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Temporary assignment of judges rule amended to eliminate any appearance of impropriety

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Supreme Court of FloridaThe Supreme Court, acting on its own motion, has approved a change to Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.215 (Trial Court Administration) that governs the temporary assignment of judges.

“Specifically, we amend rule 2.215(b)(4) to remove the requirement that a chief judge of a circuit court seek the approval of the outside circuit chief judge before requesting the Chief Justice of this Court to temporarily assign an additional judge or judges from the outside circuit to duty in the requesting court,” Chief Justice Charles Canady wrote in the unanimous, May 12 opinion.

The amendment “is intended to eliminate the appearance of any impropriety that the requesting court is choosing the outside judge or judges, particularly in the context of the recusal of the requesting court,” the opinion states.

Justices noted that the amendment “also is consistent with Article V, section (2)(b) of the Florida Constitution, which provides that the Chief Justice of this Court ‘shall have the power to assign justices or judges, including consenting retired justices or judges, to temporary duty in any court for which the judge is qualified.’”

The amendment takes effect immediately. But noting that the change was not previously noticed, Justice Canady set a July 26 deadline for public comment.

The opinion, In Re: Amendment to Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.215, No. SC22-521, is available here.

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