October 1, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your further inquiry (15-137) asking whether you must disclose or disqualify yourself where your co-judge’s spouse has served or may serve as a social worker for a defendant on referral by the probation department. You indicate that the co-judge is exercising recusal under these circumstances and ask if you must do likewise.
The Committee has previously determined you are permitted to preside over cases where your co-judge’s spouse has served or may serve as a social worker for a defendant on referral by the probation department, provided you can be fair and impartial. The fact that your co-judge is now exercising recusal in these situations does not alter the analysis. Accordingly, your further inquiry is fully covered by the Committee’s previous Opinion 15-107/15-110.
The remaining questions appear to be hypothetical or speculative, and, therefore, the Committee declines to address them.
Enclosed, for your convenience is Opinion 15-107/15-110, which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)