Judges and Chancellors - As enacted, terminates the court of the judiciary and replaces it with a 16-person board of judicial conduct; revises provisions governing such a board. - Amends TCA Title 4, Chapter 29 and Title 17, Chapter 5.
SB2671 has been assigned Public Chapter Number 819 by the Secretary of State.
  • Bill History
  • Amendments
  • Video
  • Summary
  • Fiscal Note
  • Votes
  • Actions For SB2671Date
    Pub. Ch. 819 04/30/2012
    Effective date(s) 04/25/12; 07/01/1204/30/2012
    Signed by Governor04/26/2012
    Transmitted to Gov. for action.04/13/2012
    Signed by H. Speaker04/12/2012
    Signed by S. Speaker04/11/2012
    Enrolled and ready for signatures04/10/2012
    Passed H., Ayes 86, Nays 7 04/09/2012
    Am. withdrawn.(Amendment 1 - HA0806)04/09/2012
    Subst. for comp. HB.04/09/2012
    Rcvd. from S., held on H. desk.04/02/2012
    Engrossed; ready for transmission to House03/29/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.03/29/2012
    Passed S. as am., Ayes 30, Nays 003/29/2012
    S. adopted am.(Amendment 2 of 0 - SA0879)03/29/2012
    S. adopted am.(Amendment 1 of 0 - SA0700)03/29/2012
    Placed on Senate Regular Calendar cal. for 3/29/201203/27/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.03/14/2012
    Rec. for pass. w/ am., ref. to S. Cal. Comm. Ayes 8, Nays 0 PNV 003/13/2012
    Placed on S. Jud Comm. cal. for 3/13/201203/07/2012
    Action Def. in S. Jud Comm. to 3/13/201203/06/2012
    Placed on S. Jud Comm. cal. for 3/6/201202/29/2012
    Action Def. in S. Jud Comm. to 3/6/201202/28/2012
    Placed on S. Jud Comm. cal. for 2/28/201202/22/2012
    Action Def. in S. Jud Comm. to 2/28/201202/21/2012
    Placed on S. Jud Comm. cal. for 2/21/201202/15/2012
    Action Def. in S. Jud Comm. to 2/21/201202/14/2012
    Placed on S. Jud Comm. cal. for 2/14/201202/08/2012
    Rec. for pass. w/ am., ref. to S. Jud Comm. Ayes 5, Nays 1 PNV 302/01/2012
    Placed on S. Govt. Ops. Comm. cal. for 2/1/201201/26/2012
    P2C, ref. to S. Govt. Ops. Comm. - for review01/25/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.01/23/2012
    Intro., P1C.01/23/2012
    Filed for intro.01/19/2012
    Actions For HB2935Date
    Comp. became Pub. Ch. 81904/30/2012
    Comp. SB subst. 04/09/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.04/09/2012
    H. Placed on Regular Calendar for 4/9/201204/05/2012
    Placed on cal. Calendar & Rules Committee for 4/5/201204/04/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.03/19/2012
    Rec. For Pass. ref. to: Calendar & Rules Committee03/14/2012
    Placed on cal. Government Operations Committee for 3/14/201203/07/2012
    Rec. for Pass. if Am. ref. to: Government Operations Committee03/06/2012
    Placed on cal. Judiciary Committee for 3/6/201202/29/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.02/28/2012
    Action Def. in Judiciary Committee to 3/6/201202/28/2012
    Placed on cal. Judiciary Committee for 2/28/201202/22/2012
    Action Def. in Judiciary Committee to 2/28/201202/21/2012
    Placed on cal. Judiciary Committee for 2/21/201202/15/2012
    Rec. For Pass. by s/c ref. to Judiciary Committee 02/15/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.02/15/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.02/14/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.02/13/2012
    Placed on s/c cal Judiciary Subcommittee for 2/15/201202/08/2012
    Sponsor(s) Added.02/07/2012
    Assigned to s/c Judiciary Subcommittee01/31/2012
    P2C, ref. to Judiciary Committee--Government Operations for review01/26/2012
    Intro., P1C.01/25/2012
    Filed for intro.01/23/2012
  • AmendmentsFiscal Memos
    SA0700Amendment 1-1 to SB2671 
    SA0879Amendment 2-1 to SB2671Fiscal Memo for SA0879 (14272)  
    AmendmentsFiscal Memos
    HA0806Amendment 1-1 to HB2935Fiscal Memo for HA0806 (13854)  

    NOTE: Each fiscal memorandum applies only to the amendment(s) identified in the memorandum. The fiscal memorandum must be matched to any amendments that have been adopted.

