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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 27, 2016.
District of Columbia Judicial Financial Transparency Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the District of Columbia Code to revise the financial disclosure requirements for District of Columbia judges. The revisions establish new dollar thresholds and requirements for reporting to the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure the financial interests of the judges and specified family members with respect to:
income; dividends, rents, interest, and capital gains; liabilities; gifts; real and personal property; honoraria; expense accounts or reimbursements for expenses; and waivers or partial waivers of fees or charges. The financial disclosure reports must be available for public inspection and copying, unless revealing personal and sensitive information could endanger the judge or a family member. A report may be redacted only: (1) to the extent necessary to protect the individual or family member, and (2) as long as the danger to the individual exists.
(Sec. 3) The Probate Divisions of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may use magistrate judges. (Sec. 4) DC courts may accept payment of fines, fees, escrow payments, restitution, bonds, and other payments by credit card or electronic funds transfer. The executive officer of the courts may contract with a bank or credit card vendor, or other third party provider, to accept such payments, making every effort to find the lowest cost vendor among them. (Sec. 5) The maximum amount in controversy for cases under the Small Claims and Conciliation Branch of DC Superior Court shall increase from $5,000 to $10,000. (Sec. 6) Each chief judge of the Superior Court or of the Court of Appeals, as appropriate, may delegate to an active or senior judge (in the court in which the chief judge sits) the authority to approve any compensation for court-appointed criminal defense or child abuse and neglect attorneys exceeding the usual maximum.