Opinion: 00-12

January 27, 2000




Digest: There is no ethical prohibition that prevents a part-time judge from serving as a Court Attorney-Referee in the Family Court of the county where the judge's court is located.
 

Rule:  22 NYCRR 25.37; 100.6(B)(4);
           Opinions 95-97 (Vol. XIII); 95-119 (Vol. XIII);
           96-116 (Vol. XIV); 98-46 (Vol. XVI).
 
 

Opinion:

            An acting village justice has recently been appointed to the position of Court Attorney-Referee in the Family Court of the county where the judge's court is located. The judge asks whether there is a conflict between the two positions and whether they constitute a dual employment situation as addressed in section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge. 22 NYCRR 25.37.

            In Opinions 96-116 (Vol. XIV) and 95-97 (Vol. XIII), the Committee advised that there was no ethical prohibition that would prevent a Family Court Hearing Examiner, which is a quasi-judicial position, from holding the position of part-time judge. In our view there was no ethical incompatibility in the holding of the two positions. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4). A Court Attorney-Referee is also a full-time quasi-judicial position. See Opinions 95-119 (Vol. XIII); 98-46 (Vol. XVI). We see no basis for distinguishing between the two with respect to the holding of part-time judicial office.

            Whether this constitutes a dual employment situation under section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge, which would therefore require approval of the employee's appointing authority and of the Chief Administrative Judge, is a question to be determined not by this Committee but by the Office of Court Administration. We note that in Opinion 96-116 (Vol. XIV) we did alert the inquiring part-time judge/full-time Family Court Hearing Examiner to the existence of section 25.37.