Code of the District of Columbia

§ 11–1527. Procedures.

(a)(1) On its own initiative, or upon complaint or report of any person, formal or informal, the Commission may undertake an investigation of the conduct or health of any judge. After such investigation as it deems adequate, the Commission may terminate the investigation or it may order a hearing concerning the health or conduct of the judge. No order affecting the tenure of a judge based on grounds for removal set forth in section 11-1526(a)(2) or 11-1530(b)(3) shall be made except after a hearing as provided by this subchapter. Nothing in this subchapter shall preclude any informal contacts with the judge, or the chief judge of the court in which the judge serves, by the Commission, whether before or after a hearing is ordered, to discuss any matter related to its investigation.

(2) A judge whose conduct or health is to be the subject of a hearing by the Commission shall be given notice of such hearing and of the nature of the matters under inquiry not less than thirty days before the date on which the hearing is to be held. The judge shall be admitted to such hearing and to every subsequent hearing regarding the judge’s conduct or health. The judge may be represented by counsel, offer evidence in his or her own behalf, and confront and cross-examine witnesses against the judge.

(3) Within ninety days after the adjournment of hearings, the Commission shall make findings of fact and a determination regarding the conduct or health of a judge who was the subject of the hearing. The concurrence of at least four members shall be required for a determination of grounds for removal or retirement. Upon a determination of grounds for removal or retirement, the Commission shall file an appropriate order pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of section 11-1526. On or before the date the order is filed, the Commission shall notify the judge, the chief judge of the court in which the judge serves, and the President of the United States.

(b) The Commission shall keep a record of any hearing on the conduct or health of a judge and one copy of such record shall be provided to the judge at the expense of the Commission.

(c)(1) In the conduct of investigations and hearings under this section the Commission may administer oaths, order and otherwise provide for the inspection of books and records, and issue subpenas [subpoenas] for attendance of witnesses and the production of papers, books, accounts, documents, and testimony relevant to any such investigation or hearing. It may order a judge whose health is in issue to submit to a medical examination by a duly licensed physician designated by the Commission.

(2) Whenever a witness before the Commission refuses, on the basis of the witness’s privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce books, papers, documents, records, recordings, or other materials, and the Commission determines that the testimony or production of evidence is necessary to the conduct of its proceedings, it may order the witness to testify or produce the evidence. The Commission may issue the order no earlier than ten days after the day on which it served the Attorney General with notice of its intention to issue the order. The witness may not refuse to comply with the order on the basis of the witness’s privilege against self-incrimination, but no testimony or other information compelled under the order (or any information directly or indirectly derived from the testimony or production of evidence) may be used against the witness in any criminal case, nor may it be used as a basis for subjecting the witness to any penalty or forfeiture contrary to constitutional right or privilege. No witness shall be exempt under this subsection from prosecution for perjury committed while giving testimony or producing evidence under compulsion as provided in this subsection.

(3) If any person refuses to attend, testify, or produce any writing or things required by a subpena [subpoena] issued by the Commission, the Commission may petition the United States district court for the district in which the person may be found for an order compelling that person to attend and testify or produce the writings or things required by subpena [subpoena]. The court shall order the person to appear before it at a specified time and place and then and there shall consider why that person has not attended, testified, or produced writings or things as required. A copy of the order shall be served upon that person. If it appears to the court that the subpena [subpoena] was regularly issued, the court shall order the person to appear before the Commission at the time or place fixed in the order and to testify or produce the required writings or things. Failure to obey the order shall be punishable as contempt of court.

(4) In pending investigations or proceedings before it, the Commission may order the deposition of any person to be taken in such form and subject to such limitation as may be prescribed in the order. The Commission may file in the Superior Court a petition, stating generally, without identifying the judge, the nature of the pending matter, the name and residence of the person whose testimony is desired, and directions, if any, of the Commission requesting an order requiring the person to appear and testify before a designated officer. Upon the filing of the petition the Superior Court may order the person to appear and testify. A subpena [subpoena] for such deposition shall be issued by the clerk of the Superior Court and the deposition shall be taken and returned in the manner prescribed by law for civil actions.

(d) It shall be the duty of the United States marshals upon the request of the Commission to serve process and to execute all lawful orders of the Commission.

(e) Each witness, other than an officer or employee of the United States or the District of Columbia, shall receive for attendance the same fees, and all witnesses shall receive the allowances, prescribed by section 15-714 for witnesses in civil cases. The amount shall be paid by the Commission from funds appropriated to it.