May 4, 2000
A town justice may not be employed as an agent of a local society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals because of the peace officer status of
22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(2)(b);
100.6(B); CPL 2.10(7).
A town justice inquires whether the justice may continue to serve as an official of a local society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Section 100.4(C)(2)(b) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct states, "A judge shall not accept appointment or employment as a peace officer or police officer as those terms are defined in section 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law." This Rule includes within its scope section 2.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law which specifies that the term "peace officer" includes "officers or agents of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals." CPL 2.10(7). Part-time judges are not exempt from the prohibition against serving as peace officers. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B). Whether the judge actually functions as a peace officer in fulfilling his or her obligations as an agent of the society is irrelevant in light of the clear statutory designation.
Accordingly, the committee concludes that the justice may not serve as an official of a local society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in view of the legal status of such persons as peace officers.