4 and should reference only a leave of absence, as in 4.4. All employees are free to resign from any position at any time. This language covers the different circumstances employees who work with judges who otherwise must resign under Rule 4.2 and other court employees who otherwise must take a leave of absence under Rule 4.4. The first sentence was reworded for clarification. The restriction on campaigning for judicial office seems unnecessary since an elected judicial department office is necessarily political. A court employee running for such office does not involve the courts in politics to a significantly greater degree. The purpose of not losing the services of qualified court employees while they are running for office may outweigh potential problems. Competition among clerk’s employees for an open position will cause political division within the office whether or not the candidates are employed. Add new second sentence, “A leave of Not included since a leave of absence is absence must be approved by the judicial not required by this rule. employee’s appointing authority, i.e. presiding 29 judge, chief judge, chief justice or elected clerk of court.” Rule 4.4 Elective Office in General Clerks Association Athia Hardt Rule 4.5 Workplace Activity Jeffrey Schrade Education Services Change 4.3 to read, “If elected or appointed, the judicial employee shall resign from court employment prior to assuming office. In Rules 4.3 and 4.4, the Clerks assert that appointment to a partisan elective office (as opposed to candidacy for office) should not require a judicial employee to take a leave of absence during the appointment process. A judicial employee might be nominated for appointment to an elective office when, for example, the incumbent is impeached, resigns, retires or dies before the natural expiration of their elected term and the employee has not publicly announced their desire for appointment to the vacant office. Included. Clarify who approves a leave of absence. Added to 4.4 A: “A leave of absence must be approved by the judicial employee’s appointing authority, i.e. presiding judge, chief judge, chief justice or elected clerk of court.” Included by deleting references to appointment. Consideration for appointment to elective office does not involve the public political campaigning that might be associated with the court. Clarify that paragraph (C) volunteer exception Rule 4.4(C) added to allow an exception provides for approval of continued service with approval for volunteers from the political activity limitations of this rule. rather than approval of a candidacy. Clarified approval is needed for continued volunteer service. Add language “ballot measure,” after “… Included. Though a court employee is political committee,…”. Although organized entitled to state a personal opinion by 30 AOC Lori Ash Superior Court Maricopa County advocacy for many ballot measures would likely fall under the “political committee” definition, should judicial employees refrain from wearing a button like “yes on 101”? What if there is a referred measure or initiative with no formal political committee but is nevertheless a divisive issue? Would/should this rule limit this sort of issue advocacy in the workplace as well? displaying materials for or against a ballot measure, bringing those materials into the workplace associates the court with that opinion, thus compromising the impartiality of the court on that issue. The comment is concerning. Understand, and agree with, the need to prohibit political activity while at work. However, the comment affects an employee while he/she is away from work. The vehicle is the employee’s personal property, and the parking lot is removed from the actual work environment. This prohibition raises some First Amendment issues and the rule and comment do not appear to provide a clear rational basis for extending the prohibition to an employee’s car in a parking lot. In addition, how far do we take this? What happens if an employee’s car will not start and the employee has to drive a relative’s car or a friend’s car? Can we discipline the employee because the car he/she happened to drive that day had a political bumper sticker? Propose revising the comment to read: “A personal vehicle parked in a parking lot reserved for court employees or used for court business is covered by these workplace limitations.” Not included. Added the following explanation to the comment: “Where such reserved parking exists, displaying political materials on vehicles brings political advocacy to the workplace because the parking lot is part of the workplace.” Some federal courts in Missouri have upheld similar restrictions in the face of constitutional challengers. See International Broth. Of Elec. Workers, AFL-CIO v. St. Louis County, 117 F.Supp.2d 922, 932 (E.D. Mo. 2000) (guideline forbidding merit system employees from placing bumper sticker on vehicles parked in county-owned or county-leased property constitutional); Connealy v. Walsh, 412 F. Supp. 146, 152-154 (W.D. Mo. 1976) (state interest in promoting nonpartisan appearance of juvenile court outweighed plaintiff’s First Amendment 31 interest in displaying bumper sticker on her vehicle parked in juvenile court lot); cf. Goodman v. City of Kansas City, Mo. 906 F.Supp. 537, 543-44 (W.D. Mo. 1995) (City did not articulate “actual harm” sufficient to justify restriction on bumper stickers in city lot–restriction on city employees, in the interest of showing city government functioned as single apolitical unit). Karen Ferrara Superior Court Cochise County Comment. Ensure to receive first amendment reactions. I can get the reserved parking spot Applies only if the entire court parking lot is reserved for court staff. part, but an entire court parking lot? Rachelle Resnick Supreme Court Comment. I agree with the comments made by Lori Ash and Karen Ferrara. This provision seems to be unduly burdensome on free speech. Even if it is technically within the law, the provision is going to be unenforceable. Are we really going to monitor the parking lots for bumper stickers? Rule 4.6 Political Pressure Rule 4.7 Judicial Campaign Activity Rule 4.8 Political Discrimination 32 The issue of bumper stickers in parking lots is raised as an ethical issue almost every election cycle. Presumably, it is raised by an opponent of the person the bumper sticker supports or a supporter of the opponent who works at or does business at the court. Proposed Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees Table of Contents With Cross-References to Current Employee Code A. B. Purpose and Intent – Preamble Terminology – Definition CANON 1 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE SHALL UPHOLD AND PROMOTE THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY, AND IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY AND SHALL AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY. Rule 1.1 Rule 1.2 Rule 1.3 Compliance with the Law Canon 2.A. Compliance with Law Canon 2.E. Use of Public Property Canon 2.F. Former Employees Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Canon 1.A. Independence Canon1.B. Integrity Abuse of Position – Canon 2.C. Abuse of Position CANON 2 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE SHALL PERFORM THE DUTIES OF JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT IMPARTIALLY, COMPETENTLY, AND DILIGENTLY. Rule 2.1 Rule 2.2 Rule 2.3 Rule 2.4 Rule 2.5 Rule 2.6 Rule 2.7 Rule 2.8 Rule 2.9 Rule 2.10 Rule 2.11 Rule 2.12 Rule 2.13 Rule 2.14 Rule 2.15 Giving Priority to Ethical Duties Impartiality and Fairness – Canon 3.B. Impartiality Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment – Canon 3.C.Prejudice External Influences on Court Duties - replaces similar language in Canon 3.B. Impartiality Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation Canon 3.F. Education Canon 3.D. Information and Records Assistance to Litigants – Canon 3.E. Customer Assistance Reserved Professionalism – Canon 3.A. Communication with Judges – Canon 3.G. Communication with Judges Statements on Pending and Impending Cases – Canon 3.G. Communication with Judges Personal Interests – Canon 4.C. Personal Conflict of Interest Reserved Employment of Relatives – Canon 2.D. Employment of Relatives Disability and Impairment Duty to Report – Canon 3.H. Duty to Report CANON 3 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE SHALL CONDUCT ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF CONFLICT WITH THE OBLIGATIONS OF JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT. Rule 3.1 Rule 3.2 Rule 3.3 Rule 3.4 Rule 3.5 Outside Activities in General Canon 4.A. General Activities Canon 4.B. Financial Activities Use of Nonpublic Information – Canon 3.D. Information and Records Solicitation for Outside Activities – Canon 4.D. Solicitation Gifts and Extra Compensation – Canon 2.B. Gifts and Extra Compensation Reimbursement of Expenses and