May 25, 1989
Topic: Town justice participating in local chapter of conservation organization.
Digest: A judge may be a member of a local chapter of a conservation organization provided he or she does not solicit funds, or allow his or her name to be used in connection with fundraising, or speak or preside at any fundraising event.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§100.5(b) and 100.5(b)(2)
A town justice asks whether a judge may participate in a Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. The Guidelines and Regulations of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. state that its primary purpose is the generation of funds to be used for waterfowl and waterfowl habitat conservation in North America. The group generates funds through fundraising events. The town justice has asked if a judge may be a committeeperson for “auctions and prizes” of an upcoming event.
Rule 100.5(b) allows a judge to participate in civic ind charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon his or her impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties. However, a judge may not solicit funds or partake in fundraising activities for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization. 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2).
Consequently, a judge may be a member of the Ducks' Unlimited, Inc. local chapter and he or she may attend the chapter's fundraising events. However, a judge may not serve as committee person for “auctions and prizes”, nor in any other fundraising office; he or she may not allow his or her name to be used in connection with fundraising and he or she may not speak or preside at any fundraising event.