April 4, 2018
This responds to your inquiry (18-13) asking whether a judge may ethically proceed with an off-hours arraignment if the defendant is not represented by counsel and, if not, how long must the judge wait for defense counsel to appear before adjourning the matter.
Your questions appear to be primarily legal in nature and are thus beyond the Committee’s jurisdiction (see Judiciary Law sec. 212[l]; 22 NYCRR 101.1). However, a judge who acts in accordance with a good-faith interpretation of governing law does not violate the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 14-01 and 13-124/13-125/13-128/13-129 which may provide some guidance on this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Div., First Dep’t
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice, Supreme Court