Opinion 96-116

October 11, 1996

NOTE: The Chief Judge’s rules concerning dual employment of nonjudicial court employees now appear at 22 NYCRR 50.3.  For guidance on Part 50 (formerly Part 25), court personnel may consult the Office of Court Administration’s Nonjudicial Ethics Helpline (888-283-8442).


Digest:         A part-time judge may simultaneously hold the position of full-time Hearing Examiner in Family Court upon receiving the written permission of the Chief Administrator of the Courts.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.3(E); 100.6(B)(4); 25.37(a)


         A part-time town and village justice inquires if it is permissible to simultaneously hold the position of town justice and Family Court Hearing Examiner in the same county in which the justice serves.

         Section 100.6(B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct allows a part-time judge to:


. . . accept private employment or public employment in a state department provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties.

         The positions of Family Court Hearing Examiner and town justice are not incompatible and do not appear to conflict. As with any other employment appropriately engaged in by a part-time judge, there may be instances arising in the course of that non-judicial employment that may require that the part-time judge consider disqualification in a limited number of cases. Should these circumstances arise, the judge must heed section 100.3(E) and other relevant sections and determine if disqualification is necessary.

         The judge should also be aware of the requirements of section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge (Dual Employment in Court Service - 22 NYCRR 25.37) which mandate that Unified Court System employees obtain the written permission of the Chief Administrator of the Courts before accepting employment in any additional position in government, including employment in the Judicial Branch.