Model Rules for Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement

Section III. Disciplinary Proceedings
Rule 20. Answer

  1. Time. The respondent shall file a written answer with the commission and serve a copy on disciplinary counsel within [20] days after service of the formal charges, unless the time is extended by the hearing panel.
  2. Waiver of Privilege. The raising of a mental or physical condition as a defense constitutes a waiver of medical privilege pursuant to Rule 27.D(4).

Commentary
The respondent is required to answer the formal charges as a part of a judge's duty as a public official. Commission rules should prescribe the time for response and other time intervals.

The answer should contain denials of those factual allegations known or believed to be untrue. It should also specify those factual allegations as to which the respondent lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief. This has the effect of a denial. All other factual allegations in the formal charges are deemed admitted. The answer may also contain affirmative and other defenses and may assert that the conduct alleged in the formal charges is not misconduct.

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