Waivers of Fees or Charges CANON 4 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE OR CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT OFFICE SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN POLITICAL OR CAMPAIGN ACTIVITY THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY, OR IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY. Rule 4.1 Rule 4.2 Rule 4.3 Rule 4.4 Rule 4.5 Rule 4.6 Rule 4.7 Rule 4.8 General Activities – Canon 5.A. General Activities Personal Staff, Courtroom Clerks, and Managers – Canon 5.B. Personal Staff, Courtroom Clerks, and Managers Elective Judicial Department Office Elective Office in General – Canon 5.C. Elective Office Workplace Activity – Canon 5.D. Workplace Activity Political Pressure – Canon 5.E. Political Pressure Judicial Campaign Activity – Canon 5.F. Judicial Campaign Activity Political Discrimination – Canon 5.G. Political Discrimination ARIZONA CODE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION Part 1: Judicial Branch Administration Chapter 3: Judicial Officers and Employees Section 1-303: Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees A. Contents Preliminary Sections A. B. C. D. Contents Purpose and Intent Terminology Conduct Rules and Comments Canon 1. A judicial employee shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. Rule 1.1 Rule 1.2 Rule 1.3 Compliance with the Law Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Abuse of Position – Canon 2.C. Abuse of Position Canon 2. A judicial employee shall perform the duties of judicial employment impartially, competently, and diligently. Rule 2.1 Rule 2.2 Rule 2.3 Rule 2.4 Rule 2.5 Rule 2.6 Rule 2.7 Rule 2.8 Rule 2.9 Rule 2.10 Rule 2.11 Rule 2.12 Rule 2.13 Rule 2.14 Rule 2.15 Giving Priority to Ethical Duties Impartiality and Fairness Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment External Influences on Court Duties Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation Assistance to Litigants Reserved Professionalism Communication with Judges Statements on Pending and Impending Cases Personal Interests – Canon 4.C. Personal Conflict of Interest Reserved Employment of Relatives Disability and Impairment Duty to Report Canon 3. A judicial employee shall conduct activities outside of judicial employment to minimize the risk of conflict with the obligations of judicial employment. Rule 3.1 Rule 3.2 Rule 3.3 Outside Activities in General Use of Nonpublic Information Solicitation for Outside Activities -1- Rule 3.4 Rule 3.5 Gifts and Extra Compensation Reimbursement of Expenses and Waivers of Fees or Charges Canon 4. A judicial employee or candidate for judicial department office shall not engage in political or campaign activity that is inconsistent with the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary. Rule 4.1 Rule 4.2 Rule 4.3 Rule 4.4 Rule 4.5 Rule 4.6 Rule 4.7 Rule 4.8 General Activities Personal Staff, Courtroom Clerks, and Managers Elective Judicial Department Office Elective Office in General Workplace Activity Political Pressure Judicial Campaign Activity Political Discrimination B. Purpose and Intent. PREAMBLE A fair and independent court system is essential to the administration of justice. Proper conduct by judicial employees inspires public confidence and trust in the courts. There are certain principles that should govern the conduct of all judicial employees. An independent, fair and impartial judiciary is indispensable to our system of justice. The United States legal system is based upon the principle that an independent, impartial, and competent judiciary, composed of men and women of integrity, will interpret and apply the law that governs our society. Thus, the judiciary plays a central role in preserving the principles of justice and the rule of law. Inherent in all the rules contained in this code are the precepts that judicial employees, individually and collectively, must respect and honor judicial employment as a public trust and strive to maintain and enhance confidence in the legal system. Judicial employees should maintain the dignity of the judiciary at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. They should aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence. This code establishes uniform standards for the ethical conduct of judicial department officials, not covered by the Code of Judicial Conduct, and judicial employees. It is not intended to be exhaustive as persons governed by this code are also governed in their professional and personal conduct by personnel policies, merit rules and general or special ethical standards. It is intended to complement the Code of Judicial Conduct that governs the conduct of judges and should be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with that code. The minimum standards contained in this code do not preclude the adoption of more rigorous standards by law, court order or local rule. Violations of this code shall be enforced locally and in the same manner as violations of local personnel rules that apply to judicial employees. -2- C. Terminology Definitions "Canon" means a fundamental principle governing the conduct of judicial employees. The broad statement of principle appearing before each major section of the code is the canon. There are four five canons in this code. "Court managers" means high-level administrative staff who work in such close proximity to judges that their actions, decisions or conduct might be viewed as the official acts or positions of the judiciary. In the superior, municipal and justice trial courts, court managers include court administrators, chief probation officers, juvenile court directors, and any other similar staff designated by the clerk of the superior court, presiding judge, chief judge or chief justice of each court county, but not except the elected clerks of court themselves. In the appellate courts, court managers include clerks of the court, chief staff attorneys, the administrative director, deputy director, division directors and other staff designated by the chief justice or chief judges. Comment The actual duties and reporting relationship of a court manager varies considerably from position to position and from court to court, so the important consideration is what the court manager does and not just the title of the position. Court managers who do not act as court administrators and do not speak for the court as a whole may not be subject to the same limitations as the court’s top administrator. It is the responsibility of the presiding judge, chief judge or chief justice of each court to determine which local court managers are included within the definition for their court. "Courtroom clerks" means a staff person of the elected clerk of court, the chief clerk or a judge of a justice or municipal court, a clerk who works regularly in staff of the elected clerk of the court who are assigned to work in the courtroom with the a judge. Comment A courtroom clerk is staff of the elected clerk of the superior court or works under the supervision of the chief clerk or the a judge of a justice or municipal court. The courtroom clerk works with a particular judge or on a particular calendar as assigned. Due to the close association with a judge, a courtroom clerk’s actions and comments might be attributed to the judge. “Domestic partner” means a person with whom another person maintains a household and an intimate relationship, other than a person to whom he or she is legally married. “Economic interest” means ownership of more than a de minimis or insignificant legal or equitable interest and is further defined, for purposes of compliance with state law, in A.R.S. § 38-502(11). Except for situations in which the judicial employee participates in the management of such a legal or equitable interest, or the interest could be substantially affected by the outcome of a proceeding in which the judicial employee participates, it does not include: -3- (1) an interest in the individual holdings within a mutual or common investment fund; (2) an interest in securities held by an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organization in which the judicial employee or the judicial employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child serves as a director, an officer, an advisor, or other participant; (3) a deposit in a financial institution or deposits or proprietary interests the judicial employee may maintain as a member of a mutual savings association or credit union, or similar proprietary interests; or (4) an interest in the issuer of government securities held by the judicial employee. “Fiduciary” includes relationships such as executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian. “Impartial,” “impartiality,” and “impartially” mean absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, in communication or conduct as well as maintenance of neutrality concerning issues that may come