January 27, 2000
NOTE: The Chief Judge’s rules concerning dual employment of nonjudicial court employees now appear at 22 NYCRR 50.3. For guidance on Part 50 (formerly Part 25), court personnel may consult the Office of Court Administration’s Nonjudicial Ethics Helpline (888-283-8442).
Digest: There is no ethical prohibition that prevents a part-time judge from serving as a Court Attorney-Referee in the Family Court of the county where the judge's court is located.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 25.37; 100.6(B)(4); Opinions 95-97 (Vol. XIII); 95-119 (Vol. XIII); 96-116 (Vol. XIV); 98-46 (Vol. XVI).
An acting village justice has recently been appointed to the position of Court Attorney-Referee in the Family Court of the county where the judge's court is located. The judge asks whether there is a conflict between the two positions and whether they constitute a dual employment situation as addressed in section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge. 22 NYCRR 25.37.
In Opinions 96-116 (Vol. XIV) and 95-97 (Vol. XIII), the Committee advised that there was no ethical prohibition that would prevent a Family Court Hearing Examiner, which is a quasi-judicial position, from holding the position of part-time judge. In our view there was no ethical incompatibility in the holding of the two positions. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4). A Court Attorney-Referee is also a full-time quasi-judicial position. See Opinions 95-119 (Vol. XIII); 98-46 (Vol. XVI). We see no basis for distinguishing between the two with respect to the holding of part-time judicial office.
Whether this constitutes a dual employment situation under section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge, which would therefore require approval of the employee's appointing authority and of the Chief Administrative Judge, is a question to be determined not by this Committee but by the Office of Court Administration. We note that in Opinion 96-116 (Vol. XIV) we did alert the inquiring part-time judge/full-time Family Court Hearing Examiner to the existence of section 25.37.