March 14, 1988
Topic: Resident of judge’s neighborhood is party in litigation before part-time judge of local court.
Digest: Unless there is some additional disqualifying circumstance, or if the judge is doubtful of his or her ability to preside impartially, the mere fact that a person who lives in the judge's neighborhood is a party to the lawsuit does not require disqualification.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.3(c)
A lawyer who is a part-time judge of a local court asks whether he must disqualify himself if a person who lives in his neighborhood is a party to the lawsuit.
Unless there is some additional disqualifying circumstance, it is the Committee's opinion that the mere fact that a party is a neighbor of a judge, that is, a resident of the judge's neighborhood, does not require the judge to disqualify himself or herself from presiding over the case, unless the judge has a doubt bout his or her ability to remain impartial.
This Opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.