April 18, 2002
Digest: A judge must disqualify himself or herself where a police officer who rents an apartment to the judge’s child appears before the judge. Such disqualification is subject to remittal pursuant to 22 NYCRR 100.3(F).
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.2(A); 100.2(B); 100.3(E)(1); 100.3(F).
A judge’s child rents an apartment in a building recently purchased by a police officer who regularly appears in the judge’s court. The judge asks whether he/she should continue to preside over cases involving the police officer.
A judge must act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary [22 NYCRR 100.2(A)], and must not allow family relationships to influence his or her judicial conduct or judgment. 22 NYCRR 100.2(B). In addition, a judge must disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned. 22 NYCRR 100.3(E)(1).
In this instance, we are of the opinion that the landlord/tenant relationship between the police officer and the judge’s daughter could reflect adversely on the judge’s impartiality. The judge, therefore, should disclose the relationship and disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding involving the police officer. Such disqualification is subject to remittal, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 100.3(F).