January 29, 1998
An acting village justice is not prohibited from serving on a city Zoning
Board of Appeals where the actions of the zoning board are not reviewed
by the village court, and cases alleging violations of the city zoning
code would not be heard in the village court.
22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3);
Opinion 89-82 (Vol. V).
An acting village justice inquires whether it is permissible to serve as a member of a city Zoning Board of Appeals. The village court on which the justice sits has no jurisdiction over the Zoning Board of Appeals' determinations. Nor would cases involving violations of the city Zoning Code come before the village court.
In pertinent part, section 100.4(C)(3) of the Rules Governing Judicial
(C) Governmental, Civic, or Charitable Activities.
* * *
(3) A judge may be a member or serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of an organization or governmental agency devoted to the improvement of the law, the legal system or the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice or of an educational, religious, charitable, cultural, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for profit, subject to the following limitations and the other requirements of this Part. (a) A judge shall not serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor if it is likely that the organization
(i) will be engaged in proceedings that ordinarily would come before the judge ...
Neither determinations of the Board nor cases involving violations of the city Zoning Code would come before the village court, and thus the Zoning Board of Appeals will not be "engaged in proceedings that ordinarily would come before the judge."
Accordingly, given the absence of any jurisdiction by the court where the judge sits over matters handled by the Zoning Board of Appeals, there is no potential conflict between the two positions. Under such circumstances, it is the opinion of the Committee, that the judge may serve on the city's Zoning Board of Appeals. (Compare Opinion 89-82 [Vol. V]).