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AGO Opinions with Topic: JUDGES
AGO 1991 No. 13 >  March 28, 1991
CITIES AND TOWNS - SALARIES AND WAGES - JUDGES - SALARY OF MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES
CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- SALARIES AND WAGES ‑- JUDGES ‑- SALARY OF MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES Chapter 3.50 RCW empowers certain cities to establish a municipal court that is not part of the state's district court system.  If a city establishes a municipal court pursuant to chapter 3.50 RCW, the salary of its municipal court judges is set by the city by ordinance.  A city may pay its municipal court judges less than full-time district judges receive when serving in a municipal department established pursuant to chapter 3.46 RCW.
AGO 1961 No. 75 >  November 13, 1961
JUDGES - RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE - COMPUTATION OF
JUDGES ‑- RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE ‑- COMPUTATION OF In view of the enactment of chapter 181, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., establishing a $300 per month minimum with respect to the pensions payable to certain retired municipal firemen and law enforcement officers and their survivors, this figure now constitutes the minimum basis to be used in computing the annual two percent cost of living pension increases provided for in RCW 41.16.145, RCW 41.18.104, and RCW 41.26.250.
AGO 1962 No. 87 >  January 4, 1962
JUDGES - RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE - COMPUTATION THEREOF UNDER § 2, CHAPTER 286, LAWS OF 1961
JUDGES ‑- RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE ‑- COMPUTATION THEREOF UNDER § 2, CHAPTER 286, LAWS of 1961 The additional pension benefit provided under § 2, chapter 286, Laws of 1961, for supreme and superior court judges who serve more than eighteen years in the aggregate is not payable to a judge who had retired from service under RCW 2.12.010 prior to June 8, 1961.
AGO 1975 No. 3 >  February 10, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - JUDGES - COURTS - SALARY - AUTHORITY OF SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- JUDGES ‑- COURTS ‑- SALARY ‑- AUTHORITY OF SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES (1) Where the salary of a superior court aide is fixed by statute, or by the county commissioners or other legislative authority pursuant thereto, a judge of the court is without power to set a higher salary by a directive or order in a nonjudicial proceeding; the court may, however, entertain an action for a writ of mandamus to require the salary fixing authority to raise the salaries of its personnel, but it will only be justified in granting the writ if, applying recognized judicial standards, it finds that the legislative authority involved has acted arbitrarily or capriciously.  (2) Under RCW 2.28.139 it is the obligation of each county (acting through its county commissioners) to furnish the courtroom and related necessary facilities for the conduct of the superior court; if the county fails to do so, the court may order the sheriff to provide the requisite facilities at county expense or, if this administrative remedy fails, the court may compel the commissioners to comply with the requirement of the statute by issuance of a writ of mandamus in a judicial proceeding ‑ subject to a right of appeal and all other procedural requisites of a regular court case.
AGO 1979 No. 14 >  June 29, 1979
JUDGES - SUPERIOR COURT - SOCIAL SECURITY ACT - SALARY BASE FOR OASI CONTRIBUTIONS AND COVERAGE
JUDGES ‑- SUPERIOR COURT ‑- SOCIAL SECURITY ACT ‑- SALARY BASE FOR OASI CONTRIBUTIONS AND COVERAGE Where the offices of the city clerk and city attorney in a third class city have been made appointive by the city council, under the authority of RCW 35.24.020, the salary of the office holder may be increased or decreased after appointment.
AGO 1984 No. 13 >  June 6, 1984
COURTS - JUDGES - LAWYERS - MARRIAGE
SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE BY JUDGE OR JUSTICE PRO TEM A lawyer (including a retired former judge) who does not otherwise hold a judicial office but who has been appointed to serve as a judge pro tem of a superior court pursuant to RCW 2.08.180, as a judge pro tem of the court of appeals pursuant to RCW 2.06.150, or as a justice pro tem of the State Supreme Court pursuant to Wash. Const., Art. IV, § 2(a) is not thereby authorized to solemnize marriages under RCW 26.04.050.
AGO 1978 No. 24 >  August 9, 1978
ELECTIONS - JUDGES - NOMINATION AND PROCEDURES FOR DISTRICT COURT JUDGES
ELECTIONS ‑- JUDGES ‑- NOMINATION AND PROCEDURES FOR DISTRICT COURT JUDGES (1) If only one candidate files for a given district court position, a primary election will nevertheless be required to be held in accordance with the general provisions of chapter 29.21 RCW because neither RCW 29.21.015 nor Article IV, § 29 (Amendment 41) of the state constitution are applicable.  (2) If there is a contested primary election for the position of district court judge, the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes are both to have their names placed on the general election ballot in accordance with RCW 29.21.150 even though one of those candidates receives a majority of the votes cast for the position at the primary.    (3) There is no statutory provision applicable to district court judges which requires that a candidate receive a given percentage of the total votes cast at a nominating primary in order to have his name appear on the general election ballot.  (4) Because of the inapplicability of RCW 29.21.010 to the election of district court judges, the names of candidates for that office need not be listed alphabetically on the primary ballot.  (5) For the same reason, there is no statutory requirement (insofar as the election of district court judges is concerned) that the various candidates' names appear on the general election ballot in sequence relating to the number of votes each candidate received in the primary election.
