Opinion 89-153

January 18, 1990


Digest:         A part-time judge, who is engaged in a business enterprise with a detective, should disqualify himself in proceedings where the detective is a party or a witness.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.3(c)(1)


         A part-time judge inquires whether a conflict of interest exists where a detective, with whom the judge has a business and personal relationship involving joint ownership, purchase and sale of real estate and a joint bank account, appears before the judge either as a party or a witness.

         Section 100.3 (c)(1) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator requires that a judge “disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned”. As the judge here has a personal and business relationship with the detective, the judge should recuse himself in any proceeding where the detective is involved, as either a witness or a party.