September 19, 1988
Town: May town justice serve as an officer of a corporation?
Digest: A town justice may serve as an officer of a corporation doing business in or out of his jurisdiction.
Rule: N.Y. Constitution Art. 6,§20(b)(4); 22 NYCRR §§100.5(c)(1) and 100.5(h)
A town justice asks whether he may serve as an officer of a corporation which will build homes and commercial buildings. We conclude that serving as a corporate officer is permissible.
The State Constitution delineates certain restrictions imposed on judges, including that of engaging in other businesses (McKinney's Const. Art. 6, §2O[b]). However, these restrictions do not apply to town justices, as they are part-time judges. [22 NYCRR §100.5(h)].
A town justice involved in any type of business must still be mindful of not allowing his business to interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties (22 NYCRR §1OO.5[c]) and should not act in cases involving his own corporation.
This Opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.