October 24, 2002
Digest: A judge whose daughter rents an apartment from a law enforcement officer should make disclosure and exercise recusal in the event of objection in any cases involving the officer.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1).
A judge’s daughter rents an apartment from a law enforcement officer who issues traffic tickets that are returnable in the judge’s court. The judge asks if it is ethically permissible for the judge to preside over cases in which the law enforcement officer is involved.
Pursuant to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a judge must disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned. 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1). It is the Committee’s opinion that the relationship of the judge’s daughter and the law enforcement officer could cause the judge’s impartiality to be questioned in any case involving the officer. The judge therefore should disclose the relationship and disqualify himself or herself in the event of any objection by a party.