AGO 1992 No. 13 >  June 30, 1992
WASHINGTON CITIZENS' COMMISSION ON SALARY FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS - COURTS - JUDGES - SALARIES AND WAGES - COUNTIES - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS - ELECTIONS
Applicability of Amendment 78 to Part-time District Court Judges and Qualifications for Nonattorney to be Elected District Court Judge 1.  Article 28 of the Washington Constitution (Amendment 78) provides that an independent salary commission shall set the salary for district court judges.  With regard to part-time district court judges, the commission has set the salary based on the proportion of full-time work for which the part-time judge is authorized.  The county legislative authority determines the proportion of work for which the part-time district court judge is authorized. 2.  Prior to 1991 the commission had not established a salary for part-time district court judges.  Amendment 78 provides that salaries in effect in 1987 shall remain in effect until changed by the commission.  Thus, part-time district court judge salaries were set pursuant to RCW 3.58.020 until 1991 when the commission changed the salary.  At that time, the salaries were properly set by the commission. 3.  RCW 3.46.060 provides that a nonattorney can seek election as a district court judge under certain circumstances.  A nonattorney district court judge can seek reelection if he or she is a registered voter of the district court district, and has been elected and has served as a district court judge.  A nonattorney district court judge with these two qualifications can seek reelection even if the population of the district is between 5,000 and 10,000.
AGO 1988 No. 23 >  October 20, 1988
JUDGES - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS - COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS 1.The Commission on Judicial Conduct is not required to make public informal admonishments of judges, unless such informal admonishments arise out of a hearing or proceeding required by law to be public.2.When a judge waives confidentiality as to an investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the law requires the fact that there is an investigation to be made public; however, the Commission retains authority to determine whether other aspects of the investigation will be kept confidential.
AGO 1988 No. 29 >  December 1, 1988
JUDGES - COUNTIES - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COMPENSATION
JUDGES ‑- COMPENSATION ‑- OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTIES 1.A county may lawfully eliminate its provision of medical, dental, and life insurance benefits to its superior court judges when the judges, who are also state officers, receive similar benefits from the state.2.Where superior court judges as state officers are receiving health and life insurance benefits from the state, a county is not legally required to provide superior court judges with the same type of benefits, whether or not the state benefits are as comprehensive as those offered by the county to its other officers and employees.
AGO 1992 No. 15 >  July 16, 1992
CITIES AND TOWNS - COUNTIES - COURTS - JUDGES
Establishment of Municipal Courts and Termination of a Municipal Department of the District Court 1.  RCW 3.46.150 provides that a city may give notice to the county legislative authority to require termination of a municipal department of the district court.  The municipal department is terminated through amendment to the county's district court districting plan.  2.  District court judge who had been serving in a municipal department of the district court remains a district court judge following termination of the municipal department until he or she vacates the position prior to the end of his or her term, or the term expires.  3.  The term of office for a judge of a municipal court established by city ordinance is four years.
AGO 1967 No. 22 >  June 19, 1967
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - JUDGES - SUPERIOR COURTS - APPLICABILITY OF SALARY INCREASE LAW TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHOSE TERMS COMMENCE FOLLOWING ENACTMENT BUT PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - JUDGES - SUPERIOR COURTS - APPLICABILITY OF SALARY INCREASE LAW TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHOSE TERMS COMMENCE FOLLOWING ENACTMENT BUT PRIOR TO EFFECTIVE DATE The judge appointed to fill the new superior court judgeship created in Snohomish county by § 3, chapter 84, Laws of 1967, Ex. Sess., is entitled, after June 8, 1967, to receive the $22,500 annual salary established for superior court judges under chapter 65, Laws of 1967.
AGO 1968 No. 11 >  March 5, 1968
COURTS - JUDGES - COUNTIES - APPOINTMENT OF COURT COMMISSIONERS IN MULTICOUNTY JUDICIAL DISTRICTS UNDER CHAPTER 87, LAWS OF 1967, EX. SESS.
COURTS - JUDGES - COUNTIES - APPOINTMENT OF COURT COMMISSIONERS IN MULTICOUNTY JUDICIAL DISTRICTS UNDER CHAPTER 87, LAWS OF 1967, EX. SESS. Under the provisions of RCW 2.24.010, as amended by chapter 87, Laws of 1967, Ex. Sess., the superior court judge or judges of a multicounty judicial district may, in his or their discretion, continue to appoint a court commissioner for each county situated within the judicial district or, in the alternative, appoint a single court commissioner to serve the entire judicial district.
AGO 1996 No. 2 >  February 6, 1996
SUPERIOR COURT - JUDGES - SALARY AND BENEFITS - STATE CONSTITUTION - SOCIAL SECURITY - WORKERS COMPENSATION
Legal responsibility of state and counties for employer contributions to Superior Court judges' salary-related benefits In the absence of specific legislative direction to the contrary, the state and the counties are each legally responsible for one-half of the employer contributions required to be made to provide fringe benefits for superior court judges.
