§ 8-16-9. Retirement of judges for incapacity or disability.
(a) Whenever the commission shall, after investigation and hearing, determine that a judge has a physical or mental disability that seriously interfered and will continue to interfere with the performance of his or her duties, it may recommend to the supreme court the retirement of the judge, saving to the judge all retirement benefits that have accrued to him or her, if any. The investigation, hearing, and recommendation shall be confidential. A justice of the supreme court may not be retired under this section without his or her consent, and where consent to the retirement is withheld, a further recommendation shall be made to the speaker of the house of representatives to initiate proceedings for the removal of the judge pursuant to the provisions of article X, § 4 of the constitution.
(b) Whenever any judge has served in judicial office without having reached the prescribed age that would entitle him or her to retirement benefits, the commission, proceeding pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, may recommend to the supreme court that the judge be retired and that his or her pension rights be accelerated to become effective as of the date of his or her retirement. The supreme court may endorse the recommendation and may forward the recommendation to the general assembly for appropriate legislative action in order that his or her pension rights be so accelerated. Judges retired under this section shall be deemed to have retired voluntarily. Any judge shall be disqualified and prohibited from acting in his or her judicial capacity while any recommendation for his or her retirement, based upon physical or mental disability, is pending before the supreme court; provided, however, that the disqualification shall be without loss of compensation.
(P.L. 1974, ch. 136, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 204, § 2; P.L. 1987, ch. 492, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 30, § 3.)