7A-39.15. Emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals.

(a) A retired justice or judge of the Appellate Division of the General Court of Justice is eligible to be appointed as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals under the following circumstances:

(1) The justice or judge has retired under the provisions of the Consolidated Judicial Retirement Act, Article 4 of Chapter 135 of the General Statutes, or is eligible to receive a retirement allowance under that act;

(2) The justice or judge has not reached the mandatory retirement age specified in G.S. 7A-4.20;

(3) The justice or judge has served a total of at least five years as a judge or justice of the General Court of Justice, provided that at least six months was served in the Appellate Division, whether or not otherwise eligible to serve as an emergency justice or judge of the Appellate Division of the General Court of Justice;

(4) The judicial service of the justice or judge ended within the preceding 15 years; and

(5) The justice or judge has applied to the Governor for appointment as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals in the same manner as is provided for application in G.S. 7A-53. If the Governor is satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements of this section and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of a judge of the Court of Appeals, the Governor shall issue a commission appointing the applicant as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals until the applicant reaches the mandatory retirement age for judges of the Court of Appeals specified in G.S. 7A-4.20.

Any former justice or judge of the Appellate Division of the General Court of Justice who otherwise meets the requirements of this section to be appointed an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals, but who has already reached the mandatory retirement age for judges of the Court of Appeals set forth in G.S. 7A-4.20, may apply to the Governor to be appointed as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals as provided in this section. If the Governor issues a commission to the applicant, the retired justice or judge is subject to recall as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals as provided in this section.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals may recall and assign one or more emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals, not to exceed three at any one time, provided funds are available, if the Chief Judge determines that one or more emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals are necessary to discharge the court's business expeditiously.

(c) Any emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals appointed as provided in this section shall be subject to recall in the following manner:

(1) The judge shall consent to the recall;

(2) The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals may order the recall;

(3) Prior to ordering recall, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals shall be satisfied that the recalled judge is capable of efficiently and promptly discharging the duties of the office to which recalled;

(4) Orders of recall and assignment shall be in writing, evidenced by a commission signed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, and entered upon the minutes of the permanent records of the Court of Appeals;

(5) Compensation, expenses, and allowances of emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals are the same as for recalled emergency superior court judges under G.S. 7A-52(b);

(6) Emergency recall judges assigned under those provisions shall have the same powers and duties, when duly assigned to hold court, as provided for by law for judges of the Court of Appeals;

(7) Emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals are subject to assignment in the same manner as provided for by G.S. 7A-16 and G.S. 7A-19;

(8) Emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals shall be subject to rules adopted pursuant to G.S. 7A-39.8 regarding the filing of opinions and other matters;

(9) Emergency recall judges of the Court of Appeals shall be subject to the provisions and requirements of the Canons of Judicial Conduct during the term of assignment; and

(10) An emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals shall not engage in the practice of law during any period for which the emergency recall Court of Appeals judgeship is commissioned. However, this subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals appointed pursuant to this section from serving as a referee, arbitrator, or mediator during service as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals so long as the service does not conflict with or interfere with the judge's service as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals.

(d) A justice or judge commissioned as an emergency recall judge of the Court of Appeals is also eligible to receive a commission as an emergency special superior court judge. However, no justice or judge who has been recalled as provided in this section shall, during the period so recalled and assigned, contemporaneously serve as an emergency special superior court judge or emergency justice of the General Court of Justice. (1995, c. 108, s. 1.)