March 23, 2023
Question: May a town justice, whose spouse is employed by a local not-for-profit parochial school, display in front of the judge’s home a sign advertising the name of the school, grade levels and a phone number?
Discussion: We have previously advised it is ethically permissible for a judge to be involved in school recruitment efforts, provided there is no fund-raising purpose and the judge does not personally solicit funds (Opinions 02-21; 14-104; 91-19). We also said that a judge may be included in a family photograph published in an informational brochure for a school whose director is the judge’s spouse, where the judge’s participation is reasonably related to the spouse’s employment (Opinion 04-37). On the facts presented, the sign you wish to place in front of your home neither involves fund-raising nor uses the prestige of your judicial office for that purpose. As such, you may display the sign advertising your spouse’s school in front of your home.
Enclosed: Opinions 14-104, 04-37, 02-21, 91-19.