State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 89-05
May a court commissioner, whether or not the commissioner serves as a volunteer, consider orders presented by the attorney spouse of the judge who appointed the court commissioner to that position?
It is proper under the Code of Judicial Conduct for the court commissioner to consider ex parte and agreed orders in which a contest is not likely to develop when such orders are presented by the attorney spouse of the judge who appointed the commissioner to that position. However, the commissioner should be sensitive to circumstances where his or her impartiality might be questioned and in those cases, the commissioner should decline to sign the order. The fact a commissioner serves as a volunteer has no bearing on the answer to the question.
The commissioner may only hear contested matters after the commissioner discloses that he or she was appointed by the judicial spouse of one of the attorneys in the matter. However, even in those cases, the commissioner should recuse if requested to do so by one of the parties.
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|