Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

HF 224

1st Engrossment - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 03/08/2010 01:21pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 01/21/2009
1st Engrossment Posted on 03/08/2010

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11
1.12 1.13
1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5
2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15
2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22
2.23 2.24
2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30
2.31 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9
3.10 3.11 3.12
3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23
3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34
5.1 5.2 5.3
5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12
5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10
6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16
6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 7.1 7.2
7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17
7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 8.29 8.30 8.31 8.32 8.33 8.34 8.35 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 9.31 9.32 9.33 9.34 9.35 9.36 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25 10.26 10.27 10.28 10.29 10.30 10.31 10.32 10.33 10.34 10.35 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 11.10 11.11 11.12
11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16
11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22
11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26 11.27 11.28 11.29 11.30 11.31 11.32 11.33 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15
12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25
12.26 12.27 12.28 12.29 12.30 12.31 12.32 12.33 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6
13.7 13.8 13.9
13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14

A bill for an act
relating to judicial selection; proposing an amendment to the Minnesota
Constitution, article VI, sections 7 and 8; establishing retention elections for
judges; creating an independent judicial performance commission; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 10A.01, subdivisions 7, 10, 15; 10A.14,
subdivision 1; 10A.20, subdivision 2, by adding a subdivision; 204B.06,
subdivision 6; 204B.11, subdivision 1; 204B.34, subdivision 3; 204B.36,
subdivision 4; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 13;
204D; 480B; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 204B.36, subdivision
5; 204D.14, subdivision 3.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

Section 1. new text beginCONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED.
new text end

new text begin An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the
amendment is adopted, article VI, section 7, will read:
new text end

Sec. 7.

deleted text beginThe term of office of all judges shall be six years and until their successors are
qualified. They
deleted text endnew text begin Following appointment by the governor, each judge shall initially hold
office for a term ending the first Monday of January following the next regularly scheduled
general election held more than three years after the appointment. Thereafter, the judge's
term of office shall be eight years and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Judges'
retention
new text end shall be deleted text beginelecteddeleted text endnew text begin determinednew text end by the voters from the area which they deleted text beginare todeleted text end servenew text begin,new text end
in the manner provided by law. new text beginAn independent judicial performance commission shall
evaluate in a nonpartisan manner the performance of judges according to criteria that the
commission develops and publishes, and any such other criteria as may be established
by law.
new text end

new text begin article VI, section 8, will read:
new text end

Sec. 8.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of judgenew text begin,new text end the governor shall appoint
in the manner provided by law a qualified person to fill the vacancy deleted text beginuntil a successor is
elected and qualified. The successor shall be elected for a six year term at the next general
election occurring more than one year after the appointment
deleted text end.

Sec. 2. new text beginSUBMISSION TO VOTERS.
new text end

new text begin The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2010 general
election. The question submitted must be:
new text end

new text begin "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to reaffirm the impartiality of the
judiciary by providing that all judges be appointed by the governor, with their continuation
in office determined at a retention election after a public, nonpartisan evaluation of their
performance by a judicial performance commission rather than be determined under
the current system of contested elections?
new text end

new text begin Yes .......
new text end
new text begin No ......."
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginTRANSITION.
new text end

new text begin Any judge currently seated or elected at the time the constitutional amendment
provided in section 1 is adopted shall complete the remainder of the judge's term as it
existed before adoption of the amendment. A judge who is elected at the 2010 general
election will serve a term of six years. Following completion of their terms, these judges
are subject to the retention election process as provided in the constitution and may file for
retention following the procedures described in article 2.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

STATUTORY PROVISIONS

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 10A.01, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Ballot question.

"Ballot question" means a question or proposition that is
placed on the ballot and that may be voted on by all voters of the state. "Promoting or
defeating a ballot question" includes activities, other than lobbying activities, related to
qualifying the question for placement on the ballot. new text beginA ballot question does not include a
judicial retention election.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 10A.01, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Candidate.

"Candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination
or election as a state constitutional officerdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin ornew text end legislator, or deleted text beginjudgedeleted text endnew text begin retention in a judicial
office
new text end. An individual is deemed to seek nomination or election if the individual has taken
the action necessary under the law of this state to qualify for nomination or election, has
received contributions or made expenditures in excess of $100, or has given implicit or
explicit consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures in
excess of $100, for the purpose of bringing about the individual's nomination or election.
A candidate remains a candidate until the candidate's principal campaign committee is
dissolved as provided in section 10A.24.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 10A.01, subdivision 15, is amended to read:


Subd. 15.

Election.

"Election" means a primary, special primary, general, deleted text beginordeleted text end
specialnew text begin, or retentionnew text end election.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 10A.14, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

First registration.

The treasurer of a political committee, political
fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit must register with the board by filing a
statement of organization deleted text beginno later thandeleted text endnew text begin within the earlier of:
new text end

new text begin (1)new text end 14 days after the committee, fund, or party unit has made a contribution, received
contributions, or made expenditures in excess of $100deleted text begin, or bydeleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (2) new text end new text begin 72 hours after the committee, fund, or party unit has made a contribution, received
contributions, or made expenditures in excess of $100, if the contribution or expenditure
was made to advocate the retention or defeat of a candidate for judicial office; or
new text end

new text begin (3)new text end the end of the next business day after it has received a loan or contribution that
must be reported under section 10A.20, subdivision 5deleted text begin, whichever is earlierdeleted text end.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 10A.20, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Time for filing.

(a) The reports must be filed with the board on or before
January 31 of each year and additional reports must be filed as required and in accordance
with paragraphs (b) deleted text beginand (c)deleted text endnew text begin to (d)new text end.

(b) In each year in which the name of the candidate is on the ballot, the report of
the principal campaign committee must be filed 15 days before a primary and ten days
before a general election, seven days before a special primary and a special election,
and ten days after a special election cycle.

(c) In each general election year, a political committee, political fund, or party unit
must file reports 15 days before a primary and ten days before a general election.

new text begin (d) In each general election year in which a political committee, political fund, or
party unit makes expenditures that, in the aggregate, exceed $100 to advocate the retention
or defeat of a candidate for judicial office, reports must be filed 90 days, 60 days, and 30
days before the retention election.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 10A.20, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 6c. new text end

new text begin Independent expenditures; judicial retention. new text end

new text begin (a) An individual,
corporation, association, political committee, political party unit, or political fund must
file a report with the board each time the individual, corporation, association, political
committee, political party unit, or political fund makes or contracts to make, at any time up
to and including the 20th day before an election, independent expenditures in an aggregate
amount in excess of $1,000 to advocate the retention or defeat of a candidate for judicial
office. The report must be filed within 48 hours after initially making or contracting to
make the expenditures. An additional report must be filed within 48 hours after each
time an independent expenditure in an aggregate amount in excess of $1,000 is made
or contracted to be made, up to and including the 20th day before a retention election.
The report must include the information required to be reported under subdivision 3,
paragraph (g), except that if the expenditure is reported at the time it is contracted, the
report must include the contract amount.
new text end

new text begin (b) An individual, political committee, political party unit, or political fund must
file a report with the board each time the individual, political committee, political party
unit, or political fund makes or contracts to make, between the 19th day and the last day
before an election, an independent expenditure in an aggregate amount in excess of $100
to advocate the retention or defeat of a candidate for judicial office. The report must be
filed within 24 hours after initially making or contracting to make such expenditures. An
additional report must be filed within 24 hours after making or contracting to make an
independent expenditure in an aggregate amount in excess of $100 at any time up to and
including the 20th day before a retention election. The report must include the information
required to be reported under subdivision 3, paragraph (g), except that if the expenditure is
reported at the time it is contracted, the report must include the contract amount.
new text end

new text begin (c) An individual, corporation, association, political committee, political party unit,
or political fund that must file a report under this subdivision must also provide a copy of
the report to the candidate, by certified mail, sent within the time period required for filing
that same report with the board as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b).
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [13.95] INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE COMMISSION.
new text end

new text begin Data of the Independent Judicial Performance Commission is classified and
governed as provided in section 480B.02.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 204B.06, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Judicial new text beginretention new text endcandidates; designation of deleted text begintermdeleted text endnew text begin officenew text end.

deleted text beginAn individualdeleted text endnew text begin
A justice or judge
new text end who files as a new text beginretention new text endcandidate for the office of chief justice or
associate justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, or judge of the
district court shall state in the affidavit of candidacy the office of the particular justice or
judge for which the individual is a new text beginretention new text endcandidate. The individual shall be a new text beginretention
new text endcandidate only for the office identified in the affidavit. Each justice of the Supreme
Court and each Court of Appeals and district court judge is deemed to hold a separate
nonpartisan office.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 204B.11, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Amount; dishonored checks; consequences.

