July 28, 2014
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (14-83) asking what avenues of relief you may ethically pursue in response to actions which you believe to be harassing and bullying.
There is nothing in the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct that prohibits a judge from pursuing a private legal claim. Thus, a judge may pursue any lawful avenue of redress available to similarly situated individuals who are not judges. However, in doing so, the judge should not invoke or use his/her judicial title or otherwise lend the prestige of judicial office to advance his/her personal interests. In addition, during the pendency of any action or investigation of any formal complaint, the judge must disqualify him/herself from matters in which the alleged offender is a party.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 12-162; 06-145; and 04-52 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)