State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 90-15
When a judicial officer is presented ex parte with a motion for a temporary restraining order in a dissolution proceeding and is presented with affidavits which contain argument and facts in support of the motion as authorized by law, would such a communication preclude the judicial officer from hearing the case on a contested calendar on the return date set by the judicial officer in the temporary restraining order?
CJC Canon 3A(4) prohibits ex parte communications which are not authorized by law. A judicial officer is authorized by RCW 26.09.060 to hear motions for temporary restraining orders. Information submitted is support of such a motion is not an ex parte communication prohibited by CJC Canon 3A(4). Absent independent circumstances which would require disqualification, a judicial officer may hear the case on a contested calendar on the return date set.
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