How Does the Idaho Court of Appeals Work?
Section 1–2402 of the Idaho Statutes created the Idaho Court of Appeals. The court is an intermediate appellate court that is subordinate to the Idaho Supreme Court. It has an official seal and is a court of record. The Idaho Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to hear and determine cases assigned to it by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can, however, not assign the following types of cases to the Court of Appeals:
- Cases that presses the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
- Appeals from the imposition of verdicts of capital punishment in criminal matters
- Appeals resulting from the industrial commission
- Appeals from the public utility commission
Before assigning any case to the Court of Appeals, the Idaho Supreme Court gives due consideration to each court’s workload, the error review and correction purposes of the court of appeals. The Supreme Court also considers the desirability of keeping those cases with substantial public interest or have significant issues that need clarification or development of the law.
However, even when the Supreme Court transfers a case to the Idaho Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court may, upon the motion of a party, its own motion, or recommendation of the court of appeals, revoke the transfer. In such cases, the Supreme Court then hears and determines the matter. Note, any party to a case that is aggrieved by the Court of Appeals’ decision may petition the Idaho Supreme Court to review the judgment within 21 days after the said decision at its discretion.
There must only be one filing and one filing fee in any appeal to the Idaho Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is in charge of establishing the most expeditious and convenient procedures for filing appeals. Note, whether the appeal is filed at the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, all appeals are treated as one appeal process under the juror supreme court’s jurisdiction. All the appeals are processed in the Supreme Court unless or until assigned to the Idaho Court of Appeals.
The Idaho Court of Appeals consists of four judges that sit in panels of not less than three judges. The judges are elected using the nonpartisan election system and serve for a term of six years. The Supreme Court may, from time to time, assign cases in other courts to a Court of Appeals judge. In such situations, the Court of Appeals judge has the same duties, functions, and powers of a judge of the court originally in charge of the case.
However, no judge is allowed to participate in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court review of a case the judge participated in while serving on the district court or court of appeals. To be eligible for the position of an Idaho Court of Appeals judge, a person must meet the following criteria:
- Be up to 30 years of age.
- Be a U.S. citizen and an elector in Idaho.
- Have been a resident of the State for at least two consecutive years before the election or appointment.
- Have been in good standing as a judicial or active member of the State Bar for least two consecutive years before the election or appointment.
- Have a license to practice law, or must have held a judicial office on one or more jurisdictions for at least ten consecutive years before the election or appointment.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints the chief judge of the Idaho Court of Appeals for a term not exceeding two years. The chief judge exercises administrative powers as is delegated by the full membership of the court, as long as it is not in conflict with supreme court rules. The chief judge receives an annual salary greater than the annual salary of a judge of the Court of Appeals by $3000 to compensate for the office’s additional duties.
The Court of Appeals judges are prohibited from assuming any other office of profit or trust while in office. The judges can also not act as counsel or attorneys in courts, except in a proceeding or action where the Court of Appeals judge is a party on the record. In addition to this, the Idaho Court of Appeals judges are not permitted to have a partner acting as counsel or attorney in any court of the State. A judge may be removed or disciplined for any of the following conduct:
- Intentional misconduct in office
- Purposeful and persistent failure to carry out the duties of the office
- Habitual intemperance
- Activities that are harmful to the administration of justice that brings disrepute to the judicial office
A Court of Appeals judge may also be retired if the judge has a disability that seriously impedes the performance of official duties or that is likely to become permanent. The State of Idaho has a judicial council that is in charge of the determination of retiring, removing, and disciplining judges. Before doing any of that, the judicial council may decide to carry out a hearing regarding the removal, retirement, or discipline of a judge.
Otherwise, it may request the Idaho Supreme Court to appoint three special masters, who are justices or judges, to attend to and take evidence in any such issues, and to submit the findings to the council. If the judicial council believes that there is good reason, it recommends the discipline, retirement, or removal of the Court of Appeals judge.
On receiving such a recommendation, the Supreme Court reviews the case’s record on the facts and law. It may then choose to permit the introduction of more evidence and may order the removal, discipline, or retirement, as it considers just and proper, or completely reject the recommendation. If the judge is retired, the judge is entitled to the same rights and privileges of retirement. On the other hand, if the Court of Appeals judge is removed from office, the judge’s salary ceases from the date of the order.
Note, the Court of Appeals is subject to the Idaho Supreme Court’s administrative policies and procedures. The Clerk of the Supreme Court also serves as the Clerk of the Idaho Court of Appeals. The person appointed must not practice as a counselor or attorney, or be surety for bail in any Court of Appeals case. The clerk is responsible for demanding, charging, and collecting payments for services rendered in discharging the duties of the office.
The Idaho Court of Appeals clerk also administers oaths and takes acknowledgments of deeds and instruments of writing under the office’s seal. The principal office of the Idaho Court of Appeals and the chambers of the judges, with some exceptions, is at Boise, Idaho. The court sits at Boise, but may also sit in other places if it considers it convenient for the conduct of its business.
The Idaho Court has a modern electronic online judicial system where citizens may obtain county contact information, search for Idaho Court of Appeals court records, or make payments. Interested persons may also contact the clerk of the Supreme Court for Idaho Court of Appeals case records. To contact the Office of the Clerk, call (208) 334–2210, or send a mail, or visit in-person at: