October 7, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (13-111) asking whether, as a candidate for re-election, you may witness signatures on your own nominating petitions as a Notary Public, which you acknowledge is currently prohibited by Opinion 03-129. You have asked the Committee to reconsider Opinion 03-129.
Pursuant to Article VI, Section 20, of the New York State Constitution, the Committee previously has concluded that a Supreme Court Justice may not continue to serve as a Notary Public (see Opinion 03-129).1 Therefore, although a Supreme Court Justice may otherwise witness and authenticate documents where permitted (see e.g. Opinion 12-10), he/she may not do so as a Notary Public (see Opinion 03-129).
Nevertheless, in response to your inquiry, the Committee has reconsidered this issue and concluded that its previous analysis is correct. Therefore, the Committee declines to modify Opinion 03-129.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)
1 The Committee observes that the Constitutional provision in question refers to a "judge of the court of appeals, justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of claims, judge of a county court, judge of the surrogate's court, judge of the family court or judge of a court for the city of New York" (N.Y. Const. art. VI, §20[b]).