Except as provided
by subdivision 2, a filing fee shall be paid by each candidate who files an affidavit of
candidacy. The fee shall be paid at the time the affidavit is filed. The amount of the filing
fee shall vary with the office sought as follows:

deleted text begin (a)deleted text endnew text begin (1)new text end for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor,
secretary of state,new text begin ornew text end representative in Congress,new text begin $300;
new text end

new text begin (2) fornew text end judge of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, or judge of the
district court, $300new text begin, plus a judicial performance evaluation fee, to be sent to the judicial
performance evaluation fee account established in section 480B.06, subdivision 2, of
$.......
new text end;

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end for the office of senator in Congress, $400;

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (4)new text end for office of senator or representative in the legislature, $100;

deleted text begin (d)deleted text endnew text begin (5)new text end for a county office, $50; and

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (6)new text end for the office of soil and water conservation district supervisor, $20.

For the office of presidential elector, and for those offices for which no compensation
is provided, no filing fee is required.

The filing fees received by the county auditor shall immediately be paid to the
county treasurer. The filing fees received by the secretary of state shall immediately be
paid to the commissioner of management and budget.

When an affidavit of candidacy has been filed with the appropriate filing officer and
the requisite filing fee has been paid, the filing fee shall not be refunded. If a candidate's
filing fee is paid with a check, draft, or similar negotiable instrument for which sufficient
funds are not available or that is dishonored, notice to the candidate of the worthless
instrument must be sent by the filing officer via registered mail no later than immediately
upon the closing of the filing deadline with return receipt requested. The candidate will
have five days from the time the filing officer receives proof of receipt to issue a check
or other instrument for which sufficient funds are available. The candidate issuing the
worthless instrument is liable for a service charge pursuant to section 604.113. If adequate
payment is not made, the name of the candidate must not appear on any official ballot and
the candidate is liable for all costs incurred by election officials in removing the name
from the ballot.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 204B.34, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Judicial elections.

When one or more justices of the Supreme Court or
judges of the Court of Appeals or of a district court deleted text beginare to be nominated at the same
primary or elected at the same general election
deleted text endnew text begin have filed for retention electionnew text end, the
notice of election shall state the name of each justice or judge deleted text beginwhose successor is to
be nominated or elected
deleted text endnew text begin seeking retentionnew text end.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 204B.36, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Judicial new text beginretention new text endcandidates.

deleted text beginThe official ballot shall contain the names
of all candidates for each judicial office and shall state the number of those candidates for
whom a voter may vote.
deleted text endnew text begin (a) The official ballot shall contain the names of all justices or
judges seeking to retain their office.
new text end Each seat for an associate justice, associate judge, or
judge of the district court must be numbered. The words "SUPREME COURT," "COURT
OF APPEALS," and "(number) DISTRICT COURT" must be printed above the respective
judicial office groups on the ballot. The title of each judicial office shall be printed on
the official deleted text beginprimary anddeleted text end general election ballot as follows:

deleted text begin (a)deleted text endnew text begin (1)new text end in the case of the Supreme Court:

"Chief justice";

"Associate justice (number)";

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end in the case of the Court of Appeals:

"Judge (number)"; or

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end in the case of the district court:

"Judge (number)."

new text begin (b) A judicial retention election shall be placed on the ballot as a question, as
provided in subdivision 3. The question shall appear in substantially the following form:
"Shall ..... (name of judge) of the ..... (district court, Court of Appeals, or Supreme Court)
be retained in office?"
new text end

Sec. 12.

