September 22, 1994
Digest: A part time judge is not required to recuse himself/herself in a matter in which the Village Attorney is both the plaintiff and also the plaintiff's attorney, in the absence of other disqualifying factors.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2(b); 100.3(c)
A part-time judge inquires if recusal is required when requested by a defendant's attorney in a matter wherein the Village Attorney is both personally plaintiff and plaintiff's attorney. The judge mentions no other disqualifying factors.
In Opinion 88-52, Vol. 11, this committee stated:
In the absence of any particular circumstances indicating a personal bias or disqualifying relationship, the judge should not have to disqualify himself/herself from a matter before the Town Court simply because the part time Village Attorney or his/her associate represents one of the parties. The mere fact that both the judge and the attorney serve the village in their respective capacities does not give rise to a disqualifying relationship.
(N.B: the Town Justice in the above opinion was serving as an acting village justice.)
See also Opinions 91-01; 91-93, Vol. VIII; 92-16, Vol. IX. (22 NYCRR 100.2(b), 100.3(c).
Accordingly, recusal is not required in this matter.