before a judge. “Impending” is a matter that is imminent or expected to occur in the near future. “Incumbent” means the person who currently holds an elected office by election or appointment to that office. “Impropriety” includes conduct that violates the law, court rules, merit rules or provisions of this Code, and conduct that undermines a judicial employee’s independence, integrity, or impartiality. “Independence” means a judicial employee’s freedom from influence or controls other than those established by law. “Integrity” means probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character. “Judge” means any person who is authorized to perform judicial functions within the Arizona judiciary, including a justice or judge of a court of record, a justice of the peace, magistrate, court commissioner, special master, hearing officer, referee or pro tempore judge. means any person who serves as an officer and performs judicial functions within the judicial system. "Judicial employee" means any person other than a judge who performs duties in the judicial department of this state, as it is defined in Az. Const. Art. 6 § 1, who directly or indirectly affects the operation of the judiciary as a full time employee, a part time employee or a volunteer. working in the judicial department, except Rule 3.1 (B) (1), (2) and (4) and Rule 4.4 of this code do not apply to a part time employee or a volunteer and Rule 4.4 does not apply to a volunteer if the activity prohibited under these rules continued service to a court is consistent with other provisions of this code and the Code of Judicial Conduct and approved by the -4- respective clerk of court, presiding judge, chief judge, or chief justice and except Rule 3.4 applies only to a gift from a person with whom a part time employee or a volunteer has been involved in the performance of court duties. “Law” encompasses court rules as well as ordinances, regulations, statutes, constitutional provisions, and decisional law. “Member of a judicial employee’s family residing in the employee’s household” means any relative of a judicial employee by blood or marriage, or a person treated by the judicial employee as a member of the family, who resides in the household. “Nonpublic information” means information that is not available to the public. Nonpublic information may include, but is not limited to, information that is sealed by statute or court order or impounded or communicated in camera, and information offered in dependency cases or psychiatric reports and any information contained in records that are closed or confidential under Arizona Supreme Court Rule 123 or other law. “Pending” is a matter that has commenced. A matter continues to be pending through any appellate process until final disposition. "Personal staff" means assistants, secretaries, law clerks, bailiffs, and court reporters appointed employed by, assigned regularly to, or reporting directly to a judge. Comment If an employee has part time duties within the court or government in addition to serving on a judge’s personal staff, as a courtroom clerk, or as a court manager, the employee is still subject to the limitations of this code. The relationship with the judge exists whether or not the duties are performed full time. “Political organization” means a political party or other group sponsored by or affiliated with a political party or candidate, the principal purpose of which is to further the election or appointment of candidates for political office. For purposes of this code, the term does not include a judicial candidate’s campaign committee created as authorized by Rule 4.3. "Relative" means a spouse, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or other person with whom the judicial employee maintains a close familial relationship, including any person residing in the employee's household. “Volunteer” is a person appointed or assigned by an authorized court official or other appointing authority to perform specified duties on behalf of the court. -5- D. Conduct Rules and Comments. CANON 1 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE SHALL UPHOLD AND PROMOTE THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY, AND IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY AND SHALL AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY. RULE 1.1 Compliance with the Law Canon 2 A. Compliance with Law. Judicial employees shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. (A) A judicial employee shall comply with the law. Canon 2 E. Use of Public Property. (B) A judicial employees shall not use public funds, property or resources wastefully or for any private purpose not authorized by judicial or other administrative authorities. Canon 2 F. Former Employees. (C) A judicial employees shall not do business on behalf of the court with a person known to be a former judicial employee: who left the court's employment during the preceding twelve months and who represents a person or business entity for compensation held a position involving substantial discretion over that aspect of the court's activities; and concerning any matter in which the former employee Who was directly and personally involved and over which the former employee exercised substantial and material administrative discretion. 1. Who left the court's employment during the preceding twelve months; and 2. Whose participation could harm the interests of the judiciary or cause a perception of favoritism. Comment [Editor’s note: combination of current code commentary on Canons 2.A., 2.E. and 2.F.] 1. As public servants, judicial employees should not act in any way that would violate specific laws or the provisions of this code. Public confidence in the judiciary is maintained by the willingness of each employee to live up to this standard. When faced with conflicting loyalties, judicial employees should seek first to maintain public trust. Employees should not, for example, knowingly make false entries on time cards or personnel records; backdate a court document, falsely claim reimbursement for mileage or expenses; misuse the telephone, facsimile machine, or copying machine; or take supplies home for private use. This conduct -6- may be theft, a class l misdemeanor ranging to a class 3 felony under A.R.S. § 13-1802 or fraud, a class 2 felony under A.R.S. § 13-2310. 2. A judicial employee who knows a person who seeks to do business with the court is a former employee must determine whether the former employee is disqualified under paragraph (C). Abuse of former employment by a former employee may be a class 6 felony under A.R.S. § 38-504(A). RULE 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary Canon 1 A. Independence. Judicial employees shall maintain high standards of conduct so the independence of the judiciary is preserved. B. Integrity. Judicial employees shall maintain and observe the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and truthfulness in their professional and personal dealings. A judicial employee shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. Comment 1. The fundamental attitudes and work habits of individual judicial employees reflect on the integrity and independence of the judiciary and are of vital importance in maintaining the confidence of the public in the judiciary. Honesty and truthfulness are paramount. 2. Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by improper conduct and conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety. This principle applies to both professional conduct and, depending on the position of the judicial employee and the circumstances, personal conduct that affects the public perception of the court due to the position of the employee or the circumstances. 3. A judicial employee should expect to be the subject of public scrutiny that might be viewed as burdensome if applied to other citizens, and must accept the restrictions imposed by the code that apply to the judicial employee’s position. 4. Conduct that compromises or appears to compromise the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary or of a judicial employee undermines public confidence in the judiciary. Because it is not practicable to list all such conduct, this rule is necessarily cast in general terms. 5. Actual improprieties include violations of law, court rules or provisions of this code. The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judicial employee violated this code or engaged in other conduct that reflects adversely on the judicial employee’s honesty, impartiality, temperament, or -7- fitness. A judicial employee’s personal and family circumstances are generally not appropriate considerations on which to presume an appearance of impropriety. RULE 1.3 Canon 2.C. Abuse of Position Judicial employees shall not use or attempt to use their positions for personal gain or to secure special privileges or exemptions for themselves or any other person. Comment 1. It is improper for a judicial employee to use or attempt to use his or her position to gain personal advantage or deferential treatment of any kind. For example, it would be improper for a judicial employee should not, for example, to seek or provide special consideration regarding traffic citations or parking violations; or to provide special treatment to particular parties or matters, for personal reasons. Similarly, a judicial employee must not use court letterhead to gain an advantage in conducting his or her personal business. 