December 16, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-175) asking whether there are any matters that you, as a former member of the village board, are precluded from hearing when you commence your judicial term of office.
We have previously advised that “a town justice-elect who serves on the board of the town where he/she will preside and who voted on legislation amending and promulgating town laws and ordinances and on the initial appointment and subsequent annual reappointments of the town attorney is not required to disqualify him/herself when the town attorney appears or when such town laws and ordinances are the subject of cases before him/her” (Opinion 19-156, quoting Opinion 10-190).
The same principles apply here. Accordingly, your past service on the village board does not require you to disqualify whenever the village attorney appears or in all cases involving village laws or ordinances.
Enclosed for your convenience are Opinions 19-156; 10-190 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice