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Statutes Text

Article - IV - Judiciary Department




§4B.

    (a)    (1)    The Commission on Judicial Disabilities has the power to:

            (i)    Investigate complaints against any judge of the Court of Appeals, any intermediate courts of appeal, the circuit courts, the District Court of Maryland, or the orphans’ court; and

            (ii)    Conduct hearings concerning such complaints, administer oaths and affirmations, issue process to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence, and require persons to testify and produce evidence by granting them immunity from prosecution or from penalty or forfeiture.

        (2)    The Commission has the power to issue a reprimand and the power to recommend to the Court of Appeals the removal, censure, or other appropriate disciplining of a judge or, in an appropriate case, retirement.

        (3)    All proceedings, testimony, and evidence before the Commission shall be confidential and privileged, except as provided by rule of the Court of Appeals; the record and any proceeding filed with the Court of Appeals shall lose its confidential character, except as ordered by the Court of Appeals.

        (4)    No judge shall participate as a member of the Commission in any proceedings involving that judge’s own conduct, and the Governor shall appoint another judge as a substitute member of the Commission for those proceedings.

        (5)    The Court of Appeals shall prescribe by rule the means to implement and enforce the powers of the Commission and the practice and procedure before the Commission.

    (b)    (1)    Upon any recommendation of the Commission, the Court of Appeals, after a hearing and upon a finding of misconduct while in office, or of persistent failure to perform the duties of the office, or of conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice, may remove the judge from office or may censure or otherwise discipline the judge, or the Court of Appeals, after hearing and upon a finding of disability which is or is likely to become permanent and which seriously interferes with the performance of the judge’s duties, may retire the judge from office.

        (2)    A judge removed under this section, and the judge’s surviving spouse, shall have the rights and privileges accruing from the judge’s judicial service only to the extent prescribed by the order of removal.

        (3)    A judge retired under this section shall have the rights and privileges prescribed by law for other retired judges.

        (4)    No judge of the Court of Appeals shall sit in judgment in any hearing involving that judge’s own conduct.

    (c)    This section is alternative to, and cumulative with, the methods of retirement and removal provided in Sections 3 and 4 of this Article, and in Section 26 of Article III of this Constitution.