  • Videos containing keyword: SB2671

  • Fiscal Summary

    NOT SIGNIFICANT


    Bill Summary

    This bill, as described below, terminates the court of the judiciary on July 1, 2012, and replaces it with the board of judicial conduct, which would have the same functions as the court but different membership. This bill also changes the burden of proof to investigate a judge to probable cause that misconduct occurred instead of substantial likelihood that it did and revises other provisions regarding complaints against judges.

    PRESENT LAW

    Present law creates the Tennessee court of the judiciary to hear complaints regarding alleged misconduct or incapacity of the state's judges. The court consists of 16 members as follows:

    (1) Any combination of three judges from the court of appeals and court of criminal appeals to be appointed by the supreme court of Tennessee;
    (2) One trial judge from each grand division to be appointed by the supreme court of Tennessee;
    (3) One practicing attorney from each grand division to be appointed by the board of governors of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA);
    (4) Three public members who are not judges, retired judges, nor licensed attorneys of the state, one to be appointed by the speaker of the senate, one to be appointed by the speaker of the house, and one to be appointed by the governor;
    (5) One general sessions or juvenile court judge licensed to practice law in this state from each grand division appointed by the supreme court. There must always be at least one appointee who currently and regularly exercises juvenile court jurisdiction; and
    (6) One municipal court judge licensed to practice law in this state to be appointed by the supreme court.

    Each member of the court serves for a term of four years and is eligible for reappointment to one additional term. Service on this court by the three appellate judges is mandatory, but no trial judge may be required to serve against the trial judge's will. The court must select its own presiding judge.

    THIS BILL

    This bill dissolves the court of the judiciary effective July 1, 2012. On that date, this bill creates the board of judicial conduct to carry out the functions of the present court of the judiciary. The board would consist of 16 members selected as follows:

    (1) Two judges on the court of appeals or the court of criminal appeals, to be appointed by the Tennessee judicial conference;
    (2) One trial judge from each grand division, to be appointed by the Tennessee judicial conference;
    (3) One general sessions court judge from each grand division, to be appointed by the Tennessee general sessions judges conference;
    (4) One municipal court judge, to be appointed by the Tennessee municipal judges conference;
    (5) One juvenile court judge, to be appointed by the Tennessee council of juvenile and family court judges;
    (6) Two members of the public who are not judges, one of whom must be a practicing attorney, to be appointed by the speaker of the senate;
    (7) Two members of the public who are not judges, one of whom must be a practicing attorney, to be appointed by the speaker of the house; and
    (8) Two members of the public who are not judges, one of whom must be a practicing attorney, to be appointed by the governor.

    Each member of the board would serve for a term of three years and would be eligible for reappointment to one additional term. The board must select a chairperson, vice chair, and a member to serve as a direct liaison to the members of the general assembly.

    This bill requires the board, on a quarterly basis, to file a report with the chairs of the judiciary committees of each house detailing at least the number of complaints against judges filed during the previous quarter and the disposition of each complaint.

    All rules of the court of the judiciary in effect on the effective date of this section would remain in full force and effect as rules of the board of judicial conduct until modified or repealed by the board of judicial conduct.

    COMPLAINTS AGAINST JUDGES

    Present law requires disciplinary counsel to evaluate all information coming to disciplinary counsel's attention by complaint or from other sources that allege judicial misconduct or incapacity. This bill revises this requirement to instead require the disciplinary counsel to evaluate all information coming to the counsel's attention by complaint, upon the request of any member of the board or from any other credible source that alleges judicial misconduct or incapacity.

    Under present law, unless the complaint alleges specific facts, not conclusions, that would cause a reasonable person to believe that there is a substantial probability that a judicial offense has occurred, disciplinary counsel, subject to review by the investigative panel, must dismiss the complaint or, if appropriate, refer the matter to another agency. If the information contains specific facts that would cause a reasonable person to believe that there is a substantial probability that a judicial offense has occurred, disciplinary counsel must conduct a preliminary investigation.

    This bill rewrites the above provisions regarding complaints. This bill requires that the complaint allege specific facts directly relating to the alleged misconduct or incapacity of the judge in question. All complaints must be reviewed by the disciplinary counsel and if, in the judgment of disciplinary counsel, the complaint establishes probable cause that a judicial offense has occurred, then counsel, subject to review by the investigative panel, must conduct a preliminary investigation. If the disciplinary counsel believes the complaint fails to establish such probable cause, then counsel, subject to review by the investigative panel, must recommend dismissal of the complaint, or if appropriate, refer the matter to another agency.

