January 24, 1991
Digest: A part-time judge may not seek election to or sit on the village board as village trustee.
Rule: Canon 7A(3) of the Code of Judicial Conduct; 22 NYCRR 100.7.
A part-time judge asks whether the judge may seek election as village trustee.
Section 100.7 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides:
No judge during a term of office shall hold any office in a political party or organization or contribute to any political campaign or take part in any political campaign except his or her own campaign for elective judicial office.
Canon 7A(3) of the Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the New York State Bar Association, explicitly states:
A judge should resign his office when he becomes a candidate either in a party primary or in a general election for a non-judicial office, except that he may continue to hold his judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a delegate in a state constitutional convention, if he is otherwise permitted by law to do so.
In opinions 88-142 (Vol. III) 89-126 (Vol. IV), this Committee found that this rule clearly prohibits judges from engaging in partisan political activity except to pursue their own candidacies for re-election or for election to some other judicial office, and that no other political activity is permitted.
Thus, a part-time judge must resign from his or her judicial position on becoming a candidate for political office including the office of village trustee, filled by election.