John R. Scott
State of Arkansas Circuit Court
Nineteenth Judicial District West, Division IV
Benton County Courthouse
102 N.E. "A" Street, Box 12
Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
Dear Judge Scott:
capacity as administrative judge, you have asked whether the
circuit judges may appoint a part-time district judge to perform
judicial duties at the county jail. The judge would function
in a capacity similar to a magistrate; that is, reviewing probable
cause affidavits, issuing search warrants and arrest warrants,
conducting bail bond hearings, appointing the Public Defender,
and similar tasks. For these services the judge would be compensated
by the county, over and above the compensation received for
serving as the district judge.
Code of Judicial Conduct permits a continuing part-time judge
(such as a district judge) to engage in the private practice
of law, to own and operate a business, to be a director of a
bank, to be compensated for speeches or books, and to participate
in similar activities. Application Section; Canon 4(D). Like
a full time judge, a part time judge is to avoid the appearance
of impropriety, to conduct his extra judicial affairs so as
to minimize conflict with judicial obligations, and to receive
only reasonable compensation for the work done.
nothing in the Code of Judicial Conduct that bars a district
judge from accepting additional judicial responsibilities and
from being compensated for them. The county could hire or appoint
a non judge to perform these judicial duties. But the Code does
not bar a district judge from also performing them.
However, we are unable to answer other questions that may be
appropriate. For example, does statutory law bar a part-time
judge from receiving additional compensation for other judicial
services performed in the same county?
what are the proper duties of a part-time district judge? It
may be well be concluded that the duties of the judge necessarily
include the functions that you describe in your letter. In that
case, they would fall within the regular salary paid to the
judge, and no extra compensation is required.
which fall outside our authority, are more appropriately addressed
to the Attorney General, the Administrative Office of the Courts,
the Quorum Court, or other authority.
conclusion is that the Code of Judicial Conduct does not prohibit
extra compensation, nor does it provide a basis to demand or
require such compensation.
For the Committee