2. A judicial employee may provide a reference or recommendation for an individual based upon personal knowledge. The judicial employee may use court letterhead if there is no likelihood that the use of the letterhead would reasonably be perceived as an attempt to exert pressure by reason of the court employment. 3. Accepting, agreeing to accept, giving or requesting a gift or favor with an understanding that any court business or proceeding would be influenced may be bribery, a class 4 felony under A.R.S. §§ 13-2602(A)(2) and 13-2606. 4. It is improper to use or disclose to others confidential information or records for personal purposes. Abuse of confidential information by a current or former employee may be a class 6 felony under A.R.S. § 38-504B. -8- CANON 2 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE SHALL PERFORM THE DUTIES OF JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT IMPARTIALLY, COMPETENTLY, AND DILIGENTLY. RULE 2.1 Giving Priority to Judicial Employment Ethical Duties A court employee shall regard the ethical duties provided in this code of conduct as having the highest priority. Comment To ensure that judicial employees are able to fulfill their court duties, judicial employees must conduct their personal and professional activities to minimize the risk of conflicts that would result in frequent disqualification with the performance of court duties. RULE 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness Canon 3 B. Impartiality. A judicial employee shall perform court duties fairly and impartially. Comment Judicial employees may appear to be providing preferential treatment to litigants, counsel or other persons with whom they discuss the merits of a case pending before the court or behave in a particularly friendly manner be inappropriately friendly with litigants, counsel or other persons who do business with the court, and thus give the appearance of preferential treatment. To gauge the propriety of any behavior an action, employees should consider how opposing parties and counsel who are involved in the proceeding are likely to view the situation. RULE 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment Canon 3 C. Prejudice. A judicial employee shall perform court duties without bias or prejudice and shall not manifest by words or conduct bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, manifest bias or prejudice by words or conduct, or engage in harassment in the performance of court duties. This includesing, but is not limited to bias, prejudice, or harassment based upon race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation. -9- Comment 1. A judicial employee who manifests bias or prejudice in the conduct of court business impairs the fairness of the court proceeding judicial process and brings the judiciary into disrepute. 2. Examples of manifestations of bias or prejudice include but are not limited to epithets; slurs; demeaning nicknames; negative stereotyping; attempted humor based upon stereotypes; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; suggestions of connections between race, ethnicity, or nationality and crime; and irrelevant references to personal characteristics. Facial expressions and body language and other forms of nonverbal communication may convey to parties and lawyers in the proceeding, jurors, the media, and others an appearance of bias or prejudice. A judicial employee must avoid conduct that may reasonably be perceived as prejudiced or biased. 3. Harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person on bases such as race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status, or political affiliation. 4. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome. See Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Order 92-33 (Oct. 19, 1992), for the judiciary’s sexual harassment policy. RULE 2.4 External Influences on Court Duties (A) A judicial employee shall not be influenced in the performance of court duties by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism or reprisal. [Editor’s note: replaces similar language in Canon 3.B. Impartiality] (B) A judicial employee shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or other interests or relationships to influence the performance of court duties. (C) A judicial employee shall not convey or permit others to convey the impression that any person or organization is in a position to influence the outcome of a case. Comment 1. An independent judiciary requires that judges decide cases according to the law and facts, without regard to whether particular laws or litigants are popular or unpopular with the public, the media, government officials, or the judge’s or judicial employee’s friends or family. Confidence in the judiciary is eroded if judicial process or decision making is perceived to be subject to inappropriate outside influences. -10- 2. Employees who think they may be influenced in a particular matter should discuss the situation with a supervisor, administrator, or judge. RULE 2.5 Competence, Diligence, and Cooperation (A) A judicial employee shall perform court duties competently, diligently, and promptly. (B) A judicial employee shall reasonably cooperate with other judicial employees, judges and court officials in the conduct of court business. Canon 3 F. Education. (C) A judicial employee shall comply with judicial education requirements and maintain any licensing or certification required for their the judicial employee’s position. Canon 3 D. Information and Records. (D) A judicial employee, when authorized, shall furnish accurate, timely information and shall provide access to public court proceedings and records according to established procedures. Comment 1. Competence in the performance of court duties requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary to perform the duties of the judicial employee’s position. 2. Court managers should seek the necessary court staff, expertise, training, and resources to enable court employees to perform their responsibilities. 3. Prompt disposition of the court’s business requires judicial employees to be punctual in attending to their duties and cooperative with co-workers, judges, and litigants and their lawyers. Article 2, § 11 of the Arizona Constitution requires that “Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay.” Rule 123(f)(2) of the Rules of the Supreme Court require the custodian to “promptly respond orally or in writing concerning the availability of the records, and provide the records in a reasonable time…” RULE 2.6 Assistance to Litigants A judicial employee shall assist litigants to access the courts by providing prompt and courteous customer service and accurate information while remaining neutral and impartial and avoiding the unauthorized practice of law. A judicial employee shallmust provide the assistance authorized belowassistance, when such assistance is consistent with the employee’s assigned duties responsibilities and established court policies and within of the employee’s and knowledge and experiencethe court’s resources and procedures. An employee who cannotis unable to -11- provide assistance authorized belowassistance shall refer the litigant to an available another court employeeresource, if appropriate, or a legal professional, as provided in paragraph H belowto assist the litigant. Employees are authorized to provide the following assistance: (A) Explain how to accomplish various actions within the court system and provide information about court procedures, without recommending a particular course of action; (B) Answer questions about court policies and procedures, without disclosing confidential or restricted information as provided in Rule 3.2; (C) Explain legal terms, without providing legal interpretations by applying legal terms and concepts to specific facts; (D) Provide forms and answer procedural questions about how to complete court papers and forms with factual information by the court customer, without recommending what words to put on the forms; (E) Provide public case information, without providing confidential case information as provided in Rule 2.5; (F) Provide information on various procedural options, without giving an opinion about what remedies to seek or which option is best; (G) Cite statutes, court rules or ordinances a judicial employee knows in order to perform