January 23, 1997
A Family Court Hearing Examiner may serve on the Board of Directors of
a not-for-profit civic organization that organizes and conducts a four-day
public entertainment festival, subject to the limitations and restrictions
set forth in section 100.4(C)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.
22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3), 100.6(A);
Opinion 89-61 (Vol. III).
A Family Court Hearing Examiner asks whether serving on the Board of Directors of a not-for-profit civic corporation that organizes and conducts an annual four-day festival in the city where the inquirer serves in ethically permissible.
Family Court Hearing Examiners, as persons who perform judicial functions within the judicial system, are obligated to comply with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct in the performance of their judicial functions and "otherwise shall, so far as practical and appropriate, use these rules as a guide to their conduct." 22 NYCRR 100.6(A), Opinion 89-61, (Vol. III).
In the Committee's opinion, the inquiring Hearing Examiner is bound by the provisions of section 100.4(C)(3), of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. Thus, the inquirer may serve as a director of the civic organization, but participation in the organization is limited by the provisions of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3). Accordingly, the Hearing Examiner's name may appear on the regular letterhead of the organization listing only the Hearing Examiner's name and office in the organization. However, if comparable designations are listed for other persons, the Hearing Examiner's quasi-judicial designation may be stated. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(iv).