Opinion 96-123

January 23, 1997


Digest:         A part-time judge may work as a hair stylist at the county jail provided that no inmate sentenced by the judge uses the judge as a hair stylist.


Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4)


         A part-time village justice inquires whether serving as a hairstylist at the county jail is permissible. Hairstyling is offered to eligible inmates bi-weekly and inmates pay for the service from their commissary accounts. The only inmates who receive haircuts are those sentenced to one year in jail. This justice’s caseload consists almost exclusively of traffic infractions and thus the judge rarely presides over matters in which the defendant is likely to be sentenced to incarceration of one year. The inmates are almost exclusively tried and/or sentenced not by the inquiring justice but by other Town or Village Justices or a County Court Judge. Another Village Justice also serves within the justice’s municipality.

         The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct allow a part-time judge to “...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.” 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4).

         Since the inquiring judge is not likely to handle cases which result in incarceration at the jail, and with the understanding that the judge must recuse himself/herself if any potential conflict should arise, the judge may continue to work as a hairstylist at the county jail.