the employee’s job, without performing legal research for court customers; (H) When asked to recommend a legal professional such as an attorney, a legal document preparer, or process server, refer the customer to a resource like a directory or referral service, without recommending a specific legal professional; and (I) Provide scheduling and other information about a case, without prejudicing another party in the case or providing information to or from a judge that is impermissible ex parte (one party) communication about a case. Canon 3 E. Customer Assistance A judicial employee may assist citizens in identifying available procedural options and in understanding and complying with court procedures. Judicial employees shall not advise a particular course of action. Comment For fuller explanation see the Guide to Court Customer Assistance: Legal Advice - Legal Information Guidelines for Arizona Court Personnel, Administrative Office of the Courts, Court Services Division, 2007 upon which this rule is based. -12- 1. Employees may assist citizens, consistent with the court's resources, with matters within the scope of their responsibilities and knowledge. This assistance may include providing information contained in court records; furnishing examples of forms or pleadings, explaining court rules, procedures, practices, and due dates,' and helping to complete forms with factual information provided by a citizen. Although a person may be informed of the options for addressing a matter, judicial employees should not advise citizens whether to take a particular course of action or attempt to answer questions outside their knowledge and experience. In performing their official duties, employees should not recommend the names of private attorneys to the public unless the employee works in a court-approved lawyer-referral program, but may refer members of the public to bar associations or legal aid organizations. RULE 2.7 Reserved RULE 2.8 Canon 3.A. Professionalism Judicial employees shall be patient, respectful, and courteous with litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, co-workers, and others who work in the court or come in contact with the court. Comment The duty to interact and behave with patience and courtesy is not inconsistent with the duty imposed in Rule 2.5 to handle matters diligently and promptly. Judicial employees can be efficient and businesslike while being patient and courteous. RULE 2.9 Canon 3.G. Communication with Judges. (A) A judicial employee shall not communicate personal knowledge about the facts of a pending case to the judge assigned to the case. (B) Based upon general direction by a judge, a judicial employee may communicate information from a party to the judge for scheduling, administrative, or emergency purposes, which does not address substantive matters. Comment To the extent reasonably possible, all parties or their lawyers shall be included in communications with a judge. A judge may also direct judicial staff, without invoking the notice and disclosure provisions of Rule 2.9 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, to screen written ex parte communications and to take appropriate action consistent with Rule 2.9 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. -13- RULE 2.10 Statements on Pending and Impending Cases Canon 3 G. Communication with Judges. (A) A judicial employee shall not make or repeat remarks about a case pending before an Arizona court that might affect the fairness or outcome of the proceeding any public statement that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court, or make any nonpublic statement that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. (B) Notwithstanding the restrictions in paragraph (A), a judicial employee may make public statements in the course of official duties, may explain court procedures, and may comment on any proceeding in which the judicial employee is a litigant in a personal capacity. Comment 1. This rule’s restrictions on speech are essential to the maintenance of the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary. 2. This rule does not prohibit a judicial employee from commenting on proceedings in which the judicial employee is a litigant in a personal capacity. In cases in which the judicial employee is a litigant in an official capacity, the judicial employee may comment publicly on the merits of the case. However, the judicial employee should consider whether any comment is advisable and consistent with that employee’s responsibilities. RULE 2.11 Canon 4.C. Personal Conflict of Interests. (A) A judicial employee shall manage personal and business matters so as to avoid situations that may lead to conflict, or the appearance of conflict, in the performance of their the judicial employee’s employment. (B) A judicial employee shall inform the appropriate supervisor of any potential conflict between the judicial employee’s performance of interest involving court duties and an economic interest of the employee individually or as a fiduciary or of the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child, or any other member of the employee’s family residing in the employee’s household. (C) A member of a judge's personal staff and a the courtroom clerk shall inform the judge of any potential conflict of interest, involvement, or activity of the staff member or courtroom clerk in a case pending before the judge. This includes a case in which the judicial employee, the judicial employee’s spouse or domestic partner, or a person within the third degree of relationship to a great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, nephew or niece of the judicial employee or the judicial -14- employee’s spouse or domestic partner either of them, or the spouse or domestic partner of such a person of any of these relatives is: (1) a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, general partner, managing member, or trustee of a party; (2) acting as a lawyer in the proceeding; (3) a person who has more than a de minimis (insignificant) interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding; or likely to be a material witness in the proceeding. (4) (D) A judicial employee shall withdraw from participation in a court proceeding or court business in which the employee or the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child, or any other member of the employee’s family residing in the employee’s household has a substantial personal, economic, or family interest that may actually or appear to influence the outcome of the court proceeding or business. (E) A judicial employee shall withdraw from any proceeding in which the employee’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned due to a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s lawyer, or personal knowledge of facts that are in dispute in the proceeding. (F) A judicial employee required to withdraw from participation in a judicial proceeding under this rule, other than for bias or prejudice under paragraph (A)(4) (E), may continue to perform duties related to the proceeding if, following disclosure to the parties and their lawyers, the parties and lawyers agree, without participation by the judge or court personnel in this decision, that the court employee need not withdraw. The agreement shall be incorporated into the record of the proceeding. Comment 1. Every judicial employee has a legal obligation under A.R.S. § 38-501 et. seq. to diligently identify, disclose and avoid conflicts of interest. A potential personal interest or conflict of interest exists when an official action or decision in which a judicial employee participates may specially benefit or harm a personal, business or employment interest of the judicial employee, the judicial employee's relative or the judicial employee's close friends. In a judicial proceeding, a potential conflict of interest arises if a judicial employee's business associate, relative or close friend is an interested party. Even if no impropriety actually occurs, a conflict of interest creates an appearance of impropriety that can seriously undermine the public's confidence and trust in the court system. 