Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics
Canon 6. A judge should regularly file reports of his financial interests
A judge may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for the quasi-judicial and extra-judicial activities permitted by these canons, if the source of such payments does not give the appearance of influencing the judge in his judicial duties or otherwise give the appearance of impropriety, subject to the following restrictions:
A. COMPENSATION. Compensation should not exceed a reasonable amount, nor should it exceed what a person who is not a judge would receive for the same activity.
B. EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT. Expense reimbursement should be limited to the actual cost of travel, food, and lodging reasonably incurred by the judge and, where appropriate to the occasion, by his spouse. Any payment in excess of such an amount is compensation.
C. A judge, at the time he or she takes the oath of office, or a candidate for judicial office, within 10 days after qualifying, shall file as a public document with the clerk of the supreme court a “statement of economic interests” on the form prepared and prescribed by the state ethics commission or its successor and shall disclose his or her economic interests as other state officers or candidates are required to disclose by any state ethics law. All judges who have not filed such a statement of economic interests previously shall file the same on or before the thirtieth day of March, 1976. After the original filing of said statement of economic interests a judge shall file a current statement of his economic interests with the clerk of the supreme court on or before the thirtieth day of April of each year thereafter.
In addition to the statement of economic interests a judge shall file at the same time a “disclosure statement of financial interests.” The disclosure statement of financial interests shall be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court who shall keep such envelope sealed in a safe and secure place. The disclosure statement of financial interests shall contain a list of names of proprietorships, companies, corporations and/or partnerships in which he owns a financial interest and a list of the names of creditors to whom he owes money.
Any lawyer or litigant desiring to inquire as to a judge’s possible conflict of interests in a case in which the lawyer or litigant is involved may do so by contacting the Clerk of the Supreme Court for a determination of whether a conflict of interests exists. The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall examine such disclosure statement of financial interests in camera and reseal it after examination. Should no conflict exist, this fact should be made known to the party or lawyer making the inquiry. Should a conflict exist, this fact shall be made known to the party or litigant making the inquiry and be brought to the attention of the judge, who shall forthwith recuse himself.
[Amended 6-5-79, eff. 6-30-79.]