AGO 1999 No. 4 >  May 12, 1999
CONSTITUTION - JUDGES - COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT
Authority of Commission on Judicial Conduct to separate investigative and adjudicatory functions 1. The Commission on Judicial Conduct lacks authority to divide its members into separate investigatory and adjudicative panels.   2. It is not a “temporary disability, disqualification, or inability to serve” for a member of the Commission on Judicial Conduct to have participated in the investigative phase of a complaint or case; this fact would not justify empaneling the member's alternative to serve in his/her place during the adjudicative phase of the same proceeding.   3. The Commission on Judicial Conduct may not use its alternative members to serve as “permanent” members as part of a scheme to divide the Commission into investigatory and adjudicative panels; the constitution evidences an intent that the same body exercise both functions.
AGO 1955 No. 20 >  February 10, 1955
JUDGES - JUSTICE OF PEACE - MUST ACCEPT APPOINTMENT AS POLICE JUDGE
JUDGES ‑- JUSTICE OF PEACE ‑- MUST ACCEPT APPOINTMENT AS POLICE JUDGE. The one elected justice of the peace in a city of the third class must accept the appointment as police judge as part of the duties of his office.
AGO 1953 No. 22 >  April 29, 1953
ASSIGNMENTS - REVOCATION - ASSIGNMENT OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS - JUDGES - RETIREMENT BENEFITS - ASSIGNMENT REVOCATION
ASSIGNMENTS ‑- REVOCATION ‑- ASSIGNMENT OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS ‑- JUDGES ‑- RETIREMENT BENEFITS ‑- ASSIGNMENT REVOCATION

Pension benefits due a retired supreme court judge under RCW 2.12 are assignable.Such an assignment may be revoked at any time before the payments become due and a subsequent assignment will be effective.

AGO 1952 No. 325 >  June 13, 1952
JUDGES - SUPERIOR COURT - TERM OF OFFICE - REGULAR FOUR-YEAR TERM - PERIOD OF - SHORT OR TAG END TERM
JUDGES ‑- SUPERIOR COURT ‑- TERM OF OFFICE ‑- REGULAR FOUR-YEAR TERM ‑- PERIOD OF ‑- SHORT OR TAG END TERM Judges for the regular and original full four-year term for all offices of superior court judge are to be elected at the general election in November, 1952, and such term of office will begin on the second Monday in January, 1953.  If an incumbent superior court judge holds office as an appointee of the Governor to fill a vacancy resulting from the creation of an additional judgeship, there is also a short term for the period from the date of the November, 1952, general election to the beginning of the regular term in January, 1953, to which a candidate may be elected.
AGO 1950 No. 373 >  October 20, 1950
JUDGES - SUPERIOR COURT - INCUMBENT IN ONE DEPARTMENT AS "WRITE‑IN" CANDIDATE IN ANOTHER DEPARTMENT
JUDGES ‑- SUPERIOR COURT ‑- INCUMBENT IN ONE DEPARTMENT AS 'WRITE‑IN' CANDIDATE IN ANOTHER DEPARTMENT An incumbent judge may run as a "write‑in" candidate for the same position in another department so long as his name will not appear on the ballot twice.
AGLO 1982 No. 27 >  January 13, 1982
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION - JUDGES - ELECTIONS - CODE OF ETHICS
JURISDICTION OF JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION OVER NEWLY ELECTED JUDGES An individual, upon becoming a judge or justice within the state judicial system by reason of his or her election to such office, should be deemed to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to possible disciplinary action by the Supreme Court under Article IV, § 31 (Amendment 71) of the state constitution for a violation of Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct occurring during the election campaign and prior to the individual becoming a judge.
AGLO 1976 No. 51 >  August 23, 1976
ELECTIONS - JUDGES
APPLICABILITY OF RCW 29.21.015 TO JUDICIAL ELECTIONS RCW 29.21.015, as amended by § 2, chapter 120, Laws of 1975-76, 2nd Ex. Sess., does not apply to the election of superior court and appellate court judges so as to mean that if only two candidates have filed for a given position as judge of the superior court or court of appeals no primary will be held and, instead, the names of both candidates will be required to appear on the ensuing general election ballot.
AGLO 1975 No. 73 >  August 19, 1975
ELECTIONS - JUDGES - SUPERIOR COURT
DISTRICT COURT Necessity of an election in November, 1975, for unexpired terms of superior and district court judges in Whatcom county under certain described circumstances.
AGLO 1973 No. 36 >  March 13, 1973
COURTS - SUPREME - JUDGES - LOBBYING - INITIATIVE 276
COURTS ‑- SUPREME ‑- JUDGES ‑- LOBBYING ‑- INITIATIVE 276 Definition of "lobbying" by a state court judge under §§ 16 and 19 on Initiative 276; registration and reporting requirements
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