July 16, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (13-35) asking whether you must advise the police that a prospective tenant you interviewed has an open bench warrant from the court where you preside.
The Committee previously has advised that while a judge who receives information indicating a substantial likelihood that another judge or an attorney has committed a substantial violation of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct or the Code of Professional Responsibility, respectively, must take appropriate action, no similar rule has been adopted requiring a judge to report apparently illegal conduct by a litigant or witness. 22 NYCRR 100.3(D); see Joint Opinion 88-85/88-103 (Vol. II); 03-110; 05-30. The Committee also has advised that a judge is under no obligation to report an acquaintance’s misconduct to any authority, but may do so in his/her discretion (see Opinion 07-144).
Similarly, you are not required to report the individual you interviewed as a prospective tenant to the police after learning that he/she has an open bench warrant from the court where you preside.
I have enclosed a copy of Opinions 07-144, 05-30, 03-110, and Joint Opinion 88-85/88-103 for your convenience.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)