Opinion 88-134

December 8, 1988


Topic:          Propriety of a judge serving in a fundraising capacity for a non-profit organization located outside the jurisdiction of the judge’s court.


Digest:         An acting village justice may not serve in any fundraising capacity for a nonprofit organization.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)


         An acting village justice asks whether he is barred under Chief Administrator's Rule 100.5(b)(2) from serving as class agent, or in any other voluntary fundraising capacity for a non-profit organization, which is not located in the jurisdiction of the court on which the judge sits and where the communications would be addressed to persons who do not reside in the general area in which the court is located. The judge seeks an interpretation of section 100.5(b)(2) which provides that a judge shall not “solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of the office for that purpose.”

         The rule is very clear and leaves no room for doubt in this situation. Section 100.5(b)(2) proscribes judicial fundraising activities without geographic limitation, either as to location of the organization involved or the potential contributors. Therefore, the judge may not participate in the fundraising activity.