2. If withdrawal from a matter would cause unnecessary hardship, the judge or court manager may authorize the judicial employee to participate in the matter if permitted by the Code of Judicial Conduct, no reasonable alternative exists, and safeguards, including full disclosure to the parties involved, ensure official duties are properly performed. -15- 3. “Economic interest,” is defined in the Terminology section. RULE 2.12 Reserved RULE 2.13 Canon 2.D. Employment of Relatives Judicial employees shall not be appointed by, or assigned to be directly supervised by, a relative or by a supervisor reporting to a relative. Employees shall not attempt to influence the employment or advancement of a relative by a court except by letters of reference or in response to a person verifying references. Comment Employment of a relative by a court manager may be a class 2 misdemeanor under A.R.S. § 38-481. RULE 2.14 Disability and Impairment A judicial employee who has a reasonable belief that the performance of another judicial employee or a judge is impaired by drugs or alcohol, or by a mental, emotional, or physical condition, shall immediately report the observed behavior to a supervisor, administrator, the appropriate Human Resources Office, or the Commission on Judicial Conduct. A judicial employee who receives a report of impairment shall take appropriate action, which may include a confidential referral when the judge or judicial employee agrees to seek assistance from an appropriate assistance program. Comment 1. “Appropriate action” means action intended and reasonably likely to help the impaired person address the problem and prevent harm to the justice system. Depending upon the circumstances, appropriate action may include but is not limited to speaking directly to the impaired person, notifying an individual with supervisory responsibility over the impaired person, or making a referral to an assistance program. 2. Taking or initiating corrective action by way of referral of a cooperative judge or judicial employee to an assistance program may satisfy a the responsibility of judicial employee who receives a report under this rule. Assistance programs have many approaches for offering help to impaired judicial employees and judges, such as intervention, counseling, or referral to appropriate health care professionals. Depending upon the gravity of the conduct that has come to the been reported judicial employee’s attention, however, the judicial employee who receives a report may be required to take other action, such as reporting the impaired person to the appropriate supervisory or disciplinary authority or the Commission on Judicial Conduct, agency, or body. See Rule 2.15. -16- RULE 2.15 Canon 3.H. Duty to Report A judicial employee shall report to a supervisor, administrator or judge within the judicial department any violation of the law in the course of court employment or that may affect the violator’s ability to perform court duties or this and any violation of the applicable code of conduct by a judge, another judicial employee, or the reporting employee. Employees shall not be subject to retaliation for reporting violations if such report is made in good faith and shall cooperate and be candid and honest in any investigation and disciplinary proceeding. Comment 1. This obligation does not prohibit reporting illegal conduct to a law enforcement agency or other appropriate authority. 2. Employees should cooperate with the Commission on Judicial Conduct and may communicate with the Commission at any time, without fear of reprisal, for the purpose of discussing potential or actual judicial misconduct. Cooperation with investigations and discipline proceedings, as required in paragraph (A), instills confidence in judicial employees’ commitment to the integrity of the judicial system and the protection of the public. 3. A judicial employee who does not have actual knowledge that another employee may have committed misconduct, but receives information indicating a substantial likelihood of such misconduct, is required to take appropriate action. Appropriate action may include, but is not limited to, communicating directly with the employee who may have violated this code or communicating with a supervisor, administrator or judge. -17- CANON 3 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE SHALL CONDUCT ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF CONFLICT WITH THE OBLIGATIONS OF JUDICIAL EMPLOYMENT. RULE 3.1 Outside Activities in General. Canon 4 A. General Activities (A) A judicial employee shall conduct outside activities so as to avoid a negative effect on the court or the ability to perform court duties. Canon 4 B. Financial Activities (B) Except as provided by law or court rule, judicial employees shall not engage in any business, secondary employment or volunteer activity that: (1) Involves an organization or a private employer whose officers, employees or agents are that regularly conducts business involved as a litigant, an attorney, or a witness in cases filed with the court in which the judicial employee is employed; (2) Is conducted during the judicial employee's scheduled normal working hours; (3) Places the judicial employee in a position of conflict with his or her the judicial employee’s official role in the judicial department; (4) Requires the judicial employee to appear regularly in judicial or administrative agency proceedings; (5) Identifies the judicial employee with the judicial department or gives an impression the employment or activity is on behalf of the judicial department; or (6) Requires use of court equipment, materials, supplies, telephone services, office space, computer time, or facilities. (C) Paragraph B does not apply to court reporters appointed pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-221 when preparing transcripts pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 12-223 and 12-224. A person may serve as a volunteer and also engage in an activity described in subsection B (1) or (4). A part time employee may engage in such an activity approved by the respective clerk of superior court, presiding judge, chief judge, or chief justice of a court consistent with other provisions of this code and the Code of Judicial Conduct. -18- Comment 1. In order to avoid any employment or volunteer activity that is in conflict with a judicial employee's official role within the judiciary, a judicial employee should not, for example, work for a police department, public defender, or prosecutor. 2. Judicial employees may become foster parents and may teach, lecture, or write on any subject, so long as any payment is at the prevailing rate, any presentation or document clarifies that the judicial employee is not representing the judicial department, and confidential documents and information are not disclosed. RULE 3.2 Use of Nonpublic Information Canon 3 D. Information and Records A judicial employee shall not disclose any confidential information received in the course of official duties, except as required in the performance of such duties, or use such information for personal gain or advantage. A judicial employee shall not intentionally disclose or use nonpublic information acquired in an official capacity for any purpose unrelated to the employee’s duties. Comment 1. In the course of performing court duties a judicial employee may acquire information of commercial or other value that is unavailable to the public. The judicial employee must not reveal or use such information for personal gain or advantage or for any purpose unrelated to court duties. 2. This rule is not intended to affect a judicial employee’s ability to act on information as necessary to protect the health or safety of any individual if consistent with other provisions of this code. 3. Some information received by judicial employees while performing their duties is confidential and should not be revealed. Sometimes confidential matters are revealed through innocent and casual remarks about pending or closed cases, about participants in litigation, or about juries, any of which could give attorneys, litigants and reporters an unfair advantage. Such remarks can seriously prejudice a case or harm a person's standing in the community. -19- RULE 3.3 Canon 4.D. Solicitation for Outside Activities (A) A judicial employees shall not use the employee’s their positions or office to solicit funds, but a judicial employee, other than a member of a judge's personal staff, a courtroom clerk, or a court manager, may solicit funds in connection with outside activities. (B) A member of a judge's personal staff, a courtroom clerk, or a court manager is subject to the same limitations on solicitation as judges stated in Rule 3.7, Code of Judicial Conduct. Comment A judicial employees should not personally request or by action or inference solicit a subordinates to contribute funds to any organization or activity but may provide information to subordinates them about a general fund-raising campaign. A member of a judge's personal staff, a the courtroom clerk, or a court manager should not request or by action or inference solicit any litigant, attorney or judicial employee to contribute funds under circumstances where their close relationship to the judge could reasonably be viewed to give weight to the request. RULE 3.4 Canon 2.B. Gifts and Extra Compensation (A) A judicial employees shall not solicit gifts or favors nor accept gifts or favors, other than those listed in paragraph B, from attorneys, litigants, or other persons known to do business with the court and shall not request or accept any payment in addition to their the