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The DC Code: § 11-908 A. Special rules regarding assignment and service of judges of Family Court.

Index11 Organization and Jurisdiction of the Courts. (Refs & Annos)
a
Number of Judges. --
1
In general. -- The number of judges serving on the Family Court of the Superior Court shall be not more than 15.
2
Emergency Reassignment. -- If the chief judge determines that, in order to carry out the intent and purposes of the District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001, an emergency exists such that the number of judges needed on the Family Court of the Superior Court at any time is more than 15 --
A
the chief judge may temporarily reassign judges from other divisions of the Superior Court to serve on the Family Court who meet the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (b) or senior judges who meet the requirements of those paragraphs, except such reassigned judges shall not be subject to the term of service requirements set forth in subsection (c); and
B
the chief judge shall, within 30 days of emergency temporary reassignment pursuant to subparagraph (A), submit a report to the President and Congress describing --
i
the nature of the emergency;
ii
how the emergency was addressed, including which judges were reassigned; and
iii
whether and why an increase in the number of Family Court judges authorized in subsection (a)(1) may be necessary to serve the needs of families and children in the District of Columbia.
3
Composition. -- The total number of judges on the Superior Court may exceed the limit on such judges specified in section 11-903 to the extent necessary to maintain the requirements of this subsection if --
A
the number of judges serving on the Family Court is less than 15; and
B
the Chief Judge of the Superior Court --
i
is unable to secure a volunteer judge who is sitting on the Superior Court outside of the Family Court for reassignment to the Family Court;
ii
obtains approval of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration; and
iii
reports to Congress regarding the circumstances that gave rise to the necessity to exceed the cap.
b
Qualifications. -- The chief judge may not assign an individual to serve on the Family Court of the Superior Court or handle a Family Court case unless --
1
the individual has training or expertise in family law;
2
the individual certifies to the chief judge that the individual intends to serve the full term of service, except that this paragraph shall not apply with respect to individuals serving as senior judges under section 11-1504, individuals serving as temporary judges under section 11-908, and any other judge serving in another division of the Superior Court who is reassigned on an emergency temporary basis pursuant to subsection (a)(2);
3
the individual certifies to the chief judge that the individual will participate in the ongoing training programs carried out for judges of the Family Court under section 11-1104(c); and
4
the individual meets the requirements of section 433 of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act [D.C. Official Code § 1-204.33].
c
Term of Service. --
1
In general. -- Except as provided in paragraph (2), an individual assigned to serve as a judge of the Family Court of the Superior Court shall serve for a term of 5 years.
2
Special rule for judges serving on superior court on the date of enactment of the District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001. --
A
In general. -- An individual assigned to serve as a judge of the Family Court of the Superior Court who is serving as a judge of the Superior Court on the date of the enactment of the District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001 shall serve for a term of not fewer than 3 years.
B
Reduction of period for judges serving in family division. -- In the case of a judge of the Superior Court who is serving as a judge in the Family Division of the Court on the date of the enactment of the District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001 [January 8, 2002], the 3-year term applicable under subparagraph (A) shall be reduced by the length of any period of consecutive service as a judge in such Division immediately preceding the date of the enactment of such Act [January 8, 2002].
3
Assignment for additional service. -- After the term of service of a judge of the Family Court (as described in paragraph (1)) expires, at the judge's request and with the approval of the chief judge, the judge may be assigned for additional service on the Family Court for a period of such duration (consistent with section 431(c) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act [D.C. Official Code, § 1-204.31(c)]) as the chief judge may provide.
4
Permitting service on family court for entire term. -- At the request of the judge and with the approval of the chief judge, a judge may serve as a judge of the Family Court for the judge's entire term of service as a judge of the Superior Court under section 431(c) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act [D.C. Official Code, § 1-204.31(c)].
d
Reassignment to other divisions. -- The chief judge may reassign a judge of the Family Court to any division of the Superior Court if the chief judge determines that in the interest of justice the judge is unable to continue serving in the Family Court.

