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Administrative Rules of the Unified Court System & Uniform Rules of the Trial Courts


Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge


PART 122. Judicial Hearing Officers

122.1 Application
122.2 Initial designation
122.3 Term
122.3-a Performance evaluation
122.3-b Extension of term; designation for additional term
122.4 Oath of office
122.5 Panels
122.6 Assignments
122.7 No vesting of rights
122.8 Compensation
122.9 Reports
122.10 Conflicts
122.11 Disqualification
122.12 Continuing education

Section 122.1 Application

(a) Any person who has served for at least one year as a judge or justice of a court of the Unified Court System, other than a town or village court, and who no longer is serving in such capacity, except a person who was removed from a judicial position pursuant to section 22 of Article VI of the Constitution, may make application to the Chief Administrator of the Courts to be designated as a judicial hearing officer pursuant to article 22 of the Judiciary Law. The Chief Administrator, upon consultation with the Presiding Justice of the appropriate Appellate Division, may waive the one-year service eligibility requirement where the background of the judge, combined with the length and nature of his or her judicial service, permit a finding that the judge meets the qualifications set forth in section 122.2(a) of this Part.The application shall be in such form as may be provided by the Chief Administrator, which shall contain items requesting prior judicial experience, the nature of judicial service sought, and whether any actions against the judge have been taken by, or any claims are pending before, any professional disciplinary body.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amds. filed: May 12, 1987; June 17, 1987; March 5, 1990; Feb. 5, 1997; May 1, 1998; Feb. 5, 2001 eff. Jan. 29, 2001.

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Section 122.2 Initial designation

(a) The Chief Administrator of the Courts, in his or her discretion, may designate as a judicial hearing officer an eligible person who files an application pursuant to section 122.1 of this Part upon determination that the applicant has the physical and mental capacity, competence, work ethic, experience and judicial temperament necessary to perform the duties of a judicial hearing officer, and is well qualified to serve on the panels in the courts to which he or she will be designated.

(b) The applicant shall undergo a comprehensive physical examination by a physician designated by the Chief Administrator, who shall issue a report to the Chief Administrator that the applicant has or has not the physical and mental capacity to perform competently the duties of a judicial hearing officer.

(c) In determining whether to designate an applicant as a judicial hearing officer, the Chief Administrator shall consult with (1) the Presiding Justice of the appropriate Appellate Division, (2) the appropriate Deputy Chief Administrator for the Courts, within or outside the City of New York, (3) the appropriate administrative judge who shall submit a written evaluation of the applicant, and (4) the appropriate judicial hearing officer selection advisory committee established pursuant to subdivision (e) of this section.

(d) The Chief Administrator also may consult with other appropriate persons and bar associations and conduct whatever investigation the Chief Administrator deems necessary to determine the qualifications of an applicant, including requiring additional medical examinations.

(e)

(1) The Chief Administrator, after consultation with the Presiding Justice of the appropriate Appellate Division, shall establish judicial hearing officer selection advisory committees for the First Judicial Department, the Second Judicial Department within the City of New York, the Ninth Judicial District of the Second Judicial Department, the Tenth Judicial District of the Second Judicial Department, the Third Judicial Department and the Fourth Judicial Department, and shall appoint the members thereto. Each committee shall consist of seven members, four nonjudicial members who are practicing attorneys and three members who are either current or former judges or justices of the Unified Court System. The Chief Administrator shall designate one member of each committee to serve as committee chair. Each member shall serve for a term of two years which, shall be renewable.

(2) Every applicant for designation to the office of judicial hearing officer shall be evaluated prior to designation by the committee established for the principal jurisdiction in which the applicant applies to serve, which shall interview the applicant and may require the applicant to submit any appropriate materials. In the event no principal jurisdiction is apparent, the Chief Administrator shall select the committee that shall evaluate the applicant. Where the bulk of the applicant's judicial service was in a jurisdiction other than the principal one in which the applicant is seeking to serve, the committee may consult with the appropriate committee in that other jurisdiction and may refer the applicant to that committee for evaluation. The committee shall set forth whether each applicant is qualified to serve as a judicial hearing officer based upon competence, work ethic, experience and judicial temperament necessary to perform duties of a judicial hearing officer. The Committee also shall specifically advise whether the applicant is qualified to serve as a judicial hearing officer with respect to (a) criminal actions, (b) civil actions other than matrimonial actions, and (c) matrimonial actions.

(f) For purposes of this Part, evaluation of the competence, work ethic, experience and judicial temperament of any applicant pursuant to this Part shall include the following:

(1) Competence: Effective case management and prompt case disposition, knowledge of the law, and quality and clarity of written opinions;

(2) Work ethic: Punctuality, preparation and attentiveness, and meeting commitments on time and according to the rules of the court;

(3) Experience: The nature, length and proximity in time of judicial services;

(4) Judicial temperament: The ability to deal patiently with and be courteous to all parties and participants.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amds. filed: March 5, 1990; Feb. 25, 1993; Feb. 5, 1997; Dec. 22, 1997 eff. Jan. 1, 1998. Amended (a), (c)-(e); added (f).

