|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page

2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.602. Selection and term of presiding judge

(a) Selection

(1)Courts with three or more judges

Each court that has three or more judges must select a presiding judge. Selection of the presiding judge may be by secret ballot. The court should establish an internal local rule or policy for the selection of the presiding judge and assistant presiding judge, if any.

(2)Two-judge courts

In a court having two judges, the selection of the presiding judge must conform to Government Code section 69508.5. If selection cannot be agreed on and neither judge has at least four years of experience, the senior judge must hold the office of presiding judge until both judges have at least four years of experience.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.)

(b) Requisite experience and waiver

A presiding judge must have at least four years of experience as a judge, unless this requirement is waived by a majority vote of the judges of the court. Nomination and selection of a presiding judge should take into consideration the judge's:

(1) Management and administrative ability;

(2) Interest in serving in the position;

(3) Experience and familiarity with a variety of trial court assignments;

(4) Ability to motivate and educate other judicial officers and court personnel;

(5) Ability to evaluate the strengths of the court's bench officers and make assignments based on those strengths as well as the best interests of the public and the court; and

(6) Other appropriate factors.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.)

(c) Term

A presiding judge in a court with two judges must be elected for a term of not less than one year. A presiding judge in a court with three or more judges must be elected for an initial term of not less than two years. The presiding judge may be elected for additional terms. The court may change the duration of the initial or additional term by local rule or policy so long as the initial term is not less than the duration specified in this rule. A presiding judge may be removed by a majority vote of the judges of the court.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.)

(d) Assistant presiding judge and acting presiding judge

(1)The court may elect an assistant presiding judge.

(2)If the court's internal local rule or policy does not provide for the designation of an acting presiding judge to serve if the presiding judge is absent or unable to act, the presiding judge must designate one.

(3)The court should provide the assistant presiding judge with training to foster an orderly succession to the office of presiding judge.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.)

(e) Caseload adjustment

To the extent possible, the judicial caseload should be adjusted to provide the presiding judge with sufficient time and resources to devote to the management and administrative duties of the office.

Rule 10.602 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 6.602 effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.

Advisory Committee Comment

The internal local rule described in this rule relates only to the internal management of the court, and as such is exempt from the requirements in rule 10.613. (See rule 10.613(j).)

[ Back to Top ]