§51-9-9. Determination of eligibility for benefits.
Before any person is entitled to retirement benefits under the
provisions of this article, he or she shall submit proof of his or
her eligibility for retirement benefits to the Governor. If the
judge is still sitting, he or she shall at the same time tender to
the Governor his or her resignation as judge to the Governor upon
condition that, if the resignation is accepted, he or she will be
paid retirement benefits as provided in this article. Upon request
for retirement by a sitting judge, the governor shall investigate
to the extent he or she deems advisable to determine the judge's
eligibility. If the Governor determines that such person is
entitled to retirement benefits under the provisions of this
article, the Governor shall accept the resignation and certify the
facts and the amount of retirement benefits to be paid to the judge
upon retirement by a written order filed in the office of the
Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall, upon receipt of
the order, file a certified copy of the order with the State
Auditor, the Governor's office, the Supreme Court of Appeals'
administrative office and the Consolidated Public Retirement Board.
After accepting the judge's resignation, a vacancy is created in
the office of the retiring judge which shall be filled by
appointment or election as provided by law.