THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

O R D E R

 

Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution, and Supreme Court Rule 51 A(7), the Supreme Court of New Hampshire approves, on a temporary basis, effective immediately, amendments to Supreme Court Rule 40, dealing with Procedural Rules of the Committee on Judicial Conduct, as set forth in Appendices A and B. The amendments shall be referred to the advisory committee on rules for consideration of whether they should be adopted as permanent amendments to Rule 40.

August 11, 2000

ATTEST: David S. Peck, Deputy Clerk

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

 

APPENDIX A

 

Amend Supreme Court Rule 40(3)(i) by adding an additional sentence to the end of said subparagraph, so that said subparagraph as amended shall read as follows:

(i) Any violation of these provisions relating to the duty of confidentiality imposed by this rule may result in action of the committee at the request of the non-violating party or on its own motion. That action may consist of opening the file and the proceedings earlier than would have been the case under section (3), terminating the proceedings with or without public comment, or such other action as the committee deems appropriate in the circumstances. Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, the committee may disclose to an appropriate law enforcement authority any matter that comes before it, and shall, at the same time, inform the chief justice or the senior associate justice of the supreme court of the matter. Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, the committee may also disclose relevant information that is otherwise confidential to agencies or commissions authorized to investigate the qualifications of judicial candidates, provided that the judge who is the subject of the request has signed a waiver permitting the requesting agency or commission to obtain confidential information, and further provided that the agency or commission shall maintain the confidentiality of the information provided to the fullest extent possible consistent with the carrying out of its official duties unless it obtains a written waiver of confidentiality from the grievant or complainant and any other person whose confidentiality is protected by this rule.

APPENDIX B

 

Amend Supreme Court Rule 40(3-a)(k) by adding an additional sentence to the end of said subparagraph, so that said subparagraph as amended shall read as follows:

(k) Any violation of these provisions relating to confidentiality shall constitute contempt of the supreme court. The committee may enforce these provisions by appropriate proceedings for contempt before any justice of the supreme court. Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, the committee may disclose to an appropriate law enforcement authority any matter that comes before it. Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, the committee may also disclose relevant information that is otherwise confidential to agencies or commissions authorized to investigate the qualifications of judicial candidates provided that the judge who is the subject of the request has signed a waiver permitting the requesting agency or commission to obtain confidential information, and further provided that the agency or commission shall maintain the confidentiality of the information provided to the fullest extent possible consistent with the carrying out of its official duties unless it obtains a written waiver of confidentiality from the complainant and any other person whose confidentiality is protected by this rule.