March 10, 1994
Digest: A county magistrates’ association may sponsor athletic teams, in which the teams would wear clothing identifying the association.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§100.2(c), 100.5(a)(b)
On behalf of a county magistrates association a judge asks whether the association may sponsor youth athletic teams, which would include the members of the teams wearing clothing identifying the association. Funding would come either from dues or voluntary contributions.
The Committee is of the opinion that such sponsorship is not prohibited. Rule §100.5(a) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator permits judges to “engage in the arts, sports and other social and recreational activities if such avocational activities do not detract from the dignity of the office or interfere with the performance of judicial duties,” and subdivision (b) likewise allows participation in civic endeavors “that do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties.”
It is the view of the Committee that the proposed sponsorship would not violate such limitations, nor would it constitute the lending of judicial prestige to advance the private interests of others as proscribed under Rule §100.2(c).