December 9, 1999
A judge may serve on the executive Board of Youth Court provided that (1)
the judge is not expected to actively engage in fund-raising and (2) the
judge's court is not one from which referrals are made to the Youth Court.
22 NYCRR 100.2(A), 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i), (iv);
A part-time Town Court judge has been asked to serve on the Executive Board of a local Youth Court. In that position the judge would be involved in the general operation and supervision of the Youth Court and might occasionally sit in as an observer of a trial. There would be no participation by the judge in any actual case before the Youth Court. The judge asks if service on the Executive Board is proper.
In Opinion 99-130, the Committee recently advised that the judge in that instance should not serve on the Board of Directors of a Youth Court because the judge might be referring cases to the Youth Court and was expected to actively engage in fund-raising on its behalf.
In the inquiry now before the Committee, nothing in the materials submitted
by the judge indicates that any fund-raising will be required. If active
engagement in fund-raising is an expectation of Executive Board membership,
then, of course, the judge should not serve. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(b)(i),
(iv); Opinion 99-130. As to the question of referral of cases, it is unclear
from the inquiry whether cases would be referred from the Town Court to
this particular Youth Court. If such referrals are anticipated, the judge
should not serve. As was stated in Opinion 99-130:
In short, the judge may serve on the Executive Board provided that (1) the judge is not expected to engage actively in fund-raising and (2) the judge's court is not one from which referrals are made to the Youth Court.If the inquiring judge declines to refer any cases to the Youth Court because of the judge's position with the organization, he/she may be doing a disservice to eligible defendants. On the other hand, if the judge is considering a referral of cases to the Youth Court it might be concluded that the judge is allowing his/her relationship with the Youth Court "to influence the judge's judicial conduct or judgment." 22 NYCRR 100.2(A).