Opinion 21-105

June 23, 2021


Dear :


     This responds to your inquiry (21-105) asking whether it is ethically permissible to accept and decide a “universal motion” from the District Attorney to dismiss certain specified marijuana charges, pursuant to a change in the Penal Law, “in lieu of requiring the submission of a written disposition for every arrest.”


This inquiry raises a legal question rather than an ethical one and, accordingly, is governed by applicable statues and/or case law rather than the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. The Committee is only authorized to render advisory opinions concerning issues of ethical conduct or proper execution of judicial duties concerning judicial ethics (see 22 NYCRR 101.1; Judiciary Law § 212[2][l]). We may not resolve issues of law. However, given the nature of the inquiry, we suggest you request an opinion from the Office of Court Administration’s City Town and Village Court Resource Center or the individual City Town and Village Court liaison within your judicial district.


                                                   Very truly yours,





                                                   Margaret Walsh

                                                   Supreme Court Justice

                                                   Committee Co-Chair


                                                   Lillian Wan

                                                   Acting Supreme Court Justice

                                                   Committee Co-Chair