March 7, 2018
This responds to your inquiry (17-184) asking if you may, as a sitting Support Magistrate, also serve as a part-time town justice.
We previously said other full-time quasi-judicial officials (e.g., a Family Court Hearing Examiner or a Court-Attorney Referee) may ethically serve as a part-time town or village justice, subject to proper administrative approval. Also, neither position is subject to the other’s jurisdiction, review or approval; and the duties of one position must not interfere with those of the other.
We do not comment on whether simultaneous employment as a Support Magistrate and a part-time town or village justice constitutes “dual employment” pursuant to the Rules of the Chief Judge (see 22 NYCRR 50.3). This question must be resolved by the Unified Court System’s Office of Court Administration, the agency with ultimate authority to interpret Part 50. You may also contact the Ethics Helpline (1-888-28ETHIC). Moreover, dual employment requires written consent of an employee’s Appointing Authority and approval by the Chief Administrative Judge (see 22 NYCRR 50.3]).
Accordingly, you may serve as a part-time town justice, subject to the above limits and proper administrative approvals.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 13-144 and 95-97 on this issue. We also include Opinion 07-189 which sets certain allowable political activities while campaigning for public office (see generally 22 NYCRR 100.5[A]). Should you seek election to judicial office, please visit the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center’s website (www.nycourts.gov/ip/jcec) for links to the Judicial Campaign Ethics Handbook and other resources for your campaign.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Div., First Dep’t (Ret.)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice, Supreme Court