Thirty-two judges will be on the ballot Tuesday in five Utah judicial districts for a retention election made possible by recent changes in state law.
The judges were certified by the Utah Judicial Council to stand for retention election - a relatively new element of Utah law implemented when the Legislature changed statutes to eliminate the ability of a challenger to run against a judge.All circuit, trial and Court of Appeals judges must stand for retention votes after their first three years on the bench and every six years thereafter. Supreme Court justices are on the ballot every 10 years.
To be placed on the ballot for retention at all, the law requires, the judges must be evaluated and certified by the 14-member Judicial Council, which judges the judges in five areas.
The council first checks whether any disciplinary action was taken against the judge during his current term on the bench. The council then makes sure the judge meets constitutional and statutory requirements by being at least 25 and by living in the geographic area he serves.
The general health of the judge is considered, along with how effective the judge has been in managing the workload and whether the judge has been in compliance with the Code of Judicial Conduct.
"This certification process ensures that the judges of this state continue to serve at the highest level possible," State Court Administrator William C. Vickrey said.
Not only are 32 of the state's 90 judges on the ballot in their areas, many of them will be considered by voters in new areas because of the Legislature's changes in judicial boundaries this year.
On ballots statewide this year are Utah Supreme Court Justices I. Daniel Stewart and Michael D. Zimmerman.
Stewart, 56, was appointed to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Scott M. Matheson in 1979 and served as associate chief justice from 1986 to 1988. In 1986, he was voted Appellate Court Judge of the Year by members of the Utah State Bar. Stewart received his law degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1962.
Zimmerman, 45, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1984 by Matheson. He is a member of the following organizations: Utah Judicial Council, Gender and Justice Task Force, Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force and American Judicature Society. This year, he was voted Appellate Court Judge of the Year. He received his law degree from the U. in 1969.
In the 1st Judicial Circuit - Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties - Judge Robert W. Daines is up for retention.
Juvenile Court Judge Stephen A. Van Dyke will be on the ballot in the 1st and 2nd districts because he serves both areas. His jurisdiction includes Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Weber, Davis and Morgan counties.
In the 2nd District - Weber, Davis and Morgan counties - voters will consider the retention of District Judges Rodney S. Page and David E. Roth.
Page, 48, was appointed to the bench in 1984 and received his law degree from the U. in 1969. He is a member of the Board of District Judges.
Roth, 45, received his law degree from the U. in 1969 and was appointed to the bench in 1984. He is a member of the Utah Judicial Council, the Rules of Practice Committee and chairman of the Judicial Resources Committee.
In the 2nd Circuit, which includes the same three counties as the 2nd District, voters will consider Circuit Judges K. Roger Bean, Phillip H. Browning, S. Mark Johnson, Alfred Van Wagenen and W. Brent West.
In the 3rd District - Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties - voters will consider district trial judges Scott Daniels, J. Dennis Frederick, Timothy R. Hanson and John A. Rokich.
Daniels, 40, has served as presiding judge of the district since 1986. He is a member of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and the National Conference of State Trial Judges, Courts and the Community Committee. He was appointed to the 3rd District bench in 1982 and received his law degree from the U. in 1975.
Frederick, 48, was voted District Court Judge of the Year this year. He was appointed to the bench in 1982. He is a member of the Utah Judicial Council and chairman of the Legislative Liaison Committee. He received his law degree from the U. of U. in 1966.
Hanson, 45, appointed to the bench in 1982, serves as a member of these committees: the Utah Judicial Council, the Gender and Justice Task Force and the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence. Hanson received his law degree in 1970 from the U.
Rokich, 62, was appointed to the bench in 1984. He graduated from the U. College of Law in 1951. He is a member of the Board of District Court Judges.
Also, in the 3rd Circuit, voters will decide whether to retain judges Floyd H. Gowans, Paul G. Grant, LeRoy H. Griffiths, Maurice D. Jones, Sheila K. McCleve, Tyrone Medley, Philip K. Palmer, Eleanor S. Van-Sciver and Edward Watson.
Third District Juvenile Court Judges Arthur G. Christean and Franklyn B. Matheson also face retention votes.
Judges facing retention votes in the 4th District - Wasatch, Utah, Juab and Millard - are trial judges George E. Ballif and Ray M. Harding.
Ballif, 61, is presiding judge of the 4th District judges. He was appointed to the bench in 1971 and received his law degree from the U. in 1954. He is a member of the Judicial Council's Ethics Advisory Committee.
Harding, 54, is chairman of the ad hoc committee to review the Code of Judicial Conduct. He received his law degree from the U. in 1960 and was appointed to the bench in 1985. He also is a member of the District Court Judges board.
Fourth Circuit judges facing retention votes are Joseph I. Dimick, E. Patrick McGuire and Robert J. Sumsion.
In the 5th District _ Washington, Iron and Beaver counties _ voters will consider Circuit Judge Robert F. Owens for retention.
Ballots in some counties say "Vote for one" on judicial races, but voters should not interpret that to mean they can vote for only one judge. Rather, they should vote yes or no _ marking one box _ to each judge on the ballot.