January 18, 1990
Digest: A part-time judge may bring a pro se case in small claims part of his own court before the other judge. The judge may not attend a picnic sponsored by a political party unless the judge is running for re-election.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.7(a)
A part-time judge inquires whether he may bring a pro se action in small claims part of his own court before the other judge, and whether he may attend an annual Republican party picnic at a cost of $5.
No provision of the Rules of the Chief Administrator prohibits a judge from bringing an action on his or her behalf in a court having jurisdiction of the action. Accordingly, the judge is free to file a pro se action in small claims part of his own court before the other judge. Any action taken after the commencement of the lawsuit concerning the transferring of the case to another court is at the discretion of the sitting judge. The question of what action the sitting judge should take is one that only the sitting judge may pose, and, therefore, is not addressed by the Committee.
Section 100.7(a) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator prohibits a judge from the “purchase, directly or indirectly of tickets to politically sponsored dinners or other affairs, or attendance at such dinners or other affairs, including dinners or affairs sponsored by a political organization for a nonpolitical purpose...” This limitation does not apply if the judge is running for re-election. As the inquiring judge has not indicated that he is running for re-election, he may not attend the picnic sponsored by a political party.