Opinion 15-217

January 29, 2016


Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (15-217) asking whether you may fax a copy of the court’s weekly calendar to the Department of Homeland Security “for their review and determination in what defendants may be potential risks or illegal aliens, for [the] office to pursue.”

         The Committee has previously advised that a judge may not create, maintain and/or produce information about cases specifically and exclusively for the benefit of one side, such as a prosecutor. To produce information for one side would risk compromising the independence of the judiciary and public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, and may well cause the appearance of impropriety. However, the Committee has also advised that a court may take reasonable efforts to make the court’s calendar widely available to the public in general, as long as such access is made available to all interested parties. Therefore, it would be permissible to post a calendar on the court’s website. Also, whenever possible, it is best for non-judicial personnel, rather than a judge, to produce and/or provide copies of documents the court maintains in accord with governing statutes and rules.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 14-154; 13-183; 13-19; 10-120; 07-185/08-68/08-77; 07-115 which address this issue.  


                                       Very truly yours,

                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

Committee Chair