22 NYCRR 100.1(A); 100.5(B); 100.6(A);
Opinions 93-41 (Vol. XI).
A Family Court Hearing Examiner inquires if it is permissible to become a candidate for election to the New York State Assembly while still retaining his/her employment.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct and prior opinions of this Committee indicate that although Family Court Hearing Examiners are not judges they are, nevertheless, subject to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.
Section 100.6(A) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, provides in part:
Family Court Hearing Examiners are persons "who perform judicial functions within the judicial system" and, thus, as stated by the Committee in Opinion 93-41 (Vol. XI), "[w]hile the Rules of Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR, Part 100) do not apply to non-judges, in view of the quasi-judicial functions performed by Family Court Hearing Examiners, we have determined previously that the Code (canons) of Judicial Conduct is applicable to them (see Opinions 92-73; 89-61)."All judges in the Unified Court System and all other
persons to whom by their terms these rules apply, e.g.,
candidates for judicial office shall comply with these
Rules of Judicial Conduct, except as provided below.
All other persons, including judicial hearing officers,
who perform judicial functions within the judicial
system shall comply with such rules in the performance
of their judicial functions and otherwise shall so far as
practical and appropriate use such rules as guides to
In particular, the Committee is of the view that it is appropriate to apply the rules relating to electoral campaigns by judges for nonjudicial office to quasi-judicial officials. In that regard, section 100.5(B) of the Rules provides that "[a] judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate for elective nonjudicial office either in a primary or in a general election . . . ."
It therefore follows that upon becoming a candidate for election to the Assembly (see, 22 NYCRR 100.0[A]), the inquirer must resign from the position of Family Court Hearing Examiner.