June 24, 2014
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Dear Justice :
This responds to your inquiry (14-71) asking whether it is ethically permissible to lease certain real property you own to a business entity, where the entity’s proposed use of your property will require obtaining certain approvals from the municipality where the property is located and could also lead to public hearings concerning the proposal.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a part-time judge to engage in ordinary business activity, subject to certain restrictions not applicable here (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[D], and ). Moreover, as a private citizen, a judge may appear and be heard at public hearings on matters that personally affect the judge or his/her property. However, in any dealings with the town or others, the judge should not use his/her judicial title.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 12-32; 10-197; 10-156; 97-36 and Joint Opinion 09-192/09-231 on this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)