Opinion 20-178

December 1, 2020




Dear :


                This responds to your inquiry (20-178) asking about your obligations with respect to an escrow account. Several years ago, before you assumed the bench, you served as a referee in foreclosure. You are still holding certain monies in escrow, as you wait for the judge in the foreclosure matter to sign an order to release them. You anticipate you will soon be sworn in to the same multi-judge court where the foreclosure matter is pending. On these facts, you ask if you may continue to hold the monies in escrow pending the court order directing their release.


                We believe you may continue to hold these funds in escrow while awaiting a court order directing their release, as the remaining functions from your former service as referee in foreclosure are ministerial. It is immaterial if you are sworn into the same bench as the judge in the foreclosure matter in the interim.


                Enclosed for your reference are Opinions 16-164, 03-37, 96-89, and 06-57.


                                              Very truly yours



                                              Margaret T. Walsh

                                              Supreme Court Justice

                                              Committee Co-Chair


                                              Lillian Wan

                                              Acting Supreme Court Justice

                                              Committee Co-Chair