Professional Conduct Rules

Rules of the Trial Court Committee on Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Court

Professional Conduct Rules Committee on Professional Responsibility for Clerks Rule 7: Matters on appeal from a decision of a Chief Justice

Effective Date: 03/23/2015
Updates: Adopted effective March 23, 2015

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Rule 7

A Clerk may appeal to the Committee from a disciplinary sanction imposed by a Chief Justice that includes a recommendation of removal or a suspension without pay of any length by submitting a written request for appeal to the Committee within ten days of receipt of the decision of the Chief Justice. An appeal shall stay any suspension imposed by the Chief Justice unless the Committee determines otherwise. A Chief Justice may place a Clerk on paid administrative leave or, with the consent of the Clerk, specially assign the Clerk pending the final disposition of a complaint. A Chief Justice may specially assign a Clerk pending the final disposition of a complaint without the Clerk's consent only with the approval of the Supreme Judicial Court. 

Any discipline imposed by the Committee that does not include a suspension without pay or a recommendation for removal shall be final with no further appeal. 

A. Suspension without pay of fewer than three days

If the Chief Justice imposes a suspension without pay of fewer than three days, and the Clerk appeals, the Chief Justice shall provide the Committee with written findings and conclusions that support the discipline, and the Clerk may submit written objections to the findings and conclusions according to a schedule established by the Committee. The appeal shall consist of a hearing before the Committee at which the Clerk and the Chief Justice or their representatives may appear. The Clerk and the Chief Justice may also submit memoranda in support of their positions. After hearing and review of the memoranda, the Committee may affirm, increase or decrease the suspension. If the Committee affirms the suspension or imposes any suspension without pay that is fewer than three days, the Clerk may appeal the Committee's decision in accordance with the provisions of Rule 9. If the Committee decides to consider imposing a suspension without pay of three days or more, the Committee shall issue formal charges in accordance with Rule 8.

B. Suspension without pay of three days or more

If the Chief Justice imposes a suspension without pay of three days or more and the Clerk appeals, the appeal shall constitute a formal proceeding before the Committee, commencing with the issuance of formal charges by the Committee in accordance with Rule 8

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