If by reason of death, sickness or other disability, resignation, retirement, expiration of term, removal from office, or other reason, a judge before whom an action has been tried or a hearing has been held is unable to perform the duties to be performed by the court under these rules after a verdict is returned or a trial or hearing is otherwise concluded, then those duties, including entry of judgment, may be performed:
(1) In actions in the superior court by the judge senior in point of continuous service on the superior court regularly holding the courts of the district. If this judge is under a disability, then the resident judge of the district senior in point of service on the superior court may perform those duties. If a resident judge, while holding court in the judge's own district suffers disability and there is no other resident judge of the district, such duties may be performed by a judge of the superior court designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
(2) In actions in the district court, by the chief judge of the district, or if the chief judge is disabled, by any judge of the district court designated by the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
If the substituted judge is satisfied that he or she cannot perform those duties because the judge did not preside at the trial or hearing or for any other reason, the judge may, in the judge's discretion, grant a new trial or hearing. (1967, c. 954, s. 1; 2001-379, s. 7.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014