Historical and Statutory

Effect of Amendments Pub. L. 107-206, in subsec. (b)(4), substituted "section 433 of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act" for "section 11-1501(b)". Miscellaneous Notes Section 2(b) to (d) of Pub. L. 107-114 provides: (b) "PLAN FOR FAMILY COURT TRANSITION.-- (1) "IN GENERAL.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 8, 2002], the chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall prepare and submit to the President and Congress a transition plan for the Family Court of the Superior Court, and shall include in the plan the following: (A) "The chief judge's determination of the role and function of the presiding judge of the Family Court. (B) "The chief judge's determination of the number of judges needed to serve on the Family Court. (C) "The chief judge's determination of the number of magistrate judges of the Family Court needed for appointment under section 11-1732, District of Columbia Code. (D) "The chief judge's determination of the appropriate functions of such magistrate judges, together with the compensation of and other personnel matters pertaining to such magistrate judges. (E) "A plan for case flow, case management, and staffing needs (including the needs for both judicial and nonjudicial personnel) for the Family Court, including a description of how the Superior Court will handle the one family, one judge requirement pursuant to section 11-1104(a) for all cases and proceedings assigned to the Family Court. (F) "A plan for space, equipment, and other physical plant needs and requirements during the transition, as determined in consultation with the Administrator of General Services. (G) "An analysis of the number of magistrate judges needed under the expedited appointment procedures established under section 6(d) in reducing the number of pending actions and proceedings within the jurisdiction of the Family Court (as described in section 11-902(d), District of Columbia, as amended by subsection (a)). (H) "Consistent with the requirements of paragraph (2), a proposal for the disposition or transfer to the Family Court of child abuse and neglect actions pending as of the date of enactment of this Act (which were initiated in the Family Division but remain pending before judges serving in other Divisions of the Superior Court as of such date) in a manner consistent with applicable Federal and District of Columbia law and best practices, including best practices developed by the American Bar Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. (I) "An estimate of the number of cases for which the deadline for disposition or transfer to the Family Court, specified in paragraph (2)(B), cannot be met and the reasons why such deadline cannot be met. (2) "IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN FOR TRANSFER OR DISPOSITION OF ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS TO FAMILY COURT.-- (A) "IN GENERAL.--Except as provided in subparagraph (C), the chief judge of the Superior Court and the presiding judge of the Family Court shall take such steps as may be required as provided in the proposal for disposition of actions and proceedings under paragraph (1)(H) to ensure that each child abuse and neglect action of the Superior Court (as described in section 11-902(d), District of Columbia Code, as amended by subsection (a)) is transferred to the Family Court or otherwise disposed of as provided in subparagraph (B). (B)"DEADLINE.-- (i) "IN GENERAL.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act and except as provided in subparagraph (C), no child abuse or neglect action shall remain pending with a judge not serving on the Family Court upon the expiration of 18 months after the filing of the transition plan required under paragraph (1). (ii) "RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.--The chief judge of the Superior Court should make every effort to provide for the earliest practicable disposition of actions. Nothing in this subparagraph shall preclude the immediate transfer of cases to the Family Court, particularly cases which have been filed with the court for less than 6 months prior to the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 8, 2002]. (C) "RETAINED CASES.--Child abuse and neglect cases that were initiated in the Family Division but remain pending before judges, including senior judges as defined in section 11-1504, District of Columbia Code, in other Divisions of the Superior Court as of the date of enactment of this Act may remain before judges, including senior judges, in such other Divisions when-- (i) "the case remains at all times in full compliance with Public Law 105-89, if applicable; and (ii) "the chief judge determines, in consultation with the presiding judge of the Family Court, based on the record in the case and any unique expertise, training, or knowledge of the case that the judge might have, that permitting the judge to retain the case would lead to permanent placement of the child more quickly than reassignment to a judge in the Family Court. (D) "PRIORITY FOR CERTAIN ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS.--The chief judge of the Superior Court, in consultation with the presiding judge of the Family Court, shall give priority consideration to the disposition or transfer of the following actions and proceedings: (i) "The action or proceeding involves an allegation of abuse or neglect. (ii) "The action or proceeding was initiated in the family division prior to the 2-year period which ends on the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 8, 2002]. (iii) "The judge to whom the action or proceeding is assigned as of the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 8, 2002] is not assigned to the Family Division. (E) "PROGRESS REPORTS.