September 14, 1993
Digest: There is no ethical prohibition against a judge owning residential real property from which rental income is derived, as long as the tenants are not attorneys or other individuals who are likely to appear in the judge's court.
Rule: 22 NYCRR §100.S(c) (1)
A full-time judge inquires whether there is any ethical prohibition against the judge owning real property, and renting such property to others.
The inquiring judge states that the judge owns a residence to which are attached two rental units. The judge has determined that, as long as the judge resided in the house, there is no ethical prohibition against renting the attached units, provided they are not rented to attorneys or others who are likely to appear before the judge. The judge states that now it has become necessary, for personal reasons, for the judge to move to a residence in another locale, and inquires whether there is a prohibition against renting the entire property including the judge's former residence.
It is the opinion of this committee that there is no ethical prohibition against the judge managing his or her own investment. Thus, the judge may rent out all three units of the judge's former residence, within the constraints of §100.5(c)(1) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator.