7A-374.2. Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section shall apply throughout this Article:

(1) "Censure" means a finding by the Supreme Court, based upon a written recommendation by the Commission, that a judge has willfully engaged in misconduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute, but which does not warrant the suspension of the judge from the judge's judicial duties or the removal of the judge from judicial office. A censure may require that the judge follow a corrective course of action. Unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court, the judge shall personally appear in the Supreme Court to receive a censure.

(2) "Commission" means the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission.

(3) "Incapacity" means any physical, mental, or emotional condition that seriously interferes with the ability of a judge to perform the duties of judicial office.

(4) "Investigation" means the gathering of information with respect to alleged misconduct or disability.

(5) "Judge" means any justice or judge of the General Court of Justice of North Carolina, including any retired justice or judge who is recalled for service as an emergency judge of any division of the General Court of Justice.

(6) "Letter of caution" means a written action of the Commission that cautions a judge not to engage in certain conduct that violates the Code of Judicial Conduct as adopted by the Supreme Court.

(7) "Public reprimand" means a finding by the Supreme Court, based upon a written recommendation by the Commission that a judge has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct and has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, but that misconduct is minor. A public reprimand may require that the judge follow a corrective course of action.

(8) "Remove" or "removal" means a finding by the Supreme Court, based upon a written recommendation by the Commission, that a judge should be relieved of all duties of the judge's office and disqualified from holding further judicial office.

(9) "Suspend" or "suspension" means a finding by the Supreme Court, based upon a written recommendation by the Commission, that a judge should be relieved of the duties of the judge's office for a period of time, and upon conditions, including those regarding treatment and compensation, as may be specified by the Supreme Court. (2006-187, s. 11; 2013-404, s. 1.)