    This bill schedules the board of judicial conduct for sunrise review on June 30, 2015.

    NOTE 1: It appears that the references to "presiding judge" in TCA 17-5-206 and 17-5-301(e)(6) should be changed to "chairperson" or should be otherwise revised.

    ON MARCH 29, 2012, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENTS #1 AND #2 AND PASSED SENATE BILL 2671, AS AMENDED.

    AMENDMENT #1 schedules the Tennessee board of judicial conduct for sunrise review on June 30, 2014.

    AMENDMENT #2 rewrites the membership of the board of judicial conduct to instead be selected as follows:
    (1) One current or former trial judge from each grand division, to be appointed by the Tennessee judicial conference;
    (2) One current or former general sessions court judge from each grand division, to be appointed by the Tennessee general sessions judges conference;
    (3) One current or former municipal court judge, to be appointed by the Tennessee municipal judges conference;
    (4) One current or former juvenile court judge, to be appointed by the Tennessee council of juvenile and family court judges;
    (5) Two current or former court of appeals or court of criminal appeals judges, with one being appointed by the speaker of the house and one being appointed by the speaker of the senate, from a list of six recommended by the Tennessee judicial conference;
    (6) Two members of the public who are not judges, one of whom must be an attorney who regularly practices in the courts of this state and may be a member of the district attorneys general conference or a member of the district public defenders conference, and one of whom must be neither a judge nor an attorney, to be appointed by the speaker of the senate;
    (7) Two members of the public who are not judges, one of whom must be an attorney who regularly practices in the courts of this state and may be a member of the district attorneys general conference or a member of the district public defenders conference, and one of whom must be neither a judge nor an attorney, to be appointed by the speaker of the house; and
    (8) Two members of the public who are not judges, one of whom must be a attorney who regularly practices in the courts of this state and may be a member of the district attorneys general conference or a member of the district public defenders conference, and one of whom must be neither a judge nor an attorney, to be appointed by the governor.

    Under the bill, the chair must divide the board into a 12 member hearing panel and a three member investigative panel. This amendment revises this provision to instead specify that the board would be divided into a six member hearing panel and three member investigative panels. This amendment requires that at least one member of each investigative panel be a member other than a current judge and at least two members of each hearing panel be members other than current judges. No attorney member of the board may sit on any investigative or hearing panel if the attorney has ever appeared before the judge against whom the complaint is filed.

    This amendment requires the board, by the 20th day of January, March, June and September of each year, to compile and transmit to the chief clerk of each house a report containing at least the following information for the prior three month period: the number of complaints opened, closed or pending; the disposition of complaints closed; the number of complaints for which probable cause has been found; the number of complaints for which formal charges have been filed based on a recommendation by an investigative panel; the nature of any complaint filed; and the type of judge against whom a complaint is filed by category. The quarterly reports must also contain a cumulative, year-to-date total of such information. The September report must also contain a five year statistical comparison of the prior five fiscal years for the same categories.

    This amendment requires the chairperson of the board to immediately provide the speakers of each house with the name, type of judge, judicial district, reason for the reprimand and number of previous reprimands each time any of the following occur:
    (1) A judge receives a second or subsequent public reprimand for conduct occurring during the entire period of time the person is a sitting judge;
    (2) A judge receives a second or subsequent private reprimand for conduct within the same misconduct category occurring during any eight year term the person holds the office of judge; or
    (3) A judge receives a third or subsequent private reprimand for conduct within any of the misconduct categories occurring during any eight year term the person holds the office of judge.

    The notice provided for the reasons described above in (1) would be a public record, and the notice provided for the reasons described above in (2) or (3) would remain confidential unless the general assembly opens an investigation of such judge.

    This amendment specifies that the initial rules adopted by the board would serve as the temporary rules of the board. The temporary rules would remain in effect until approved or not approved by the general assembly. If approved, the rules would become the permanent rules of the board. All subsequent modifications or additions to such rules must be approved by the general assembly.

