429 P.3d 713 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2018), 2018-3, Judicial Ethics Opinion 2018-3

Docket Nº:2018-3
Citation:429 P.3d 713
Party Name:JUDICIAL ETHICS OPINION 2018-3
Case Date:June 28, 2018
Court:Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel
 
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Page 713

429 P.3d 713 (Okla.Jud.Eth. 2018)

JUDICIAL ETHICS OPINION 2018-3

No. 2018-3

Oklahoma Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel

June 28, 2018

Editorial Note:

The Opinions of the Ethics Advisory Panel are advisory only and can be relied by the Council on Judicial Complaints while recommending discipline of a Judge or a Judicial Candidate and not binding on the Council or Courts in the exercise of their judicial discipline responsibilities.

¶0. QUESTION PRESENTED:

The question presented is "... whether Municipal Judges are supposed to follow the same rules as the State District Judges, Appellate Judges, et. al., regarding political activity such as putting political signs in your residence yard or promoting a certain candidate or donating to a candidate’s campaign, etc.?"

¶1. ADVISORY ANSWER:

YES

¶2. DISCUSSION:

5 O.S. § Application (OSCN 2018), Appendix 4 -- Code of Judicial Conduct, establishes the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct rules and to whom they apply.

"(A) The provisions of the code apply to all full-time Judges. Parts II through V of

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this section identify provisions that apply to the four categories of part-time judges only while they are serving as judges, and provisions that do not apply to part-time Judges at any time...."

"(B) A judge, within the meaning of this code, is anyone who is authorized to perform judicial functions, including an officer such as a magistrate, court commissioner, special master, referee, or member of the administrative law judiciary."

Parts III, IV and V of this section define application of the code to "Continuing Part-Time Judge", "Periodic Part-Time Judge", and "Pro Tempore Part-Time Judge", all relevant to the various versions of judicial officers, to include Municipal Judges, serving in Oklahoma.

Title 20 O.S. § 1404 dealing with disciplinary grounds for removal of a judicial officer defines the term judicial officer:

"(A) As used in this section, the term "judicial officer" includes the judges of all courts created by the state or municipalities of the state."

Title 20 O.S. § 1404 (B)(3)-(4)...

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