Opinion 88-23

March 14, 1988


Topic:          Judge’s commendation letter used by religious-charitable organization for fund-raising purposes.


Digest:         Judges who wrote a commendation letter to a charity may not authorizeits use for fund-raising purposes by the organization.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.2(c).


         A judge inquires whether it is appropriate to write a commendation letter requested by a religious-charitable organization which maintains a youth center facility frequently used by the courts as a resource for children needing special help, if the organization will use the letter in promotional drives to obtain funds.

         Section 100.2(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states that, “no judge shall lend the prestige of his or her office to advance the private interests of others...” The Committee believes that pursuant to this rule, the judges should not permit their commendation letter to be used for fundraising purposes by the charitable organization. Judges who may have written such a letter should immediately take steps to advise the charitable organization that the letter may not be used for fundraising purposes.

         This opinion is advisory only and is not binding upon either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.