Rule 9.207 Investigation; Notice

(A) Request for Investigation. A request for investigation of a judge must be made in writing and verified on oath of the complainant. The commission also is authorized to act on its own initiative or at the request of the Supreme Court, the state court administrator, or the Attorney Grievance Commission.

(B) Investigation. Upon receiving a request for investigation that is not clearly unfounded or frivolous, the commission shall direct that an investigation be conducted to determine whether a complaint should be filed and a hearing held. If there is insufficient cause to warrant filing a complaint, the commission may:

(1) dismiss the matter,

(2) dismiss the matter with a letter of explanation or caution that addresses the respondent’s conduct,

(3) dismiss the matter contingent upon the satisfaction of conditions imposed by the commission, which may include a period of monitoring,

(4) admonish the respondent, or

(5) recommend to the Supreme Court private censure, with a statement of reasons.

(C)   Adjourned Investigation. If a request for investigation is filed less than 90 days before an election in which the respondent is a candidate, and the request is not dismissed forthwith as clearly unfounded or frivolous, the commission shall postpone its investigation until after the election unless two-thirds of the commission members determine that the public interest and the interests of justice require otherwise.

 (D) Notice to Judge.

(1) Before filing a complaint or taking action under subrule (B)(5), the commission must give written notice to the judge who is the subject of a request for investigation. The purpose of the notice is to afford the judge an opportunity to apprise the commission, in writing within 28 days, of such matters as the judge may choose, including information about the factual aspects of the allegations and other relevant issues. The notice shall specify the allegations and may include the date of the conduct, the location where the conduct occurred, and the name of the case or identification of the court proceeding relating to the conduct.

(a) For good cause shown, the commission may grant a reasonable extension of the 28-day period.

(b) The Supreme Court may shorten the time periods prescribed in this and other provisions of this subchapter at its own initiative or at the request of the commission.

(2) Before taking action under subrule (B)(2)-(4), the commission must give written notice to the judge of the nature of the allegations in the request for investigation and afford the judge a reasonable opportunity to respond in writing.

(3) If a judge so requests in response to a written notice from the commission under this subrule, the commission may offer the judge an opportunity to appear informally before the commission to present such information as the judge may choose, including information about the factual aspects of the allegations and other relevant issues.

(4) On final disposition of a request for investigation without the filing of a formal complaint, the commission shall give written notice of the disposition to the judge who was the subject of the request. The commission also shall provide written notice to the complainant that the matter has been resolved without the filing of a formal complaint.

(5)   If the commission admonishes a judge pursuant to MCR 9.207(B)(4):

(a)   The judge may file 24 copies of a petition for review in the Supreme Court, serve two copies on the commission, and file a proof of service with the commission within 28 days of the date of the admonishment. The petition for review, and any subsequent filings, shall be placed in a confidential file and shall not be made public unless ordered by the Court.

(b)   The executive director may file a response with a proof of service on the judge within 14 days of receiving service of the petition for review.

(c)   The Supreme Court shall review the admonishment in accordance with MCR 9.225. Any opinion or order entered pursuant to a petition for review under this subrule shall be published and shall have precedential value pursuant to MCR 7.317.

 

(E) Physical or Mental Examination. In the course of an investigation, the commission may request the judge to submit to a physical or mental examination. Failure of the judge to submit to the examination may constitute judicial misconduct. MCR 2.311(B) is applicable to the examination.

(F) Expediting Matters. When the integrity of the judicial system requires, the Supreme Court may direct that the commission expedite its consideration of any investigation, and may set a deadline for the commission to submit any recommendation to the Court, notwithstanding any other provision in this subchapter.