Opinion 09-22

February 19, 2009

Dear Judge :

         This responds to your inquiry (09-22) in which you express ethics concerns about giving effect to the recent policy of the District Attorney authorizing any police officer employed by the Village to prosecute Vehicle and Traffic tickets in the Village Court in which you preside, whether or not the particular officer who appears to prosecute the ticket actually wrote the ticket.

         The Committee’s jurisdiction is limited to issuing “advisory opinions to judges and justices of the Unified Court System concerning issues related to ethical conduct, proper execution of judicial duties, and possible conflicts between private interests and official duties” (22 NYCRR 101.1). Your inquiry involves a legal, as opposed to an ethics, issue and, as such, is beyond the Committee’s jurisdiction (see Judiciary Law §212[2][l]). However, given the nature of the inquiry, the Committee suggests you request an opinion from the Office of Court Administration’s City Town and Village Court Resource Center (1-800-232-0630) or any other recognized body charged with providing local courts with legal guidance.

                                                 Very truly yours,

                                                 George D. Marlow

                                                 Justice of the Supreme Court

                                                 Committee Chair