Opinion 09-226

January 20, 2010

Dear Justice:

         This responds to your inquiry (09-226) asking whether it is ethically permissible for members of a local magistrates’ association to urge that association to petition the state legislature to repeal legislation mandating the collection of surcharges in local courts.

         The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a judge to express his/her views concerning matters which seek to improve the law, the legal system or the administration of justice (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[A][1][iii]). Accordingly, subject to certain limitations as set forth in Opinions 08-09 and 08-73, enclosed for your convenience, it is ethically permissible to send the letter.


Very truly yours,



George D. Marlow

Justice of the Supreme Court (Ret.)

Committee Chair