Historical Note
Sec. filed Sept. 16, 1982; repealed, new filed July 12, 1985; amds. filed: May 7, 1997; June 5, 2000 eff. June 1, 2000. Amended (c), added (d).

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Section 122.3 Term

A judicial hearing officer shall be designated for an initial term which shall expire on the last day of the full calendar year following the designation.  An initial term, and any additional term allowed by designation of the Chief Administrator as set forth below, may be extended without further application for one additional calendar year pursuant to section 122.3-b of this Part. At the end of any initial or additional term (which shall include any one-year extension thereof), the judicial hearing officer may apply for designation for an additional one-year term, and may be so designated in accordance with the procedures of section 122.3-b. The Chief Administrator may extend the duration of a term for a period not to exceed six months where necessary to complete the examination and consultation requirements set forth in this Part.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amds. filed: March 5, 1990; Dec. 22, 1997 eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Amended on November 5, 2014, effective December 1, 2014

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Section 122.3-a Performance evaluation

Each administrative judge shall monitor the performance of every judicial hearing officer who serves in a court within the jurisdiction of the administrative judge, and shall report to the Chief Administrator of the Courts, at such times and in such manner as the Chief Administrator shall require, on the performance of the judicial hearing officer. In evaluating this performance, the administrative judge shall consult with such judges, bar associations, and individual members of the bar as may be appropriate.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Dec. 22, 1997 eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

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Section 122.3-b Extension of term; designation for additional term

(a) The Chief Administrator of the Courts, in his or her discretion and in accordance with this section and section 122.3 of this Part, may extend the term of a person serving as a judicial hearing officer or designate a judicial hearing officer to an additional term provided he or she has the physical and mental capacity, and the competence, work ethic, and judicial temperament, necessary to perform the duties of a judicial hearing officer. To be considered for designation to an additional term hereunder, a judicial hearing officer must apply therefor upon such form as may be provided by the Chief Administrator and undergo a comprehensive physical examination as set forth in section 122.2(b) of this Part.

(b) In determining whether to extend the term of a person serving as a judicial hearing officer, or designate a judicial hearing officer to an additional term, the Chief Administrator shall consider recommendations from an evaluatory body consisting of the appropriate Deputy Chief Administrator for the courts within or without the City of New York, the Deputy Chief Administrator for Management Support, the Administrative Judge for Matrimonial Matters and the administrative judge or judges of the court where the judicial hearing officer has served. The Chief Administrator, after consultation with the Presiding Justice of the appropriate Appellate Division, may alter the membership of the evaluatory body where circumstances require. In making recommendations whether the judicial hearing officer meets the criteria set forth in this Part, the evaluating body shall examine the performance evaluations prepared pursuant to section 122.3-a of this Part, and any required medical evaluations, and shall consult with administrative judges, bar associations and other persons or groups as may be appropriate.

(c) The Chief Administrator also shall consult with the Presiding Justice of the appropriate Appellate Division and may consult with the appropriate judicial hearing officer selection advisory committee and other persons and conduct whatever investigation the Chief Administrator deems necessary to determine the qualifications of an applicant, including requiring additional medical examinations.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Dec. 22, 1997 eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

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Section 122.4 Oath of office.

(a) Before exercising the functions of judicial hearing officer, a person so designated shall take and file with the Chief Administrator of the Courts a sworn statement that such person will faithfully and fairly do such acts and make such determinations and reports as may be required by the designations as a judicial hearing officer. The statement shall be in the form as set forth in subdivision (b) of this section.

(b) Sworn statement of hearing officer.

I,_________________ (give full name), do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully and fairly do such acts and make such determinations and reports as may be required by the designation as a judicial hearing officer, according to the best of my ability.

_____________________
(Signature)

Sworn to before me this_____day of ________ , 20____


_______________________
Notary Public

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984 eff. Dec. 27, 1983.

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Section 122.5 Panels

(a) The Chief Administrator of the Courts, in his or her discretion, shall establish a panel of judicial hearing officers for particular courts in individual counties, where appropriate, to accept assignments in such court in such county, and shall designate judicial hearing officers to each such panel. A judicial hearing officer may serve on more than one panel.

(b) The size and composition of each panel shall be determined by the Chief Administrator, after consultation with the appropriate administrative judge, in accordance with the needs of the courts in each particular county. In determining the need for judicial hearing officers in any court and county, the Chief Administrator shall consider (1) the state of the general calendar in each court in which the use of judicial hearing officers is being considered and (2) the number of proceedings suitable for determination by judicial hearing officers in such court or courts.

(c) The Chief Administrator, in his or her discretion, after consultation with the appropriate presiding justice, may establish a panel of judicial hearing officers in and for an appellate division to perform the functions of the preargument screening program for such appellate division.

