June 13, 2008
This responds to your inquiry (07-186) about the propriety of holding arraignments after regular court hours. You indicate that you regularly receive requests to do so from the police for a variety of reasons including a defendant’s mental or physical health issues, a lack of personnel to supervise a detained defendant, or inadequate space for detention. You are concerned because such arraignments are not open to the public, no court officers or attorneys are present, and the proceedings are not recorded.
The Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics’ is authorized to answer questions concerning judicial ethics (see 22 NYCRR 101.1). As your inquiry is legal and administrative in nature, it is outside the Committee’s jurisdiction and we therefore cannot respond (see Judiciary Law §4; Opinion 07-153).
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court