June 18, 1992
Digest: A judge must disqualify himself or herself in any case where a police officer nephew has brought the case before the court or appears as a material witness.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.3(c); 22NYCRR 100.3(c)(iv)(c).
A part-time judge inquires whether disqualification is required in all cases where the judge’s police officer nephew is involved in a case before the court.
Section 100.3(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides, in part, that “a judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding where his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Section 100.3(c)(iv)(c) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that a judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding where a person within the sixth degree of relationship to the judge “is to the judge’s knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.”
Pursuant to those sections, the judge must disqualify himself or herself in every case where the police officer nephew is involved either by swearing to or issuing the accusatory instrument or by appearing before the judge as a material witness. See this Committee’s Opinion 90-75 (Vol. VI).