September 14, 1999
Whether a retired full-time judge should simultaneously serve as a town
judge and a Judicial Hearing Officer, rests upon the exercise of discretion
by the Chief Administrative Judge in the making of appointments or reappointments
to the position of Judicial Hearing Officer under Part 122 of the Rules
of the Chief Administrator.
Meyer v. Lippman, 1999 WL 386760 (S.D.N.Y.);
22 NYCRR Part 122; 22 NYCRR 122.2(a); 122.7.
The inquirer is a retired Surrogate's Court judge who is "in the process of being certified as a Judicial Hearing Officer and . . . would like to become the Town Justice in the Town of ___________. Therefore, may a retired judge sit as a Judicial Hearing Officer and as a Town Justice in a local township?"
The Committee is of the opinion that the question is more appropriately answered by the Chief Administrative Judge of the State, in the exercise of the authority entrusted to him in the appointment or reappointment of Judicial Hearing Officers as set forth in Part 122 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator. 22 NYCRR Part 122; 122.2(a). In this regard, we note that the appointment and reappointment of a retired full-time judge to the position of Judicial Hearing Officer is a matter of discretion on the part of the Chief Administrative Judge. Meyer v. Lippman, 1999 WL 386760 (S.D.N.Y.); 22 NYCRR 122.2(a), 122.7. Thus, while service in the two capacities may not implicate any specific prohibition under the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, any policy considerations that may be present with respect to dual service in the Unified Court System should be dealt with by those charged with the responsibility for the appointment and reappointment of Judicial Hearing Officers. Accordingly, we decline to answer the question.