October 11, 1996
Note: This opinion has been overruled by Joint Opinion 00-78 and 00-80
Digest: A Housing Court judge who is a candidate for another judicial office must disqualify himself/herself, during the pendency of the campaign, from presiding over cases in which one of the attorneys is a candidate for city council seeking to defeat another candidate who appears on the same nominating petition and is on the same slate of candidates as the judge.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1), 22 NYCRR 100.3(F)
A Housing Court judge who is currently a candidate for another judgeship asks whether it is appropriate to preside over a matter in which the attorney representing one party is a candidate for city council in opposition to the candidate for city council who appears with the judge and others on the judge’s designating petition and is part of the slate of candidates that includes the judge.
A judge must recuse himself/herself from presiding over cases in which his/her impartiality might reasonably be questioned. (22 NYCRR 100.3[E]). The Rules of the Chief Administrator provide that a judge disqualified by the terms of this section may disclose on the record the basis of disqualification and participate in the proceeding with the agreement of all parties and their lawyers. (22 NYCRR 100.3[F]). In the present posture of the case before the enquiring judge the respondent has objected to the judge’s continuing to preside in this matter. In the opinion of the Committee, under the circumstances presented, the avoidance of the perception of impartiality requires the judge to disqualify himself/herself from presiding over cases in which this attorney appears during the period that the judge, the attorney and the candidate for city council on the judge’s slate, are engaged in that campaign for elective office.