Opinion 22-188

February 2, 2023


Question:         May a part-time town justice maintain concurrent full-time employment with the Unified Court System in another county, as a Court Assistant?



Discussion:       Although a part-time attorney judge may accept “public employment in a federal, state or municipal department or agency”, the employment must not “conflict or interfere with the judge’s duties” (22 NYCRR 100.6[B][4]). We have previously advised that the position of town justice is not incompatible with that of Chief Clerk of a City Court, County Court or Supreme Court, even in the same county (see Opinions 20-64; 08-172; 03-99). We find the Court Assistant role analogous, as the position is clerical.


Because the courts are in different counties, there may be fewer opportunities for conflict. However, if the justice learns that a case from their own town court has been appealed to or otherwise referred to the superior court for review, they should inform the superior court judge of this fact so they can be insulated from any involvement in the matter as a Court Assistant (Opinions 20-64; 19-05; 16-162).


We further note that under section 50.3(a) of the Rules of the Chief Judge appropriate administrative approval for such dual employment must be obtained in order for the inquirer to hold both positions (22 NYCRR 50.3[a]). Court personnel may also contact the Non-Judicial Ethics Helpline (888-283-8442) for guidance on Part 50.


Enclosed:         Opinions 20-64; 19-05; 16-162; 08-172; 03-99.