March 14, 1988
Topic: Propriety of a judge contributing to the annual dinner of a parochial school at which a calendar containing a page of honor acknowledging the judge’s contribution together with other professionals is distributed.
Digest: A judge may contribute to a parochial school at its annual dinner and permit his name to be included on a “page of honor” together with other contributors on a calendar distributed at the dinner. However, the calendar may not indicate in any way that the judge was involved, directly or indirectly, in any fundraising activities.
Rules: 100.5 (b)(2).
A judge inquires whether he may properly contribute to an educational institution under the following circumstances:
A local parochial school, as part of its annual dinner, issues to all individuals attending the dinner as well as all parents of students in the school an appointment calendar, in which various members of the community have offered their congratulations to the honorees at the dinner and have offered their support of the school. There is also within the calendar a page of honor of professionals who have contributed.
The question presented is whether the judge may properly permit his name to be included as a contributor on the “page of honor”.
Rule 100.5 (b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts provides in part: no judge shall solicit funds for any educational organization or permit the use of the prestige of that office for that purpose.
The judge's participation here does not involve solicitation of funds. Rather it is participation as a contributor, which the rule does not prohibit. Nor does inclusion of his name together with other professionals violate the rule, provided however, that the judge is not singled out or otherwise described in a manner encouraging or suggesting that others contribute to the school.
The committee believes that the mere listing of the judge's name as a contributor with nothing more does not violate the rule.
This Opinion is advisory only and is not binding upon either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.