SECTION 1. POLICY.
The North Dakota Judicial System policy is to promote the self-improvement of judicial officers by establishing a mandatory judicial improvement program that assists each
judge judicial officer in improving judicial performance and conduct in order to enhance the effective and efficient
performance of judicial duties.
SECTION 2. APPLICATION.
This rule applies to all judicial officers. For purposes of this Rule, "judicial officer" means justices of the Supreme Court
and, judges of the District Court, and judicial referees. Except as provided in this section, this This rule does not apply to surrogate judges , judicial referees, or judges of the municipal courts. A judicial referee may request participation in the judicial
improvement program by contacting the trial court administrative personnel designated under Section 3A.
SECTION 3. IMPLEMENTATION.
A. Except for the compiling and summarizing of survey results, the judicial improvement program will be managed by trial court administrative personnel designated by the presiding judge in each judicial district with respect to surveys regarding district court judges and judicial referees, and by personnel designated by the Chief Justice with respect to surveys regarding justices of the Supreme Court.
B. Approved forms must be used throughout the state as the minimum survey document to provide comments to the individual judge. A
judge judicial officer may add additional questions to the survey concerning the judge judicial officer. The Judiciary Standards Committee will maintain a list of additional questions as a resource for all judges. The forms
may be modified periodically, but all questions, except those concerning the number of times a person has had contact with the subject judge judicial officer, must
elicit qualitative, non-numerical
C. Lists of attorneys and court personnel to be surveyed may be generated by personnel designated under Section 3A.
Judges Judicial officers are urged to
maintain a list of attorneys appearing before them and court personnel working with them prior to the survey period, so as to reduce the burden of generating such a list by trial court personnel. The list
should include as many attorneys and court personnel appearing before or working with the judge judicial officer in the 12 months immediately preceding the survey as possible. The
time period may be shortened in areas with high numbers of appearances.
D. Surveys must be mailed to the survey respondents by personnel designated under Section 3A.
The judge who is the The subject of the survey must not receive
or see the completed survey document. The subject judge judicial officer shall select
another j udge judicial officer or other person, or both, who will review the survey results with the
judge judicial officer. The subject judge judicial officer shall provide the name
of the reviewer to personnel designated under Section 3A, who shall notify the entity identified in Section 3E.
E. The Supreme Court shall contract with an independent entity for purposes of receiving and summarizing survey information, and transmitting survey summaries to reviewers. All survey responses must be sent to the entity in an envelope provided for that purpose. Upon
receiving the survey results, the entity shall summarize the responses and provide a summary to the reviewer selected by the subject
judge judicial officer. The summary should
separately reflect information provided by attorneys and by court personnel unless, based on the number of responses, segregating the information may result in identification of survey respondents.
F. Upon receiving the survey summary, the reviewer shall review the information with the subject
judge judicial officer and make recommendations to aid in improving the subject judge's judicial performance.
SECTION 4. FREQUENCY OF SURVEYS.
Judicial improvement surveys must be conducted within two years following the election of the subject
judge judicial officer unless the judicial officer is a referee, in
which case the surveys must be conducted during each four year period following the referee's appointment. Only one survey
for each judge judicial officer is required during each term of office or four year period, but a judge judicial officer may elect to conduct have surveys conducted more frequently.
SECTION 5. CONFIDENTIALITY -- DISPOSITION OF SURVEY RESULTS.
Survey results, summaries, and any reports are confidential
and shall not be disclosed except as provided in this rule. The subject
judge judicial officer shall not
publicly disclose information resulting from the review conducted under Section 3F. The reviewer shall not disclose survey summary information to anyone other than the survey subject judge. Following completion of each survey process, the reviewer shall return the summary information to the entity described in Section 3E. After the return of the survey summary, the entity shall immediately destroy the summary, along with any related survey information. The entity shall not retain any survey information concerning a subject judge judicial officer after completion of the survey process.
This rule is
adopted amended effective March 1,
2003 March 1, 2005.
Dated at Bismarck, North Dakota,
October 2, 2002 December 8, 2004.