--The chief judge of the Superior Court shall submit reports to the President, to the Committee on Appropriations of each House, the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives at 6-month intervals for a period of 2 years after the date of submission of the transition plan required under paragraph (1) on the progress made towards disposing of actions or proceedings described in subparagraph (B). (F) "RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.--Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the chief judge, in consultation with the presiding judge of the Family Court, from transferring actions or proceedings pending before judges outside the Family Court at the enactment of this Act which do not involve allegations of abuse and neglect but which would otherwise fall under the jurisdiction of the Family Court to judges in the Family Court prior to the deadline as defined in subparagraph 2(B), particularly if such transfer would result in more efficient resolution of such actions or proceedings. (3) "EFFECTIVE DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF PLAN.--The chief judge of the Superior Court may not take any action to implement the transition plan under this subsection until the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date the chief judge submits the plan to the President and Congress under paragraph (1). (c) "TRANSITION TO REQUIRED NUMBER OF JUDGES.-- (1) "ANALYSIS BY CHIEF JUDGE OF SUPERIOR COURT.--The chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall include in the transition plan prepared under subsection (b)-- (A) "the chief judge's determination of the number of individuals serving as judges of the Superior Court who-- (i) "meet the qualifications for judges of the Family Court of the Superior Court under section 11-908A, District of Columbia Code (as added by subsection (a)); and (ii) "are willing and able to serve on the Family Court; and (B) "if the chief judge determines that the number of individuals described in subparagraph (A) is less than 15, a request that the Judicial Nomination Commission recruit and the President nominate (in accordance with section 433 of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act) such additional number of individuals to serve on the Superior Court who meet the qualifications for judges of the Family Court under section 11-908A, District of Columbia Code, as may be required to enable the chief judge to make the required number of assignments. (2) "ROLE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA JUDICIAL NOMINATION COMMISSION.--For purposes of section 434(d)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, the submission of a request from the chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia under paragraph (1)(B) shall be deemed to create a number of vacancies in the position of judge of the Superior Court equal to the number of additional appointments so requested by the chief judge, except that the deadline for the submission by the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission of nominees to fill such vacancies shall be 90 days after the creation of such vacancies. In carrying out this paragraph, the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission shall recruit individuals for possible nomination and appointment to the Superior Court who meet the qualifications for judges of the Family Court of the Superior Court. (d) "REPORT BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL.-- (1) "IN GENERAL.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall prepare and submit to Congress and the chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia a report on the implementation of this Act (including the implementation of the transition plan under subsection (b)), and shall include in the report the following: (A) "An analysis of the procedures used to make the initial appointments of judges of the Family Court under this Act and the amendments made by this Act, including an analysis of the time required to make such appointments and the effect of the qualification requirements for judges of the Court (including requirements relating to the length of service on the Court) on the time required to make such appointments. (B) "An analysis of the impact of magistrate judges for the Family Court (including the expedited initial appointment of magistrate judges for the Court under section 6(d)) on the workload of judges and other personnel of the Court. (C) "An analysis of the number of judges needed for the Family Court, including an analysis of how the number may be affected by the qualification requirements for judges, the availability of magistrate judges, and other provisions of this Act or the amendments made by this Act. (D) "An analysis of the timeliness of the resolution and disposition of pending actions and proceedings required under the transition plan (as described in paragraphs (1)(I) and (2) of subsection (b)), including an analysis of the effect of the availability of magistrate judges on the time required to resolve and dispose of such actions and proceedings. (2) "SUBMISSION TO CHIEF JUDGE OF SUPERIOR COURT.--Prior to submitting the report under paragraph (1) to Congress, the Comptroller General shall provide a preliminary version of the report to the chief judge of the Superior Court and shall take any comments and recommendations of the chief judge into consideration in preparing the final version of the report." References in Text The District of Columbia Family Court Act of 2001, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2), (c)(2), (c)(2)(A), and (c)(2)(B), is Pub. L. 107-114, 115 Stat. 2100, Jan. 8, 2002. DC CODE § 11-908A Current through December 11, 2012

Credits

(Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 2101, Pub. L. 107-114, § 3(a); Aug. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 847, Pub. L. 107-206, § 406.)