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2021 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.492. Temporary extension and pro rata reduction of judicial branch education requirements

(a) Application

This rule applies to the requirements and expectations in the California Rules of Court relating to judicial branch education, except rule 10.491 on minimum education requirements for Judicial Council employees.

(b) Definitions

As used in this rule:

(1)  "Content-based education requirement" means a requirement or expectation of:

(A)  Attendance at any specific program;

(B)  A course of study on any specific topic or topics; or

(C)  A course of study limited to a specific delivery method, such as traditional (live, face-to-face) education.

(2)  "Hours-based education requirement" means a requirement or expectation of a specified number of hours of education to be completed within a specified time period.

(c) Content-based education requirement

Notwithstanding any other rule, any deadline for completion of a content-based education requirement or expectation is extended for 12 months from that deadline, even if the deadline has passed.

(d) Hours-based education requirement

Notwithstanding any other rule, the months of April 2020 through March 2021 are excluded from the education cycles in which those months fall, and the number of hours of education to complete hours-based education requirements or expectations is prorated accordingly.

(e) Sunset

This rule remains in effect through December 31, 2022, or until amended or repealed.

Rule 10.492 adopted effective January 1, 2021.

Advisory Committee Comment

Various rules in title 10, chapter 7, of the California Rules of Court authorize, for good cause, the granting of an extension of time to complete content-based and hours-based education requirements and expectations. Nothing in this rule modifies that authority.

Nothing in this rule alters education requirements and expectations outside the California Rules of Court, including education requirements mandated by statute or regulation (e.g., Welf. & Inst. Code, § 304.7) or required by Judicial Council policy (e.g., the Qualifying Ethics Program and the Temporary Assigned Judges Program).

Subdivision (c). This subdivision applies to all rules of court containing content-based education requirements. Below are examples of this subdivision in practice.

Rule 10.462(c)(1) contains education requirements for new trial court judges and subordinate judicial officers. Based on the date on which individuals took their oath of office, rule 10.462(c)(1) allows judges six months within which to attend the New Judge Orientation (NJO) program, one year within which to attend an orientation course in their primary assignment, and two years within which to attend the B. E. Witkin Judicial College of California.

Under rule 10.462(c)(1), a judge who took the oath of office on January 1, 2020, is required to complete these programs by June 30, 2020 (NJO), December 31, 2020 (primary assignment orientation), and December 31, 2021 (judicial college), respectively. With the 12-month extension under rule 10.492(c), this same judge now has to complete these programs by June 30, 2021 (NJO), December 31, 2021 (primary assignment orientation), and December 31, 2022 (judicial college), respectively.

As another example of the 12-month extension under rule 10.492(c), a judge who took the oath of office on December 1, 2018, needs to complete NJO by April 30, 2020 (within 18 months), a primary assignment orientation by November 30, 2020 (within two years), and the judicial college by November 30, 2021 (within three years).

Using a different rule as an example, rule 10.478(b)(1) requires court investigators to complete 18 hours of education on specified topics within 1 year of their start date. Rule 10.492(c) allows a court investigator up to 2 years to complete this education.

Subdivision (d). This subdivision applies to all rules of court containing hours-based education requirements. Below are examples of this subdivision in practice.

Rule 10.461(c)(1) contains education requirements for Supreme Court and Court of Appeal justices. Each justice must complete 30 hours of judicial education every three years.

Under rule 10.492(d), a justice's hours requirements are prorated for the three-year education cycle that runs from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021. For example, justices who were confirmed for appointment before January 1, 2019, must complete 20 hours of education by December 31, 2021.

Education hours requirements for justices who were confirmed for appointment on or after January 1, 2019, would be prorated by rule 10.492(d) and prorated additionally based on the number of years remaining in the three-year educational cycle. For example, a justice confirmed for appointment on October 1, 2020, ordinarily has 10 hours of hours-based education to complete for the last year of the three-year cycle. Under rule 10.492(d), the months of January 2021 through March 2021 would be excluded, and the justice would have 7.5 hours rather than 10 hours of hours-based education to complete.

As an additional example, rule 10.474(c)(2) requires 8 hours of continuing education every two years for nonmanagement court staff. For a court employee hired on or before January 1, 2020, rule 10.492(d) prorates the number of hours of education required for the cycle that runs from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021. The number of hours required would be prorated for 4 quarters-April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021-and would result in a reduced hours-based requirement of 4 hours.

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