The first time any term listed below is used in a Rule in its defined sense, it is followed by an asterisk (*).
"Aggregate," in relation to contributions for a candidate, means not only contributions in cash or in kind made directly to a candidate's campaign committee, but also all contributions made indirectly with the understanding that they will be used to support the election of a candidate or to oppose the election of the candidate's opponent. See Rules 2.11, 3.15, and 4.6.
"Appropriate authority" means the authority having responsibility for initiation of disciplinary process in connection with the violation to be reported. See Rules 2.14 and 2.15.
"Contribution" means both financial and in-kind contributions, such as goods, professional or volunteer services, advertising, and other types of assistance, which, if obtained by the recipient otherwise, would require a financial expenditure. See Rules 2.11, 2.13, 3.7, 4.2, and 4.6.
"De minimis," in the context of interests pertaining to disqualification of a judge, means an insignificant interest that could not raise a reasonable question regarding the judge's impartiality. See Rule 2.11.
"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. See Rules 2.11, 2.13, 3.13, and 3.14.
"Economic interest" means ownership of more than a de minimis legal or equitable interest. Except for situations in which the judge participates in the management of such a legal or equitable interest, or the interest could be substantially affected by the outcome of a proceeding before a judge, it does not include:
(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 judge or the judge'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 judge 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 judge.
See Rules 1.3 and 2.11.
"Fiduciary" includes relationships such as executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian. See Rules 2.11, 3.2, and 3.8.
"Impartial," "impartiality," and "impartially" mean absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, as well as maintenance of an open mind in considering issues that may come before a judge. See Canons 1, 2, and 4, and Rules 1.2, 2.2, 2.10, 2.11, 2.13, 3.1, 3.12, 3.13, 4.2, and 4.3.
"Impending matter" is an adjudicative matter that is imminent or expected to occur in the near future. See Rules 2.9, 2.10, 3.13, and 4.2.
"Impropriety" includes conduct that violates the law, court rules, or provisions of this Code, and conduct that undermines a judge's independence, integrity, or impartiality. See Canon 1 and Rule 1.2.
"Independence" means a judge's freedom from influence or controls other than those established by law. See Canons 1 and 4, and Rules 1.2, 3.1, 3.12, 3.13, and 4.3.
"Integrity" means probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character. See Canon 1 and Rule 1.2.
"Judicial candidate" means any person, including a sitting judge, who is seeking selection for or retention in judicial office by election or appointment. A person becomes a candidate for judicial office as soon as the person circulates a petition of candidacy, makes a public announcement of candidacy, declares or files as a candidate with the election or appointment authority, authorizes or, where permitted, engages in solicitation or acceptance of contributions or support, or is nominated for election or appointment to office. See Rules 2.11, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.6.
"Knowingly," "knowledge," "known," and "knows" mean actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances. See Rules 2.11, 2.13, 2.15, 2.16, 3.6, and 4.3.
"Law" includes court rules as well as statutes, constitutional provisions, and decisional law. See Rules 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9, 3.1, 3.4, 3.9, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, and 4.3.
"Member of the candidate's family" means a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or person with whom the candidate maintains a close familial relationship.
"Member of the judge's family" means a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or other relative or person with whom the judge maintains a close familial relationship. See Rules 2.11, 3.8, 3.10, 3.13, and Effective Date of Compliance.
"Member of a judge's family residing in the judge's household" means any relative of a judge by blood or marriage, or a person treated by a judge as a member of the judge's family, who resides in the judge's household. See Rules 2.11 and 3.13.
"Nonpublic information" means information that, by law, 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 grand jury proceedings, presentencing reports, dependency cases, or psychiatric reports. See Rule 3.5.
"Pending matter" is an adjudicative matter that has commenced. A matter continues to be pending through any appellate process until final disposition. See Rules 2.9, 2.10, 3.13, and 4.2.
"Personally solicit" means a direct request made by a judge or a judicial candidate for financial support or in-kind services, whether made by letter, telephone, or any other means of communication. See Rule 4.6.
"Political organization" denotes a political party or other group sponsored by or affiliated with a political party or candidate, a principal purpose of which is to further the election or appointment of candidates for legislative or executive office or to support or oppose the continuation, amendment, repeal, enactment, initiative, or referendum of any constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provision. "Political organization" does not include the Commission on Uniform State Laws or the North Dakota Judges Association, the North Dakota Judicial Conference, the State Bar Association of North Dakota, the American Bar Association, or any association or entity composed of active or retired judges or attorneys whose principal purpose is other than to further the election or appointment of candidates for legislative or executive office or to support or oppose the continuation, amendment, repeal, enactment, initiative, or referendum of any constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provision. See Rules 4.2 and 4.3.
Indicators of whether an organization has, as one of its principal purposes, any of the purposes listed above include whether, and the extent to which, the organization practices any of the following activities (which are listed by way of example and not by way of limitation): 1) lobbying, retaining lobbyists or registering as lobbyists for any legislative body; 2) nominating or endorsing any candidates for legislative or executive office; 3) drafting or circulating any petitions for action to be taken in regard to any constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provision; 4) publicly advocating, through the use of print, electronic, or other mass media, in support of or opposition to the election or appointment of candidates for legislative or executive offices, or for or against the continuation, amendment, repeal, enactment, initiative, or referendum of any constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provision; or 5) frequently being a party in, or appearing or requesting to appear as an amicus curiae in, litigation involving the validity or interpretation, or both, of constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provisions of the State of North Dakota or the United States of America.
"Public election" includes special, primary, and general elections. See Rule 4.3.
"Third degree of relationship" includes the following persons: great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, nephew, and niece. See Rule 2.11.
Reference: Minutes of the Judiciary Standards Committee on 09/07/07 and 01/11/08.