October 24, 1989
Digest: A Family Court judge may not sign a ceremonial certificate commemorating the opening of an adoption agency.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)
A Family Court judge seeks an opinion as to the propriety of signing a ceremonial certificate commemorating the opening of a new private adoption agency in the county.
Section 100.5 (b)(1) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that “a judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties.” As the adoption agency may appear before the Family Court judge in adoption proceedings, the judge’s signing of the certificate, even though ceremonial, might raise a question as to his impartiality concerning the adoption agency. Accordingly, the judge should not sign the certificate.