  • FiscalNote for SB2671/HB2935 filed under SB2671
  • House Floor and Committee Votes

    House moved to substitute and conform to HB2935

    SB2671 by Faulk - FLOOR VOTE: PASSAGE ON THIRD CONSIDERATION 4/9/2012
    Passed
              Ayes...............................................86
              Noes................................................7

              Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Brooks H, Brown, Butt, Campbell, Camper, Carr, Casada, Casada, Cobb, Coley, Cooper, Curtiss, Dean, DeBerry L, Dennis, Dunn, Elam, Eldridge, Faison, Favors, Floyd, Ford, Forgety, Gilmore, Gotto, Halford, Hall, Harrison, Harwell, Hawk, Hawk, Haynes, Hensley, Hill, Holt, Hurley, Johnson C, Johnson C, Johnson P, Jones S, Keisling, Kernell, Lollar, Lundberg, Maggart, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McCormick, McDaniel, McDaniel, McDonald, McManus, Miller D, Miller L, Montgomery, Niceley, Odom, Parkinson, Pitts, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Rich, Richardson, Roach, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton, Shaw, Shepard, Shipley, Sparks, Stewart, Swann, Tidwell, Tindell, Todd, Towns, Turner J, Watson, Weaver, White, Williams K, Williams R, Windle, Wirgau, Womick, Mr. Speaker Harwell, Mr. Speaker Williams K -- 86.
              Representatives voting no were: Armstrong, Bass, Hardaway, Moore, Naifeh, Sontany, Turner M, Mr. Speaker Naifeh -- 7.

    SB2671 by Faulk - FLOOR VOTE: PREVIOUS QUESTION PASSAGE ON THIRD CONSIDERATION 4/9/2012
    Passed
              Ayes...............................................67
              Noes...............................................24

              Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Brooks H, Butt, Campbell, Carr, Casada, Casada, Cobb, Coley, Curtiss, Dean, Dennis, Elam, Eldridge, Faison, Fitzhugh, Fitzhugh, Floyd, Ford, Forgety, Gotto, Halford, Hall, Harrison, Harwell, Hawk, Hawk, Haynes, Hill, Hurley, Johnson C, Johnson C, Johnson P, Keisling, Lollar, Lundberg, Maggart, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McCormick, McDaniel, McDaniel, McDonald, McManus, Miller D, Miller L, Niceley, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Rich, Roach, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton, Shepard, Shipley, Sparks, Stewart, Swann, Tindell, Todd, Turner J, Watson, Weaver, White, Williams R, Windle, Wirgau, Womick, Mr. Speaker Harwell -- 67.
              Representatives voting no were: Armstrong, Bass, Brown, Camper, Cooper, DeBerry L, Dunn, Favors, Harmon, Hensley, Holt, Jones S, Kernell, Montgomery, Moore, Naifeh, Odom, Pitts, Richardson, Shaw, Sontany, Tidwell, Towns, Turner M, Mr. Speaker Naifeh -- 24.

              HB2935 by Dennis - HOUSE CALENDAR & RULES COMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage - refer to: House Regular Calendar 1 4/5/2012
              Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) Naifeh requested to be recorded as voting No

              HB2935 by Dennis - HOUSE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage - refer to: Calendar & Rules Committee 3/14/2012
              Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail

              HB2935 by Dennis - HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage w/amendments- refer to: Government Operations Committee 3/6/2012
              Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) Gotto, Womick requested to be recorded as voting No

              HB2935 by Dennis - HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage w/amendments- refer to: Calendar & Rules Committee 3/6/2012
              Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) Lundberg, Womick requested to be recorded as voting No

              HB2935 by Dennis - HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SUBCOMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage - refer to: Judiciary Committee 2/15/2012
              Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep. Bass requested to be recorded as voting NO

    Senate Floor and Committee Votes

    SB2671 by Faulk - FLOOR VOTE: THIRD CONSIDERATION AMENDED 3/29/2012
    Passed
              Ayes...............................................30
              Noes................................................0

              Senators voting aye were: Barnes, Beavers, Bell, Berke, Burks, Campfield, Crowe, Faulk, Finney L, Ford, Gresham, Harper, Haynes, Herron, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, Kyle, Marrero, Massey, McNally, Norris, Overbey, Ramsey, Roberts, Stewart, Summerville, Tate, Tracy, Watson, Mr. Speaker McNally, Mr. Speaker Ramsey -- 30.

    SB2671 by Faulk - SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage w/amendments- refer to: S. Cal. Comm. 3/13/2012
    Passed
              Ayes................................................8
              Noes................................................0

              Senators voting aye were: Barnes, Beavers, Bell, Campfield, Kelsey, Marrero, Overbey, Yager -- 8.

    SB2671 by Faulk - SENATE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE:
    Recommended for passage w/amendments- refer to: S. Jud Comm. 2/1/2012
    Passed
              Ayes................................................5
              Noes................................................1

              Senators voting aye were: Crowe, Harper, Kyle, Massey, Tate -- 5.
              Senators voting no were: Bell -- 1.