September 15, 2009
This responds to your inquiry (09- ) asking whether it is ethically permissible to issue warrants or bench warrants in certain “relatively minor matters,” including non-misdemeanor Navigation Law matters, which may or may not carry a jail sentence.
The question you present, in the Committee’s view, is one of law. The Committee’s authority is limited to issuing advisory opinions about issues related to ethical conduct, proper execution of judicial duties, or possible conflicts between private interests and official duties. As yours is one of law, the Committee has no authority to answer it (see Judiciary Law §212). You may also wish to consult the OCA’s Town and Village Resource Center (800- 232-0630) or any other recognized entity which is legally authorized to respond to such inquiries.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court (Ret.)