Opinion 96-43

April 25, 1996


Digest:         A part time judge may not serve as a member of a local school board.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.3(A); 100.6 (B)(4); Opinion 90-63 (Vol. V); 88-142 (Vol III).



         A part time justice inquires if he/she may serve as a member of the local school board. The judge believes there will be no opposition to his/her election.

         The Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts Governing Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR 100, et seq.) provide in part:


100.3 (A) Judicial duties in general. The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all the judge’s other activities.

. . . . .


100.6(B) (4) [A part time judge:] “. . . may accept private employment or public employment in a federal, state or municipal department or agency, provided that such employment does not conflict or interfere with proper performance of the judge’s duties.

         The functions of school boards are essential components of local government. Its proceedings are frequently controversial especially where related to budgets and school taxes. As a member of the board the judge could be engulfed in controversy which would interfere with his/her judicial duties.

         Accordingly, it would be inappropriate for the judge to be a member of the school board. Opinion 90-63, (Vol V); 88-142, (Vol. III).