judicial employee’s regular compensation for assistance given as part of official duties. This rule does not apply to a volunteer soliciting or accepting a gift from a person with whom the volunteer has not been involved in the performance of court duties. (B) A judicial employee may accept the following: (1) items with little intrinsic value, such as plaques, certificates, trophies, and greeting cards; (2) gifts, loans, bequests, benefits, or other things of value from friends, relatives, or other persons, including lawyers, whose appearance or interest in a proceeding pending or impending would in any event require disqualification of withdrawal from participation by the judicial employee under Rule 2.11; (3) ordinary social hospitality; (4) commercial or financial opportunities and benefits, including special pricing and discounts, and loans from lending institutions in their regular course of business, if -20- the same opportunities and benefits or loans are made available on the same terms to similarly situated persons who are not judicial employees; (5) rewards and prizes given to competitors or participants in random drawings, contests, or other events that are open to persons who are not judicial employees; (6) scholarships, fellowships, and similar benefits or awards granted on the same terms and based on the same criteria applied to other applicants; (7) books, magazines, journals, audiovisual materials, and other resource materials supplied by publishers on a complimentary basis for official use; or (8) gifts, awards, or benefits associated with the business, profession, or other separate activity of a spouse, a domestic partner, or other family member of a judicial employee residing in the judicial employee’s household, but that incidentally benefit the judicial employee; (9) gifts incident to a public testimonial or other event honoring the recipient; or (10) invitations to the judicial employee and the judicial employee’s spouse, domestic partner, or guest to attend without charge: (a) an event associated with a bar-related function or other activity relating to the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice; or (b) an event associated with a judicial employee’s educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic activities, if the same invitation is offered to persons who are not judicial employees and who are engaged in similar ways in the activity as is the judicial employee. Comment 1. Whenever a judicial employee accepts a gift or other thing of value without paying fair market value, there is a risk that the benefit might be viewed as intended to influence the judge’s decision or a judicial employee’s action in a case. Rule 3.13 prohibits the acceptance of such benefits except in circumstances where the risk of improper influence is low. Examples of improper conduct include seeking a favor or receiving a gift, or the promise of one, whether it be money, services, travel, food, entertainment, or hospitality, that could be viewed as a reward for past or future services. Receiving fees or compensation not provided by law in return for public services may be a class 6 felony or a class 1 misdemeanor under A.R.S. § 38-504 subject to the penalties in A.R.S. § 38-510. 2. Gift-giving between friends and relatives is a common occurrence, and ordinarily does not create an appearance of impropriety or cause reasonable persons to believe that a judicial employee’s or judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality has been compromised. In addition, when the appearance of friends or relatives in a case would -21- require the judge’s or the judicial employee’s withdrawal disqualification under Rule 2.11, there would be no opportunity for a gift to influence the performance of court duties. Paragraph (B)(2) places no restrictions upon the ability of a judge to accept gifts or other things of value from friends or relatives under these circumstances but may require public reporting. 3. The receipt of ordinary social hospitality, commensurate with the occasion, is not likely to undermine the integrity of the judiciary. If an event is a traditional occasion for social hospitality such as a holiday party or the opening of an office and is not inappropriately lavish or expensive, it may qualify as "ordinary social hospitality.” However, the receipt of other gifts and things of value from an attorney or party who has or is likely to do business with the court will be appropriate only in the rarest of circumstances. 4. Businesses and financial institutions frequently make available special pricing, discounts, and other benefits, either in connection with a temporary promotion or for preferred customers, based upon longevity of the relationship, volume of business transacted, and other factors. A judicial employee may freely accept such benefits if they are available to the general public, or if the judicial employee qualifies for the special price or discount according to the same criteria as are applied to persons who are not judicial employees. As an example, loans provided at generally prevailing interest rates are not gifts, but a judicial employee could not accept a loan from a financial institution at below-market interest rates unless the same rate was being made available to the general public for a certain period of time or only to borrowers with specified qualifications that the judicial employee also possesses. 5. If a gift or other benefit is given to the judicial employee’s spouse, domestic partner, or member of the judicial employee’s family residing in the judicial employee’s household, it may be viewed as an attempt to influence the judicial employee indirectly. A judicial employee should remind family and household members of the reporting requirements imposed upon judicial employees by Rule 3.15, and urge them to take these restrictions into account when making decisions about accepting such gifts or benefits. RULE 3.5 Reimbursement of Expenses and Waivers of Fees or Charges (A) Unless otherwise prohibited by Rules 3.1 and 3.13(A) or other law, a judicial employee may accept reimbursement of necessary and reasonable expenses for travel, food, lodging, or other incidental expenses, or a waiver or partial waiver of fees or charges for registration, tuition, and similar items, from sources other than the judicial employee’s employing entity, if the expenses or charges are associated with the judicial employee’s participation in outside activities permitted by this code. (B) Reimbursement of expenses for necessary travel, food, lodging, or other incidental expenses shall be limited to the actual costs reasonably incurred by the judicial employee and, when appropriate to the occasion, by the judicial employee’s spouse, domestic partner, or guest. -22- (C) This rule does not apply to reimbursement of a part time employee or a volunteer for expenses not incurred in the performance of court duties. Comment Educational, civic, religious, fraternal, and charitable organizations often sponsor meetings, seminars, symposia, dinners, awards ceremonies, and similar events. Judicial employees are encouraged to attend educational programs, as both teachers and participants in furtherance of their duty to remain competent. Participation in a variety of other extrajudicial activity is also permitted and encouraged by this code. -23- CANON 4 A JUDICIAL EMPLOYEE OR CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT OFFICE SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN POLITICAL OR CAMPAIGN ACTIVITY THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY, OR IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY. RULE 4.1 General Activities In general, a judicial employee may participate in any political activities that do not give the impression the judiciary itself endorses political candidates or supports political causes, except when assigned to do so regarding measures to improve the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice. Comment 1. The judiciary seeks to maintain neutrality in political matters. While judicial employees may express and act on personal opinions about political candidates and issues as other citizens, they should maintain neutrality in action and appearance when performing their duties on behalf of the judicial department, unless their positions permit political advocacy on the part of the judiciary. To this end, judicial employees should separate their political activities from employment duties. 2. As long as a judicial employee does not give the impression the judiciary itself endorses a political candidate or supports a political cause, the employee may circulate candidate nomination petitions or recall petitions; engage in activities to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate; solicit or encourage contributions to be made directly to candidates or campaign committees which are contributing to candidates or advocating the election or defeat of candidates. 