RULE 1

DEFINITIONS


In these rules, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires:

(a) "Commission" means the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

(b) "Judge" means any justice or judge of the appellate courts and district and criminal district courts; any county judge; any judge of a county court-at-law, a probate court, or a municipal court; any justice of the peace; any judge or presiding officer of any special court created by the legislature; any retired judge or former judge who continues as a judicial officer subject to assignment to sit on any court of the state; and, any master or magistrate appointed to serve a trial court of this state.

(c) "Chairman" includes the acting chairman of the commission.

(d) "Special Master" means an individual appointed by the supreme court upon request of the commission pursuant to Article V, Section 1-a, Paragraph (8) of the Texas Constitution.

(e) "Sanction" means any admonition, warning, reprimand, or requirement that the person obtain additional training or education, issued publicly or privately, by the commission pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 1-a, Paragraph (8) of the Texas Constitution. A sanction is remedial in nature. It is issued prior to the institution of formal proceedings to deter similar misconduct by a judge or judges in the future, to promote proper administration of justice, and to reassure the public that the judicial system of this state neither permits nor condones misconduct.

(f) "Censure" means an order issued by the commission pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 1-a, Paragraph (8) of the Texas Constitution order issued by a review tribunal pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 1-a, Paragraph (9) of the Texas Constitution. An order of censure is tantamount to denunciation of the offending conduct, and is more severe than the

remedial sanctions issued prior to a formal hearing.

(g) "Special Court of Review" means a panel of three court of appeals justices selected by lot by the chief justice of the supreme court upon petition, to review a sanction issued by the commission.

(h) "Review Tribunal" means a panel of seven court of appeals justices selected by lot by the chief justice of the supreme court to review the commission's recommendation for the removal or retirement of a judge as provided in Article V, Section 1-a, Paragraph (8) of the Texas Constitution.

(i) "Formal Proceeding" means the proceedings ordered by the commission concerning the possibility of public censure, removal, or retirement of a judge.

(j) "Examiner" means the person, including appropriate commission staff or special counsel, appointed by the commission to gather and present evidence before a special master, or the commission, a special court of review or a review tribunal

(k) "Shall" is mandatory and "may" is permissive.

(l) "Mail" means First Class United States Mail.

(m) The masculine gender includes the feminine gender.