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How can I reach the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center?

You may contact the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center in any of the following ways:

Phone: 1-888-600-5232

E-mail: jcec@nycourts.gov

Fax: 212-401-9029

Mail: Judicial Campaign Ethics Center
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street, Room 867
New York, New York 10004

Our hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for court holidays.

Please note: If you are not a judicial candidate with a question about your own campaign conduct, please visit our "FAQs for the Public" page for resources that may be helpful with your question, comment, or complaint.

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How can I obtain advice about ethical issues in my campaign?

Consider Calling First

Many candidates find that calling the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center is a helpful first step that helps them refine, or even resolve, their inquiry before they write in for formal guidance.

You may call 888-600-5232 for informal guidance during regular court hours.

 

Seeking Formal Written Guidance

Once you decide to write in (via e-mail or fax 212-401-9029), to expedite your response, please be sure to:

  1. Identify yourself.  Please provide your name, and a home or office mailing address, to help confirm your identity.
  2. Provide your telephone number.  We may need to contact you for clarification, particularly if your request raises potentially significant or time-sensitive issues.
  3. State which judicial office you are seeking.  Remember that you may be a “candidate” under the Rules even if you are uncertain whether you will be endorsed, designated or nominated by a political party.
  4. Set forth all facts relevant to your inquiry.  If you omit significant details, you may not be able to rely on the resulting opinion.
  5. Clearly describe the prospective campaign conduct you wish to engage in, or the steps you would like to take.  The focus must be on your own proposed conduct. You may include copies of draft campaign materials for the Subcommittee to review. Please note that if you wish the Subcommittee to review draft language on your campaign website, you must include actual printouts or images of the specific page(s) or language that you wish the Subcommittee to review.

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What is the typical response time for a written opinion?

The JCEC will send you an e-mail or fax containing the response to your inquiry and will make every effort to respond to your inquiry in approximately two business days.

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Is my inquiry confidential?

The Judicial Campaign Ethics Center and the Judicial Campaign Ethics Subcommittee treat all inquiries about a judicial candidate’s own prospective conduct as confidential.

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What are the differences between formal and informal guidance?

Informal Guidance. Over the telephone, we may be able to direct you to a black-letter rule or a published advisory opinion that may answer your question. However, this informal guidance does not provide you with the protection you would get by writing in, and staff cannot provide fact-specific interpretative guidance over the telephone.

Formal Guidance. Should you wish to receive ethics advice tailored to your situation, you must send your inquiry in writing by e-mail, fax or mail, as indicated above.

Your subsequent conduct, to the extent that it complies with the written advice you receive from the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center in the same window period, will be presumed proper for purposes of any subsequent investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. (Only written advice about your own prospective conduct offers this protection.)

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I am a judicial candidate, how may I authorize someone else to ask questions on my behalf?

Direct communication between you as the judicial candidate and the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center helps ensure that we obtain full information about your inquiry and helps minimize misunderstandings.

However, in unusual circumstances, it may be necessary for a campaign worker to ask a question on your behalf. (For example, where the question may involve details of a specific campaign contribution.)

To authorize another individual to ask a question on your behalf, please send your signed authorization directly to the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center. Be sure to include your name, address, and telephone number, and identify which judicial office you are seeking. Please briefly describe the circumstances which you believe necessitate use of an intermediary, as this will assist the Subcommittee in deciding whether to accept the authorization.

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I am a campaign worker, may I ask a question on behalf of the candidate?

The Judicial Campaign Ethics Center cannot address questions concerning a judicial candidate's conduct with a person other than the candidate, without written authorization from the candidate as set forth above.

In some circumstances, staff may be able to answer general questions about black-letter rules and published opinions over the telephone for campaign workers or other members of the public, as long as this does not require any fact-specific interpretation or comment on a candidate's conduct.

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