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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.701. Qualifications and education of subordinate judicial officers

(a) Definition

For purposes of this rule, "subordinate judicial officer" means a person appointed by a court to perform subordinate judicial duties as authorized by article VI, section 22 of the California Constitution, including a commissioner, a referee, and a hearing officer.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Qualifications

Except as provided in (d), a person is ineligible to be a subordinate judicial officer unless the person is a member of the State Bar and:

(1)  Has been admitted to practice law in California for at least 10 years or, on a finding of good cause by the presiding judge, for at least 5 years; or

(2)  Is serving as a subordinate judicial officer in a trial court as of January 1, 2003.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Education

A subordinate judicial officer must comply with the education requirements of any position to which he or she is assigned, even if it is not his or her principal assignment. Such requirements include the following, as applicable: rules 5.30, 5.340, and 10.462 of the California Rules of Court, and Welfare and Institutions Code section 304.7.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2017; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Juvenile referees and hearing officers

A person appointed as a juvenile referee or as a hearing officer under Welfare and Institutions Code sections 255 or 5256.1 must meet the qualification requirements established by those sections. Such a person is ineligible to exercise the powers and perform the duties of another type of subordinate judicial officer unless he or she meets the qualifications established in (b).

(Subd (d) amended effective July 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 10.701 amended effective January 1, 2017; adopted as rule 6.660 effective January 1, 2003; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective July 1, 2008.

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