§ 8-8-9 Vacancies.
(a) Whenever any person appointed to the office of chief judge or associate judge shall fail to accept and qualify for the office or there is a vacancy in the office caused by death, resignation, retirement, removal, or any other cause whatsoever while the senate is in session, the governor shall appoint some person to fill the vacancy, and submit his or her appointment to the senate for confirmation in accordance with the general laws governing judicial selection.
(b) Whenever the chief judge shall be unable, by reason of illness, to perform the duties of his or her office, or there is a vacancy in the office, the associate judge having precedence, who is present and qualified to act, shall perform the duties of the office until the inability is removed or, in the case of a vacancy, until the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the general laws governing judicial selection. In the event that the chief judge determines that his or her absence will prevent him or her from performing the duties of his or her office, he or she shall designate an associate judge to perform those duties during the period of his or her absence.
(c) The associate judges shall have precedence according to the dates of their commissions, or when the commission of two (2) or more of them bear the same date, according to their ages.
(P.L. 1969, ch. 239, § 4; P.L. 1977, ch. 263, § 2; P.L. 1982, ch. 349, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 42, § 4.)