Printer-friendly versionPDF version

A. Any action taken by the Commission after investigation of a judge shall be communicated to the judge by letter which shall become public information. If the allegations leading to the investigation have proven to be groundless, the letter to the judge shall so state.

B. If the Commission finds it necessary to file a formal statement of allegations against a judge and to proceed to a hearing, the statement of allegations and the hearing shall be open to the public as shall the records of formal proceedings. The Commission may, however, conduct its deliberations in executive session which shall not be open to the public. Any decision reached by the Commission in such an executive session shall be announced in a session open to the public.

C. Investigatory records, files, and reports of the Commission shall be confidential, and no disclosure of information, written, recorded, or oral, received or developed by the Commission in the course of an investigation relating to alleged misconduct or disability of a judge, shall be made except
as stated in A. and B. above or as follows:

(1) Upon waiver in writing by the judge under consideration at the formal statement of allegations stage of the proceedings;
(2) Upon inquiry by an appointing authority or by a state or federal agency conducting investigations on behalf of such authority in connection with the selection or appointment of judges;
(3) In cases in which the subject matter or the fact of the filing of charges has become public, if deemed appropriate by the Commission, it may issue a statement in order to confirm the pendency of the investigation, to clarify the procedural aspects of the proceedings, to explain the right of the judge to a fair hearing, and to state that the judge denies the allegations;
(4) Upon inquiry in connection with the assignment or recall of a retired judge to judicial duties, by or on behalf of the assigning authority;
(5) Where the circumstances necessitating the initiation of an inquiry include notoriety, or where the conduct in question is a matter of public record, information concerning the lack of cause to proceed shall be released by the Commission;
(6) If during the course of or after an investigation or hearing the Commission reasonably believes that there may have been a violation of any rules of professional conduct of attorneys at law, the Commission may release such information to any committee, commission, agency or body within or outside the State empowered to investigate, regulate or adjudicate matters incident to the legal profession; or
(7) If during the course of or after an investigation or hearing, the Commission reasonably believes that there may have been a violation of criminal law, the Commission shall release such information to the appropriate prosecuting attorney.

D. It shall be the duty of the Commission and its staff to inform every person who appears before the Commission or who obtains information about the Commission's work of the confidentiality requirements of this rule.

E. Any person who knowingly violates the confidentiality requirements of this rule shall be subject to punishment for contempt of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Associated Court Rules: 
Rules of Procedure of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission