Opinion 88-69

June 13, 1988

NOTE: Former section 100.5(h) has been superseded by 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4). The Chief Judge’s rules concerning dual employment of nonjudicial court employees now appear at 22 NYCRR 50.3.  For guidance on Part 50 (formerly Part 25), court personnel may consult the Office of Court Administration’s Nonjudicial Ethics Helpline (888-283-8442).  Regarding the applicability of Part 50 to town and village justice courts, please see footnote 1 in Opinion 10-116. 


Topic:          Town Justice holding Court Clerk position in Village Justice Court.


Digest:         There is no ethical prohibition against dual employment by the Town Justice, but she should receive prior permission from the Chief Administrative Judge to hold both positions.


Rules:          Section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge; Section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts [22 NYCRR]


         A Town Justice who also is clerk of a Village Court asks whether there is any ethical conflict in her holding both positions simultaneously.

         Nether the Code of Judicial Conduct nor the Rules of the Chief Administrator prohibit dual employment of Town Justices. In the administration of justice at a local level, it is important to make maximum use of available talent.

         Section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts states that:


A part-time judge may accept private employment or public employment in a Federal, State, or municipal department or agency, provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s duties.

         The clerk of the Village Court describes her duties as scheduling, copying, recording of entries in the dockets, receipt of monies and preparation of the monthly report. There does not appear to be any conflict between these duties, and those that she would perform as Town Justice in a different court.

         However, section 25.37 of the Rules of the Chief Judge (22 NYCRR) prohibits dual employment of court employees without the previous consent in writing of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts. Accordingly, the clerk should obtain the appropriate approval to also serve as Town Justice.

         This Opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.