In re Avera

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Professional Responsibility
  • Date Filed: 08-02-2012
  • Case #: S060338
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct 2-101, a judge's performance of judicial duties shall take precedence over all other activities and the judge shall not neglect the business of the court.

The Oregon Supreme Court reviews the censure of Avera, a Polk County Circuit Court Judge, specifically the accusation that Avera had neglectfully taken 506 days to issue his decision in a divorce case, despite numerous pleas from both parties over the course of nine months for a decision. Pursuant to ORS 1.420 through 1.430, the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability ("Commission") may investigate any complaint concerning the conduct of a judge, and it must follow certain procedures in doing so. These procedures allow the Commission and the accused judge to enter into a Stipulation of Facts, as well as to determine the appropriate sanction for the judge’s alleged conduct. The Commission and Avera agreed to a Stipulation of Facts and Consent to Censure, in which Avera stipulated that he engaged in conduct that violated the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct 2-101, and agreed with the Commission that censure was the appropriate sanction. Pursuant to ORS 1.420 and 1.430, the Supreme Court reviewed the Stipulation of Facts and the suggested disciplinary action, and approved the censure.

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