new text begin [204D.30] RETENTION OF JUDGES.
new text end

new text begin (a) Within the time period established by section 204B.09, a judge seeking to retain
judicial office shall file an affidavit of candidacy with the secretary of state. Judges
who have filed an affidavit of candidacy as provided in this section must be placed on
the appropriate official ballot at the next regular general election under a nonpartisan
designation in the form provided in section 204B.36, subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a majority of those voting on the question votes "No," then upon the expiration
of the term for which the judge was serving, a vacancy exists, which must be filled as
provided by law. If a majority of those voting on the question votes "Yes," the judge shall
remain in office for an eight-year term, subject to removal as provided by the Minnesota
Constitution. A judge who loses a retention election is ineligible to be appointed to fill the
resulting vacancy.
new text end

new text begin (c) A judge seeking to retain judicial office is considered a candidate for election
to that office. A judicial retention election is not a ballot question for the purposes of
Minnesota Election Law.
new text end

Sec. 13.

new text begin [480B.02] INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE
COMMISSION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin An Independent Judicial Performance Evaluation
Commission is established and shall be an independent body not subject to the direct
control of any branch of government.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Purpose of commission. new text end

new text begin After public hearings, the commission shall
adopt and administer for all judges a process for evaluating judicial performance.
The performance review process must be designed to assist voters in evaluating the
performance of judges standing for retention, facilitate self-improvement of all judges,
and promote public accountability of the judiciary.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Composition; appointment of commission members. new text end

new text begin (a) The
commission is comprised of 24 members. All members of the commission must be
residents of Minnesota at the time of their appointment and for the duration of their term.
Sitting judges and public officials, as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 35, may not
be appointed or serve on the commission. Members of the commission who are attorneys
at the time of their appointment must have been admitted to practice before the Minnesota
Supreme Court for not less than five years. Members of the commission are eligible for
reappointment up to two additional full terms.
new text end

new text begin (b) Members of the commission must be appointed and serve as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) the governor shall appoint a total of eight members, no more than four of whom
may be attorneys at the time of their appointment. Gubernatorial appointees serve on the
commission until the governor who made the appointment leaves office or for a term of
four years, whichever comes first;
new text end

new text begin (2) the Supreme Court shall appoint a total of eight members. The court shall
designate one of the appointees to serve as chair of the commission. No more than four of
the appointees may be attorneys at the time of their appointment. The Supreme Court's
appointees serve on the commission for a four-year term; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the legislature shall appoint a total of eight members, no more than four of
whom may be attorneys at the time of their appointment. Legislative appointments must
be made sequentially as follows: the speaker of the house shall appoint one member, the
majority leader of the senate shall appoint one member, the minority leader of the house
of representatives shall appoint one member, and the minority leader of the senate shall
appoint one member. After each legislative leader has made one appointment as provided
in this clause, a second round of appointments must be made in the same sequence.
Legislative appointees serve on the commission for a two-year term.
new text end

new text begin In the case of a vacancy on the commission, the authority who appointed the
member whose seat has become vacant shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the
remainder of the unexpired term.
new text end

new text begin (c) In making appointments, the governor, Supreme Court, and legislative leaders
must consider the diversity of the state's population, as well as the importance of balanced
geographic representation, and appoint individuals of outstanding competence and
reputation. The governor, Supreme Court, and legislative leaders should consult with one
another to ensure the requirements of this paragraph are met.
new text end

new text begin (d) Members shall perform their duties in an impartial and objective manner and
shall base their recommendations solely upon matters that are in the record developed
by the commission. A member who violates this paragraph may be removed from the
commission by majority vote of the commission's membership.
new text end

new text begin (e) A member may be removed by the appointing authority at any time for cause,
after notice and hearing, or after missing three consecutive meetings. After a member
misses two consecutive meetings and before the next meeting, the secretary of the
commission shall notify the member in writing that the member may be removed if the
member misses the next meeting. The chair of the commission shall inform the appointing
authority if a member misses three consecutive meetings.
new text end

new text begin (f) Commission members shall serve without compensation and may not be
reimbursed for expenses associated with their work on the commission.
new text end

new text begin (g) The commission shall appoint an executive secretary to provide administrative
assistance and coordinate the work of the commission.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Meetings and data. new text end

new text begin Meetings of the Independent Judicial Performance
Commission are subject to the requirements of chapter 13D, except that a meeting held to
evaluate the performance of a judge may only be closed to discuss issues related to the
judge's health or allegations against the judge that may be defamatory in nature. The
commission is subject to the requirements of chapter 13. Except as otherwise provided in
this section, data of the commission are public data pursuant to section 13.03, subdivision
1.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Standards and procedures. new text end

