Opinion: 97-36

March 13, 1997

Digest:  A judge may not use official stationery in writing to the State Division of Transportation on a matter involving the judge's private interests.

Rules:  22 NYCRR 100.2(C).


            A judge inquires whether he/she may write to the State Division of Transportation expressing support for the installation of a traffic light to ease congestion on a road near the judge's home.

            The judge seeks to use official stationery for this purpose "to hopefully get the attention of the state agency". In the Committee's opinion that would be improper.

            Section 100.2(C) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides, in pertinent part, that "A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others..."

            Accordingly, while the judge may express a position as a private citizen on a matter of personal concern, the judge may not use judicial stationery or otherwise indicate his/her judicial office in advancing such private interests.