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In re Code of Judicial Conduct

Supreme Court of Mississippi

November 3, 2017

IN RE: CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT

          ORDER

          MICHAEL K. RANDOLPH, PRESIDING JUSTICE

         This matter is before the Court en banc on the Petition to Amend the Code of Judicial Conduct. The petition seeks to amend Canon 5F of the Code of Judicial Conduct to add, inter alia, provisions for notice to the subject of a complaint, and an opportunity to respond. After due consideration, the Court finds that the petition should be granted in part as set forth in Exhibit A.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Code of Judicial Conduct is hereby amended as set forth in Exhibit A. This amendment is effective immediately.

          IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall spread this Order upon the minutes of the Court and shall forward a true copy hereof to West Publishing Company for publication in the next edition of the Mississippi Rules of Court and in the Southern Reporter, Third Series, (Mississippi Edition).

         SO ORDERED,

          AGREE RANDOLPH, P.J., COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM AND CHAMBERLIN, JJ.

          NOT PARTICIPATING: ISHEE, J.

         EXHIBIT A

         Canon 5F(3) - Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct

         (3) Upon receipt of a written allegation information facially indicating a violation by a judicial candidate of any provision of Canon 5 during the course of a campaign for judicial office, or indicating actions by any independent person(s), committee(s) or organization(s) which are contrary to the limitations placed upon candidates by Canon 5, the Commission staff shall immediately forward a copy of the allegation by e-mail or facsimile, if available, and U.S. mail to the Special Committee members and the judicial candidate, and said Committee shall:

(a) in a manner which comports with due process, provide the candidate with a list of provisions he or she is accused of violating, and provide the candidate an opportunity to respond;
(ba) seek, from the informing party and/or the subject of the information, such further information on the allegations as it deems necessary;
(cb) conduct such additional investigation as the Committee may deem necessary;
(dc) determine whether the allegations warrant speedy intervention and, if so, immediately issue a confidential cease-and-desist request to the candidate and/or organization or independent committee or organization believed to be engaging in unethical and/or unfair campaign practices. If the Committee determines that the unethical and/or unfair campaign practice is of a serious and damaging nature, the Committee may, in its discretion, disregard the issuance of a cease-and-desist request and immediately take action authorized by the provisions of paragraph (3)(ed)(i) and (ii), ...

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