new text begin (a) The Independent Judicial Performance
Commission shall develop written standards, subject to approval of the Supreme Court
in their entirety, by which judicial performance is to be evaluated. The standards must
be periodically updated and must include knowledge of the law, procedure, integrity,
impartiality, temperament, respect for litigants, respect for the rule of law, administrative
skill, punctuality, and communication skills. The commission may not evaluate judicial
performance based on substantive legal issues or opinions subject to standard appellate
processes.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commission shall adopt procedures for collecting information and
conducting reviews and shall create and implement a program of periodic review of the
performance of each judge. The commission must request public comment on these
procedures prior to their adoption.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Surveys. new text end

new text begin (a) Midway through a judge's term and again no fewer than nine
months before the date of the election for retention of the judge's position, the commission
must distribute anonymous survey forms eliciting performance evaluations of the judge to
a representative sampling of attorneys, litigants, other judges, and other persons who have
been in direct contact with the judge being evaluated and who have direct knowledge of
the judge's judicial performance during the evaluation period.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commission must employ or contract with qualified individuals to prepare
survey forms, process responses, and compile the statistical reports of the survey results in
a manner that ensures confidentiality and accuracy.
new text end

new text begin (c) Each survey conducted must seek evaluations in accordance with the written
performance standards adopted as provided in paragraph (a) and must solicit narrative
comments regarding the judge's performance. Narrative comments contained in a survey
response are private data on the judge, as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 12. Other
data on an individual who completes or responds to a survey form are private data on
that individual.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Midterm evaluation. new text end

new text begin The commission shall evaluate each judge halfway
through the judge's term, as nearly as practicable, to provide feedback to the judge about
the judge's performance and to give the judge an opportunity for improvement. The
commission shall adopt procedures for conducting the midterm evaluation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Retention-year evaluation. new text end

new text begin (a) In each year in which a judge has the
opportunity to file as a candidate for retention, the Independent Judicial Performance
Commission must conduct a final evaluation of the judge and determine whether the
judge meets or does not meet judicial performance standards. Upon completion of
the evaluation, the commission must rate the judge "well-qualified," "qualified," or
"unqualified" for office. A rating of "unqualified" does not prohibit a judge from seeking
retention by the voters.
new text end

new text begin (b) The final evaluation of a judge must include a public hearing and an opportunity
for submission of written public comments on the performance of a judge standing for
retention. Prior to accepting public comment and conducting a hearing, the commission
must notify each judge to be evaluated of the process for conducting the evaluation and
the right of the judge to submit written comments and appear in person at the hearing.
The hearing and evaluation may be conducted by a panel of commission members, as
provided in subdivision 9.
new text end

new text begin (c) A judge who does not intend to seek retention may waive the final evaluation
process by providing written notice to the commission affirming the judge's intention to
not file as a retention candidate for the judge's current office. If a judge waives the final
evaluation under this paragraph, the judge is not eligible to file an affidavit of candidacy
for the office and is not eligible to be appointed to fill the resulting vacancy.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Evaluation panels; review by full commission. new text end

new text begin (a) The evaluation of a
judge may be conducted by an evaluation panel. An evaluation panel is comprised of five
members, including at least one member appointed by each branch of government, but
otherwise chosen randomly. A panel must report its results to the full commission. The
full commission shall review a panel's evaluation if the panel rates a judge unqualified, or
if one panelist or three members of the commission request a review within 15 days after
the panel makes its report. The commission may overturn a panel's rating. If a panel's
report and rating is not reviewed, the determination of the panel is final. Decisions of an
evaluation panel or the full commission regarding a judge's performance are not subject
to judicial review.
new text end

new text begin (b) If an evaluation is reviewed by the full commission, the commission shall
provide written notice to the affected judge. The judge has the right to submit written
comments to the commission and to appear and be heard by the commission prior to a
final vote of the commission members regarding the judge's performance.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Publication of evaluation results. new text end

new text begin Following the final evaluation of a
judge, the commission shall compile a factual report on the judicial performance of each
judge intending to stand for retention, including the final rating assigned to the judge's
performance. The report must be made available to the public at least one month before
the time period established in section 204B.09 for filing an affidavit of candidacy with
the secretary of state.
new text end

