March 10, 2005
Digest A part-time town court judge may participate in various non-profit activities, in accordance with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, including a land conservancy corporation, so long as that activity does not involve participation in the acquisition or preservation of land through litigation.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.4(C).
A part-time town court judge inquires as to the propriety of participating in the non-fund-raising activities of various civic organizations. Specifically, the judge asks about the permissibility of becoming: 1) a trustee of a not-for-profit land conservancy corporation formed to preserve and acquire “green space” for public use; 2) a church volunteer; 3) a Boy Scouts scoutmaster; and 4) a vice-president of a county historical society.
None of the activities specified by the judge is prohibited, and the judge may participate as described, subject to the limitations and guidelines set out in section 100.4(C) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C).
However, we do point out, with respect to the land conservancy corporation, that the judge should not be involved in any potential litigation in connection with its acquisition and preservation of “green space.”