2011 ORS § 1.303¹
Disability of judge
  • procedures upon receipt by Chief Justice of complaint or information

(1) As used in this section and ORS 1.425 (Commission proceedings upon receipt of complaint of disability):

(a) Judge means a judge of any court of this state.

(b) Subject judge means a judge whose alleged disability is involved in proceedings under this section or ORS 1.425 (Commission proceedings upon receipt of complaint of disability).

(c) Disability means a physical or mental condition of a judge, including but not limited to impairment derived in whole or in part from habitual or excessive use of intoxicants, drugs or controlled substances, that significantly interferes with the capacity of the judge to perform judicial duties. A disability may be permanent or temporary.

(2) When the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court receives a complaint as provided in ORS 1.420 (Investigation) (2) or has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a judge has a disability, the Chief Justice may:

(a) Confer with the subject judge in respect to the alleged disability.

(b) Consult with other judges of the court in which the subject judge serves and other persons who may have knowledge concerning the alleged disability.

(c) Conduct other inquiry in respect to the alleged disability as the Chief Justice considers appropriate.

(3) If, after inquiry, and on clear and convincing evidence, the Chief Justice determines that the subject judge has a temporary disability, that informal disposition is appropriate and that the subject judge agrees to informal disposition, the Chief Justice may enter into an informal disposition of the matter with the subject judge. The informal disposition may include agreement by the subject judge to obtain professional counseling, medical treatment or other assistance or to comply with other conditions in respect to the future conduct of the judge. If an informal disposition is entered into, the Chief Justice may grant the subject judge a leave of absence with salary for a period of not more than one year.

(4) If, after inquiry, and on clear and convincing evidence, the Chief Justice determines that the subject judge has a permanent disability, or that the subject judge has a temporary disability and informal disposition is not appropriate or the subject judge does not agree to informal disposition, the Chief Justice may file a written request for an investigation under ORS 1.310 (Involuntary retirement of judges for disability) (2) or a complaint under ORS 1.425 (Commission proceedings upon receipt of complaint of disability), as the Chief Justice considers appropriate.

(5) When the Chief Justice enters into an informal disposition with a subject judge under subsection (3) of this section, or files a written request or complaint in respect to a subject judge under subsection (4) of this section, or determines that a subject judge does not have a disability, the Chief Justice shall prepare a written summary of the nature of the complaint or information received, the inquiry conducted and the basis for the determination. The Chief Justice shall immediately send a copy of the summary to the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, which shall retain the copy in a file for the subject judge.

(6) Documents filed with or prepared by the Chief Justice under subsections (2), (3) and (5) of this section shall not be public records unless received as competent evidence in the course of a hearing pursuant to ORS 1.310 (Involuntary retirement of judges for disability) (4) or 1.420 (Investigation). [1987 c.520 §1]