March 16, 2004
Digest: A full-time City Court judge may not accept an appointment to serve as a compensated, part-time acting village justice.
Rules: N.Y. Const. Art. 6, §20; Uniform City Court Act §107; 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1) (c); Joint Opinion 98-07/98-24 (Vol. XVI).
A full-time City Court judge outside of New York City asks if the judge may accept appointment and serve as a part-time, compensated acting village justice for a village within the same county.
The New York State Constitution specifically lists the full-time courts whose judges are prohibited from holding another public office. NY Const., Article 6, §20; Joint Opinion 98-07/98-24 (Vol. XVI). That list does not include judges of the District Courts or judges of the City Courts outside of New York City. However, the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a full-time judge from receiving compensation for extra-judicial activities performed for or on behalf of New York State or its political subdivisions. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1)(c). The village, which would pay compensation to the acting village justice, is clearly a political subdivision of the State as contemplated by the Rule. See, Joint Opinion 98-07/98-24 (Vol. XVI). It is therefore the opinion of this Committee that a full-time City Court judge may not accept a village appointment to serve as a compensated, part-time acting village justice.
This opinion does not prohibit a City Court judge from being assigned to serve in the village court in appropriate circumstances. See, Uniform City Court Act §107.