(d) Unless the Chief Administrator directs otherwise, a judicial hearing officer who requests that his or her name be removed from any panel of judicial hearing officers during the course of a term of office may not be redesignated to that panel for the duration of that term.

(e) The Chief Administrator, in consultation with the presiding justice of the appropriate appellate division, may remove the name of any judicial hearing officer from any or all panels for unsatisfactory performance or for any conduct incompatible with service as a judicial hearing officer. A judicial hearing officer may not be so removed unless he or she has been given a written statement of the reasons for the removal and afforded an opportunity to make an explanation and to submit facts in opposition to the removal.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amds. filed: March 5, 1990; Feb. 5, 1997 eff. Jan. 27, 1997. Added (e).

Amended (d) on May 25, 2011 (old version)

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Section 122.6 Assignments

(a) A judge or justice of any court for which a panel of judicial hearing officers has been established may recommend to the appropriate administrative judge, designated by the Chief Administrator, particular proceedings for reference to a judicial hearing officer. A judicial hearing officer shall be assigned to a particular proceeding by the administrative judge, in his or her discretion, upon consideration of all relevant factors, including the nature of the matter to be referred, the experience and expertise of the judicial hearing officer with respect to matters of that nature, the expected length and complexity of the matter and the availability of appropriations to pay for the services of the judicial hearing officer.

(b) The administrative judge may assign a judicial hearing officer to preside over a part of court as permitted by law for a specified period. The administrative judge, in making such an assignment, shall take into account the responsibilities of the part and the previous experience and expertise of the judicial hearing officer.

(c) The reference of a matter to a judicial hearing officer and the assignment thereto of the judicial hearing officer shall be in writing. The reference shall indicate the issues referred to such judicial hearing officer and set forth whether the judicial hearing officer is to hear and determine or hear and report or otherwise act in respect to the matter.

(d) The presiding justice of an appropriate appellate division may assign a judicial hearing officer on an appellate division panel to perform the functions of the preargument screening program of such appellate division, within the available appropriations as determined by the Chief Administrator.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amds. filed: June 17, 1987; March 5, 1990 eff. Jan. 1, 1991. Amended (a)-(b).

 

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Section 122.7 No vesting of rights

Nothing herein shall vest any person with any right to be designated as a judicial hearing officer, or to be designated to a panel, or to serve in any particular court or to be assigned to any particular proceeding or type of proceeding.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984 eff. Dec. 27, 1983.

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Section 122.8 Compensation

A judicial hearing officer shall receive $300 per day for each day or part thereof at which such judicial hearing officer actually performs assigned duties in a courtroom or other facility designated for court appearances. There shall be no compensation for out-of-court work performed by such hearing officer. Such hearing officer shall be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses reasonably and necessarily incurred in the performance of his or her duties in accordance with the provisions of Part 102 of these rules. With the approval of the Chief Administrator, a judicial hearing officer may serve voluntarily without compensation.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amds. filed: Sept. 28, 1987; Oct. 13, 1999 eff. Sept. 27, 1999.

Amended on May 25, 2011 (old version)

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Section 122.9 Reports

A determination required to be made by a judicial hearing officer in respect to any motion or proceeding at which such judicial hearing officer presides, or in respect to any report or decision required to be filed by such judicial hearing officer, shall be rendered and filed within 30 days. All reports and decisions shall be in writing and shall indicate the reasons upon which the decisions or findings and recommendations contained in the report are based.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984 eff. Dec. 27, 1983.

 

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Section 122.10 Conflicts

(a) A judicial hearing officer shall not preside over any matter in which he or she has represented any party or any witness in connection with that matter, and he or she shall not participate as an attorney in any matter in which he or she has participated as a judge or judicial hearing officer.

(b) A judicial hearing officer shall not preside over a matter in which any party or witness is presented by an attorney who is a partner or associate in a law firm or of counsel to a law firm with which the judicial hearing officer is affiliated in any respect.

(c) A judicial hearing officer shall not participate as an attorney in any contested matter in a court in a county where he or she serves on a judicial hearing officer panel for such court.

(d) A judicial hearing officer shall not appear as an attorney before any other judicial hearing officer in any county in which he or she serves as a judicial hearing officer.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984; amd. filed March 5, 1990 eff. Jan. 1, 1991. Amended (d).

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Section 122.11 Disqualification

A judicial hearing officer shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding under the same circumstances where a judge or other quasi-judicial officer would be required to disqualify himself or herself under decisional law or pursuant to the provisions of any statute, the Code of Judicial Conduct or Part 100 of these rules.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Jan. 5, 1984 eff. Dec. 27, 1983.

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Section 122.12 Continuing education

The Chief Administrator may require judicial hearing officers to participate in educational courses, seminars and training sessions designed to ensure that they keep current with developments in the law.

Historical Note
Sec. filed March 5, 1990 eff. Jan. 1, 1991.