State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 92-19
May a judicial officer sit on a case in which the judicial officer made a probable cause determination, after reviewing a citizen complaint, that the offense alleged was committed by the defendant or when the judicial officer has ruled on other preliminary questions of fact?
CJC Canon 3(C)(1)(a) provides that a judicial officer is disqualified from hearing a case where the judicial officer has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings. The fact that a judicial officer makes a probable cause determination does not present a situation in which the judicial officer's impartiality might reasonably be questioned nor does it confer upon the judicial officer personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings.
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