A. Whenever the Commission has probable cause to believe a judge is unable to perform his duties as a judge because of excessive use of alcohol or drugs or physical or mental illness, the Commission, after preliminary investigation by informal conference, may direct that the judge submit to a mental or physical examination by a health care provider approved by the Commission after consultation with the judge. The health care provider’s report shall be in writing. Upon request, the judge shall provide the Commission with all waivers and releases necessary to authorize the Commission to receive all medical records, reports, and information from any health care provider regarding the judge’s mental or physical condition.
B. Any judge ordered to be examined pursuant to this section shall be afforded reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing before such examination is conducted as to any matters regarding the examination and as to whether there is probable cause to believe that the judge is unable to perform his duties as a judge because of excessive use of alcohol or drugs or physical or mental illness. During such hearing, the judge shall have the right to call witnesses on his behalf.
C. All costs related to examinations conducted at the direction of the Commission shall be paid out of sums appropriated for the operation of the Commission. The failure of a judge to submit to an examination ordered pursuant to this section or to provide waivers and releases required by this section shall constitute grounds for a new charge.
1998, cc. 672, 862, § 2.1-37.12:2; 2001, c. 844.