September 22, 1994
Digest A judge is not ethically obligated to respond to mail that has been opened and that, upon consideration, he/she concludes should not be answered.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.3
A judge acknowledges that there is an obligation to open all mail, but asks whether there is a further, blanket obligation to respond to all correspondence. The judge notes that frequently and especially in the area of matrimonial litigation, such letters do not warrant any immediate action by the court outside the normal procedures of formal motions, hearings and trials, and the judge may deem it inappropriate to respond.
In the view of the Committee a judge has no ethical obligation to respond to correspondence that has been opened and read, where the judge concludes that the particular letter should not be answered.