April 25, 1991
Digest: A part-time judge may not permit a town constable, who is also the court officer in the judge's court, to act simultaneously as prosecutor in cases involving violations of town ordinances.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§100.2; 100.3(b)(1)(2)
A part-time judge inquires whether a town constable, who also acts as court officer in the judge's court, may additionally act as prosecutor in cases involving violations of town ordinances.
Section 100.3(b) (2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states:
A judge shall require his or her staff and court officials, subject to his or her direction and control to observe the standards of fidelity and diligence that apply to the judge.
The dual roles of court officer and prosecutor could create a conflict of interest and the appearance of impropriety. Accordingly, the judge should not permit the Constable to appear as prosecutor while simultaneously acting as court officer.