(A) A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties or their lawyers, concerning a pending* or impending matter,* except as follows:
(2) A judge may obtain the written advice of a disinterested expert on the law applicable to a proceeding before the judge, if the judge gives advance notice to the parties of the person to be consulted and the subject matter of the advice to be solicited, and affords the parties a reasonable opportunity to object and respond to the notice and to the advice received.
(3) A judge may consult with court staff and court officials whose functions are to aid the judge in carrying out the judge’s adjudicative responsibilities, or with other judges, provided the judge makes reasonable efforts to avoid receiving factual information that is not part of the record, and does not abrogate the responsibility personally to decide the matter.
(5) A judge may initiate, permit, or consider any ex parte communication when expressly authorized by law* to do so.
(6) A judge may initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications when serving on therapeutic or problem-solving courts, mental health courts, or drug courts, if such communications are authorized by protocols known and consented to by the parties. In this capacity, judges may assume a more interactive role with parties, treatment providers, probation officers, social workers, and others.
(7) A judge may initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications with persons supervising individuals placed on pretrial release programs or house arrest programs, if such communications are authorized by protocols known and consented to by the parties.
(B) If a judge inadvertently receives an unauthorized ex parte communication bearing upon the substance of a matter, the judge shall make provision promptly to notify the parties of the substance of the communication and provide the parties with an opportunity to respond.
(D) A judge shall make reasonable efforts, including providing appropriate supervision, to ensure that this Rule is not violated by court staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.
This page was last modified on Monday, October 22, 2012