March 7, 2019
This responds to your inquiry (18-186) asking if you may consent to hire a deputy court clerk whose cousin is an Assistant DA who does not appear in your town court. You have advised that his/her colleagues may appear in town court.
We previously advised that a village justice may allow the relative of an investigator for the District Attorney’s office to serve as the village court clerk, provided the clerk is insulated from any case involving their relative (see Opinion 07-40). We have also cautioned that if the relative has supervisory authority over the Assistant District Attorneys who appear in justice court, insulating the deputy court clerk may render him/her unable to conduct his/her duties (see Opinion 17-65).
As your inquiry does not describe any supervisory responsibilities, you may hire the Assistant District Attorney’s relative to serve as deputy court clerk.
Enclosed for your convenience, are Opinions 17-65; 07-40; 06-163; and 01-108, which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc Justice
Appellate Div., First Dept. (Ret)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice