June 18, 1999
NOTE: This opinion has been modified by Opinion 10-22 to the extent that it suggests that the permissibility of the judge’s involvement depends on whether the food sales in which the judge is involved produce a profit. Please consult Opinion 10-22 before relying on this opinion.
Digest: (1) A judge may prepare and serve food at a church fund-raising event provided that the food is made available only for the convenience of those attending and the prices charged are not intended to produce a profit. (2) A town court judge may preside over cases initiated by a village within the town where jurisdiction over matters arising in the village is authorized by law.
Rules: UCJA §201(b); 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(iv); Opinions 90-28 (Vol. V); 90-175 (Vol. VI).
A town judge asks two questions: (1) whether it is permissible to prepare and serve food at church fund-raiser; and (2) whether the town court can hear cases initiated by the village which is within the town. There is no village court and thus the town court handles both village and town matters.As to the preparation and serving of food at a church fund-raiser, the Committee has previously advised that such an activity does not constitute an improper solicitation of funds or fund-raising activity, provided that the food is not being sold at a substantially higher price than would be charged by commercial establishments in the community. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3)(iv); Opinions 90-28 (Vol. V); 90-175 (Vol. VI).As to hearing cases brought by the village the fact that the village is a party does not ethically preclude the exercise of jurisdiction, provided, of course, that the town court is permitted by law to hear cases arising in a village. In this regard we refer the judge to section 201(b) of the Uniform Justice Court Act.