3. An employee can best avoid the impression political activity is on behalf of the judiciary by not identifying himself or herself as a court employee while engaging in political activities or, if asked, explaining that the he or she is simply participating as a concerned citizen. These political activities must be conducted outside of normal working hours and away from the work place to avoid any association with the court. RULE 4.2 Personal Staff, Courtroom Clerks, and Managers. In addition to the other sections of this canon, members of a judge's personal staff, courtroom clerks, and court managers shall be subject to the same political limitations as judges contained in Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, except as provided in Rule 4.3 of this code, and may not hold any elective office. -24- RULE 4.3 Elective Judicial Department Office Any judicial employee may be a candidate for an elective judicial department office without resigning or taking a leave of absence as required by other rules unless the office is within the same court in which the judicial employee is employed and the incumbent of that office is seeking reelection. If elected, the judicial employee shall resign from court employment prior to assuming office. An incumbent clerk of superior court may be a candidate for the office held without resigning or taking a leave of absence. This provision does not authorize a candidacy by an employee that is prohibited by state law or local ordinance. RULE 4.4 Elective Office In General A judicial employee who is not limited under Rule 4.2 as a member of a judge's personal staff, a courtroom clerk, or a court manager and who is not seeking judicial department office as permitted in Rule 4.3 may be a candidate for elective office under the following conditions: (A) Partisan. Such a judicial employee may be a candidate for partisan elective office if the judicial employee is authorized to take an unpaid leave of absence. A leave of absence must be approved by the judicial employee’s appointing authority, i.e. presiding judge, chief judge, chief justice or elected clerk of court. The leave of absence must begin before the judicial employee makes a public announcement of candidacy, declares or files as a candidate with the election or appointment authority, authorizes or engages in solicitation or acceptance of contributions or support, or is nominated for election or appointment to office any public declaration of an intention to seek office, including the filing of campaign papers, and prior to any fund-raising for the judicial employee's campaign. The judicial employee shall publicly disclose that he or she is on a leave of absence from court employment. If elected, the judicial employee shall resign from court employment prior to assuming office. (B) Non-partisan. Such a judicial employee may be a candidate for nonpartisan elective office without taking a leave of absence or separating from court employment if: (1) The judicial employee first seeks permission from the chief justice, chief judge, presiding judge of the court or clerk of court; (2) That judicial officer or clerk of court determines the office sought is consistent with judicial employment; and (3) The judicial employee otherwise complies with this code. (C) A person may continue to serve as a volunteer while campaigning for an elective office if continued service is approved by the respective clerk of superior court, presiding judge, chief judge, or chief justice of a court consistent with other provisions of this code and the Code of Judicial Conduct. -25- (A) Incumbent elected clerks of the court may be candidates for their offices without taking a leave of absence and are not subject to the provisions of this section. RULE 4.5 Workplace Activity During scheduled work hours or at the workplace, judicial employees shall not engage in political campaign activities and shall not display literature, badges, stickers, signs, or other political advertisements on behalf of any party, political committee, agency, or candidate for political office or ballot measure. Judicial employees authorized to do so may participate in approved activities regarding measures to improve the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice. Comment A personal vehicle parked in a space or a parking lot reserved for court employees is covered by these work place limitations. Where such reserved parking exists, displaying political materials on vehicles brings political advocacy to the workplace because the parking lot is part of the workplace. RULE 4.6 Political Pressure Judicial employees shall not use their official authority or position, directly or indirectly, to influence or attempt to influence any other judicial employee to become a member of any political organization or to take part in any political activity. RULE 4.7 Judicial Campaign Activity Judicial employees, including members of a judge's personal staff, courtroom clerks and court managers, may voluntarily participate in a judge's or clerk's campaign activities and may voluntarily contribute funds to a campaign, but only through a judge's or clerk's fund-raising committee. However, judges, elected clerks of the court, and court managers or supervisors shall not require subordinate judicial employees to participate in political activities or personally receive funds from judicial employees for any political purpose. RULE 4.8 Political Discrimination Judicial employees shall not discriminate in favor of or against any subordinate or any applicant for judicial employment on account of permitted political activities. -26- IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA ____________________________________ In the Matter of: ) ) LEGAL ADVICE – LEGAL ) INFORMATION GUIDELINES ) MANDATORY SIGNAGE ) ____________________________________) Administrative Order No. 2007 - 28 Administrative Order No. 2006-40 entered on May 3, 2006, established the Legal Advice – Legal Information Guidelines Task Force to review materials and information gathered from other states that have adopted policy statements, develop standards adopting authoritative distinctions between legal information and legal advice for guidance to court staff, and to determine the best method(s) for implementation of the proposed guidelines in Arizona’s courts that will promote consistent quality service. The Court further ordered the Task Force to provide a final report and recommendations to the Arizona Judicial Council for adoption by March 2007. On March 6, 2007, the Arizona Judicial Council approved the Task Force’s final report and recommendations, including the recommendation that the signage in Appendix A be prominently displayed at court service counters, self-service centers, and law libraries open to the public. The Council further approved the posting of signage in Spanish at the discretion of each court. Now, therefore, pursuant to Article VI, Section 3, of the Arizona Constitution, IT IS ORDERED that the attached content is approved for posting and shall be prominently displayed at court service counters, self-service centers, and law libraries open to the public no later than December 31, 2007. Dated this 22nd day of March, 2007. ____________________________________ RUTH V. MCGREGOR Chief Justice APPENDIX A WELCOME TO THE ARIZONA COURTS WE WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU IF WE CAN. AS WE MUST BE FAIR TO EVERYONE, WE ARE ALLOWED TO HELP YOU ONLY IN CERTAIN WAYS. This is a list of some things court personnel can and cannot do for you: We can *************************** explain and answer general questions about how the court works. We can give you general information about court rules, procedures, and practices. We can provide you with the number for lawyer referral services, legal aid programs, and other services where you can get legal information. We can provide court schedules and information on how to get a case scheduled. We can give you information from your case file that is not restricted. We can provide you with court forms and instructions that are available. We can usually answer questions about court deadlines. We cannot *************************** tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court. We cannot tell you what words to use in your court papers or whether they are correct. We cannot tell you what to say in court. We cannot give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court. We cannot conduct legal research for you. We cannot talk to the judge for you or let you talk to the judge outside of court. We cannot alter court documents. OUR ABILITY TO ASSIST YOU WILL DEPEND ON THE TIME AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE AS WELL AS THE SCOPE OF OUR RESPONSIBILITIES, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE.
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