February 7, 1996


TO: All Magistrates and Municipal Judges
FROM: Derrick K. McFarland
RE: Rubber-Stamping of Judge's Signatures

The Board of Commissioners on Judicial Standards, by letter of its Executive Secretary dated November 3, 1981, gave notice of its disapproval of the practice of rubber-stamping a judge's signature on original legal documents. Therefore, the procedure of rubber-stamping signatures in certain instances should not be used. Also, in a memorandum dated March 1, 1989, Chief Justice George T. Gregory stated:

It has come to my attention that some judges are using signature stamps to sign orders. This practice is not appropriate and should be discontinued. Signature stamps are subject to being used by unauthorized persons and the validity of any order signed with a stamp can be questioned. Judges should personally sign all orders.

The judge should personally sign all orders and original charging legal documents such as arrest and search warrants, etc. The Commission would not preclude the use of a stamp or designation of an individual by the judge to execute receipts or ticket "sign offs" on his behalf.