NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
Part-time Judge – Public Service
Snow Removal – Aiding Law Enforcement
Background: The inquiring part-time judge has cleared snow from the driveway of a now-abandoned commercial property near his home without compensation for several years as a courtesy. Members of the public, as well as law enforcement, use the driveway to turn their vehicles around or to monitor traffic. Recently a liquor store owner complained of the judge’s actions because it allows police officers to monitor his customers.
Ruling: The committee concluded that, to the extent permitted by law, a town judge may voluntarily undertake to clear snow from the driveway of an abandoned property near his home as a public service, even if doing so may also inadvertently aid local law enforcement activities.