A proposal filed for the 2017 Arkansas legislation would remove judicial immunity, the principle that a judge cannot be sued in his or her personal capacity for official acts, in cases of bribery.
- a criminal proceeding in which the judge took a plea deal or was found guilty of bribery or
- the judge was fined, removed, or otherwise disciplined by the Supreme Court or the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for bribery.
The bill appears to be a response to a case in 2015 involving Circuit Court Judge Michael Maggio. The former judge pleaded guilty in January 2015 to a federal charge that he accepted a bribe in exchange for reducing a negligence jury verdict. The plaintiffs in the negligence case then sued Maggio, but the case against the former judge was dismissed in March 2015 due to judicial immunity.