Opinion 33

Rule 2.11(A)  provides that “Judges shall disqualify themselves in any proceeding in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

The Commission has been asked for an opinion concerning whether the ongoing Canon disqualifies a Judge of the Superior Court whose son serves as District Attorney from signing a rule nisi or similar order setting the time and place for a hearing on various criminal matters such as juvenile adjudicatory or dispositional hearings, probation revocations, and the like, which would be heard and disposed of by another judge in the circuit.

It appears to the Commission that the quoted Canon impliedly refers to the adjudicatory process wherein the judge passes upon the rights of a party and would not prevent a judge, otherwise disqualified to pass on the merits, from acting purely administratively in setting a matter down for hearing to be held and disposed of by another judge.

The foregoing assumes that, in issuing an order of the character described, the peculiar facts and circumstances relating thereto do not preliminarily require the judge to make a judicial determination of any question as a prelude to the issuance of the order. See: Garland v. The State, 110 Ga. App. 756.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rules 1.2(B), 2.11(A). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #20, #71, #72, #84, #93, #128, #140, #168.]

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