Sec. 14.

new text begin [480B.03] JUDICIAL RETENTION ELECTIONS.
new text end

new text begin Judicial retention elections must be conducted consistent with the procedures
established by law for the administration of state general elections. Judges standing for
retention must be placed on the ballot as provided in section 204D.30.
new text end

Sec. 15.

new text begin [480B.04] REQUIREMENTS FOR SERVICE ON COMMISSIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Service on multiple commissions prohibited. new text end

new text begin A person may not
simultaneously serve on more than one commission established under this chapter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Service until appointment of successors. new text end

new text begin Members of commissions
established under this chapter continue to serve until their successors have been appointed
and qualified.
new text end

Sec. 16.

new text begin [480B.05] TELEPHONIC OR ELECTRONIC PARTICIPATION IN
MEETINGS.
new text end

new text begin (a) If compliance with section 13D.02 is impractical, any of the commissions
established under this chapter may conduct a meeting of its members by telephonic or
other electronic means, so long as the following conditions are met:
new text end

new text begin (1) all members of the commission participating in the meeting, wherever their
physical location, can hear one another and can hear all discussion and testimony;
new text end

new text begin (2) all members of the public present at the regular meeting location can clearly hear
all discussion and testimony and all votes of members;
new text end

new text begin (3) at least one member of the commission is physically present at the regular
meeting location; and
new text end

new text begin (4) all votes committing funds, finalizing recommendations, and approving contracts
are conducted by roll call, so each member's vote on each issue can be identified and
recorded.
new text end

new text begin (b) Each member of the commission participating in a meeting by telephonic or
other electronic means is considered present at the meeting for purposes of determining a
quorum and participating in all proceedings. If telephonic or other electronic means
are used to conduct a meeting, the commission, to the extent practical, shall allow a
person to monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location. The commission
may require the person making the connection to pay for documented marginal costs
that the commission incurs as a result of the additional connection. If telephonic or
other electronic means are used to conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the
commission shall provide notice of the regular meeting location, of the fact that some
members may participate by telephonic or other electronic means, and of whether and
how a person may monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location. The timing
and method of providing notice is governed by section 13D.04.
new text end

Sec. 17.

new text begin [480B.06] JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION; FEE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Authorization. new text end

new text begin The Supreme Court, through the Lawyer Registration
Office, may assess a judicial performance evaluation fee on each licensed attorney in the
state. If imposed, the fee must not exceed $....... and may only apply to attorneys actively
engaged in the practice of law.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Creation of account. new text end

new text begin The Judicial Performance Evaluation Fee Account
is created in the special revenue fund. The state court administrator shall forward fees
collected under subdivision 1 to the commissioner of finance who shall deposit them in the
state treasury and credit them to this account. Money in the account is appropriated to the
Independent Judicial Performance Commission.
new text end

Sec. 18. new text beginINDEPENDENT JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE COMMISSION; FIRST
MEETING; TRANSITION.
new text end

new text begin (a) Initial appointments must be made to the Independent Judicial Performance
Commission on July 1, 2011.
new text end

new text begin (b) Initial appointees shall serve for a term ending January 15, 2013, and may be
considered for reappointment as provided in this article at that time. The chair of the
commission must convene the first full meeting of the commission no later than August 1,
2011, and appoint a secretary for the commission at the first meeting.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commission is only required to conduct a final retention-year evaluation of
each judge whose term expires on or before January 5, 2015, but may conduct an initial
evaluation of these judges to provide an opportunity for improvement if the commission
determines that it is prepared and equipped to do so. Judges whose terms expire after
January 5, 2015, are subject to both the midterm and final retention-year evaluations
required by this article.
new text end

Sec. 19. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 204B.36, subdivision 5; and 204D.14, subdivision
3,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end

Sec. 20. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This article is effective July 1, 2011, if the constitutional amendment in article
1 is adopted. However, if the constitutional amendment is adopted, the governor and
Supreme Court may immediately undertake any procedure necessary to consider and
select potential appointees.
new text end