A Judge Should Perform the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially and Diligently
The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all the judge's other activities. The judge's judicial duties include all the duties of the judge's office prescribed by law. In the performance of these duties, the following standards apply:
A judge disqualified by the terms of Sectionmay disclose on the record the basis of the judge's disqualification and may ask the parties and their lawyers to consider, out of the presence of the judge, whether to waive disqualification. If following disclosure of any basis for disqualification other than personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, the parties and lawyers, without participation by the judge, all agree that the judge should not be disqualified, and the judge is then willing to participate, the judge may participate in the proceeding. This agreement shall be incorporated in the record of the proceeding.
Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 63
(April 1, 2003)
New subpart (B)(3)(b) is a modified version of the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon.
New subpart (B)(3)(c) is the identical language currently contained in M.R.(Administrative Order of February 6, 1998, as amended June 5, 2000) subparagraph (b)(4) on confidentiality.
The provisions of this canon relate to judicial performance of adjudicative responsibilities, judicial performance of administrative responsibilities and the circumstances and procedure for judicial disqualification.
Paragraph A(4) and subsections C and D were amended, effective August 6, 1993, to incorporate the provisions of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the ABA in 1990.
Paragraphs A(1) through A(3). The duty to hear all proceedings fairly and with patience is not inconsistent with the duty to dispose promptly of the business of the court. Courts can be efficient and business-like while being patient and deliberate.
Paragraph A(5). This paragraph was amended, effective August 6, 1993, to adopt the provisions of Canonof the 1990 ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct relating to ex parte communications. Paragraph A(4) differs in that it modifies ABA Canon by deleting the sentence which provides: "A judge may obtain the advice of a disinterested expert on the law applicable to a proceeding before the judge if the judge gives notice to the parties of the person consulted and the substance of the advice, and affords the parties reasonable opportunity to respond." The committee believed that such a procedure would be too close to the former practice of using masters in chancery which was abolished by the 1962 amendment of the judicial article. Furthermore both bar association committees were concerned with the possibility of a judge seeking advice from a law professor. The committee does not believe that the deletion of this provision affects the obligation of a judge to disclose any extrajudicial communication concerning a case pending before the judge to the parties or their attorneys. The proscription against communications concerning a proceeding includes communications from lawyers, law teachers, and other persons who are not participants in the proceeding.
To the extent reasonably possible, all parties or their lawyers shall be included in communications with a judge.
Whenever presence of a party or notice to a party is required by paragraph A(4), it is the party's lawyer, or if the party is unrepresented the party, who is to be present or to whom notice is to be given.
Certain ex parte communication is approved by paragraph A(4) to facilitate scheduling and other administrative purposes and to accommodate emergencies. In general, however, a judge must discourage ex parte communication and allow it only if all the criteria stated in paragraph A(4) are clearly met. A judge must disclose to all parties all ex parte communications described in subparagraph A(4)(a) regarding a proceeding pending or impending before the judge.
A judge must not independently investigate facts in a case and must consider only the evidence presented.
A judge may request a party to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, so long as the other parties are apprised of the request and are given an opportunity to respond to the proposed findings and conclusions.
A judge must make reasonable efforts, including the provision of appropriate supervision, to ensure that paragraph A(4) is not violated through law clerks or other personnel on the judge's staff.
Paragraph A(6). The ABAcanon provides that "[a] judge should dispose promptly of the business of the court." The committee agreed with the ISBA/CBA joint committee recommendation that the language of the Illinois Constitution (art. VI, § ) which requires that a judge should devote full time to his or her judicial duties should be incorporated into this paragraph. Prompt disposition of the court's business requires a judge to devote adequate time to judicial duties, to be punctual in attending court and expeditious in determining matters under submission, and to insist that court officials, litigants and their lawyers cooperate with the judge to that end.
Paragraph A(7). ABA Canonis adopted without substantive change. It was the view of the committee that, with regard to matters pending before the judge, a judicial officer should discuss only matters of public record, such as the filing of documents, and should not comment on a controversy not pending before the judge but which could come before the judge. "Court personnel" does not include the lawyers in a proceeding before a judge. The conduct of lawyers is governed by Rule 3.6 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
Paragraph A(9). A judge must refrain from speech, gestures or other conduct that could reasonably be perceived as sexual harassment and must require the same standard of conduct of others subject to the judge's direction and control.
