CA Assembly Bill 1028 | NNA
Law

CA Assembly Bill 1028

Notary Law Update: CA Assembly Bill 1028

State: California

Summary:

Assembly Bill 1028 permits a former judge or justice who is retired by the Supreme Court for disability to administer oaths and affirmations, if certified by the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP). This bill also permits former judges and justices certified before January 1, 2016, to continue to administer oaths and affirmations until January 1, 2017, before needing to reapply for certification.

Signed:  September 21, 2015

Effective:  January 01, 2016

Chapter: 308

Affects:

Amends Section 2093 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 1225 of the Government Code

Changes:
  1. Authorizes a former judge or justice of a California court who retired or resigned from the bench to administer oaths and affirmations if the judge or justice is certified by the CJP and a formal disciplinary proceeding was not pending at the time of retirement or resignation.
  2. Provides that a former judge or justice of a California court who retired or resigned from the bench may apply to the CJP to receive certification to administer oaths and affirmations.
  3. Requires a certification application to be accompanied by a medical certification, and if the medical certification indicates that the applicant does not have a medical condition that would impair his or her ability to administer oaths and affirmations, would require the CJP to issue the certification.
  4. Provides that a certification to administer oaths and affirmations is valid for five years from the date of issuance.
  5. Provides that, if an applicant’s medical certification indicates that the applicant has a medical condition that may impair his or her ability to administer oaths and affirmations, but does not do so at the time the medical certification is submitted with the application, the CJP must issue a certification to administer oaths and affirmations that is valid for two years from the date of issuance.
  6. Provides that a former judge or justice who received a certification to administer oaths and affirmations from the CJP before January 1, 2016, may continue to administer oaths and affirmations until January 1, 2017, at which time he or he must reapply for certification.
Analysis:

In California, every court, judge, justice, and clerk has the power to administer oaths or affirmations. With respect to former judges or justices of a court who have retired from office, those individuals can administer oaths or affirmations if they request, and, the CJP certifies that there was no formal disciplinary proceeding pending at the time of retirement or resignation. However, existing law does not allow a judge or justice who was retired by the Supreme Court for disability to be certified to administer oaths or affirmations. 

According to the bill author, two cases of judicial abuse in the 1970s and 1980s led to a backlash in the Legislature. One judge who lost reelection because of his reputation as an absentee judge retired on disability and collected a pension. Another judge convicted of a crime of moral turpitude did the same and collected a pension while in prison. Legislation enacted in reaction to these cases allowed retired judges to administer oaths and affirmations, but excluded judges retired from disability. In recent years some of the backlash subsided and further reforms of the judicial system made the prior actions by the Legislature unnecessary. However, these reforms did not allow former judges retired from disability to administer oaths and affirmations. AB 1028 corrects this.

Read the bill text.

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