A judge must perform judicial duties impartially and fairly. A judge who manifests bias on any basis in a proceeding impairs the fairness of the proceeding and brings the judiciary into disrepute. A judge must be alert to avoid behavior that may be perceived as prejudicial.
Paragraph B(3). A modified version of the ABA canon was recommended even though Illinois Supreme Court Rule 61(c)(10) only referred to an obligation to refer an attorney's unprofessional conduct in matters before the judge to the proper authorities. Thus the rule here is broader, in that it is not limited to matters before the judge, and in that it extends the obligation to unprofessional conduct of other judges. In the case of misconduct by lawyers, the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule,, contains the circumstances of misconduct that are covered by paragraph B(3). This canon requires a judge to take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures where he or she has knowledge of a violation of Rule . Where misconduct by an attorney is involved, a finding of contempt may, in appropriate circumstances, constitute the initiation of appropriate disciplinary measures. Furthermore, in both cases, the rule does not preclude a judge from taking or initiating more than a single appropriate disciplinary measure.
Additionally, a judge may have a statutory obligation to report unprofessional conduct which is also criminal to an appropriate law enforcement official.
Paragraph B(4). It is the position of the committee that this ABA canon implicitly includes the provision of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 61(c)(11) that a judge "should not offend against the spirit of this standard by interchanging appointments with other judges, or by any other device." Appointees of the judge include officials such as receivers and guardians, and personnel such as clerks, secretaries, and bailiffs. Consent by the parties to an appointment or an award of compensation does not relieve the judge of the obligation prescribed by this paragraph.
Paragraphs C(1)(a) through C(l)(c). When originally adopted on December 2, 1986, the existing ABA canon was modified in two ways. The words "or his lawyer" were added to paragraph C(l)(a) to expressly mandate disqualification in the case of personal bias or prejudice toward an attorney rather than a party. This modification was later incorporated by the ABA into its 1990 revision. More significantly a new subparagraph, C(1)(c), was added in 1986 regulating disqualifications when one of the parties is represented by an attorney with whom the judge was formerly associated and when one of the parties was a client of the judge. These modifications were in substantial accord with the joint committee recommendations. Hence ABA subparagraphs (c) and (d) were renumbered and are now subparagraphs (d) and (e) respectively.
Paragraphs C(1)(d) and (1)(e). The fact that a lawyer in a proceeding is affiliated with a law firm with which a relative of the judge is affiliated does not of itself disqualify the judge. Under appropriate circumstances, the fact that "the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned" under Canon, or that the relative is known by the judge to have an interest, or its equivalent, in the law firm that could be "substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding" under Canon may require the judge's disqualification.
Paragraph D. A remittal procedure provides the parties an opportunity to proceed without delay if they wish to waive the disqualification. To assure that consideration of the question of remittal is made independently of the judge, a judge must not solicit, seek or hear comment on possible remittal or waiver of the disqualification unless the lawyers jointly propose remittal after consultation as provided in the rule. A party may act through counsel if counsel represents on the record that the party has been consulted and consents. As a practical matter, a judge may wish to have all parties and their lawyers sign the remittal agreement.
MR No. 2634.
Order entered April 16, 2007; amended February 2, 2017.
Any security cameras installed in the courtrooms in the various circuits shall be in accordance with the following standards; (1) security cameras are to be placed in areas of the courtroom such that there is no video recording of the jury or witnesses; (2) audio recordings of the proceedings are prohibited in connection with security cameras; (3) use of such cameras is limited to security purposes and any video tape produced therefrom shall remain the property of the court and may not be used for evidentiary purposes by the parties or included in the record on appeal; (4) security cameras shall be monitored by designated court personnel only; and (5) signs shall be posted in and outside of the courtroom notifying those present of the existence of the court surveillance.
All recordings from security cameras monitoring court facilities are the property of the local circuit courts and are deemed to be in the possession of the local circuit courts notwithstanding actual possession by another party