State of Washington
Ethics Advisory Committee
- May a judicial officer host a table of other judges at a fundraising luncheon, the primary purpose of the luncheon being to solicit funds from the attendees to support a non-profit social service agency?
- Is it proper for a judicial officer to perform weddings in court facilities outside of court hours and receive pay for such weddings, without giving any payment for the use of the court facilities?
- Is it proper for court staff to schedule weddings for judicial officers, when the judicial officer is receiving payment for the weddings?
- CJC Canon 5(B)(2) permits judicial officers to participate in charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon their impartiality or interfere with the performance of their judicial duties. It also provides that judicial officers should not solicit funds for these activities but permits them to attend fundraising events.
A judicial officer may host a table of judicial officers at a fundraising luncheon if the judicial officer's sponsorship of the table is not advertised and if the judicial officer does not directly or indirectly participate in any fundraising activities during the luncheon.
- There is no provision in the Code of Judicial Conduct which requires a judicial officer who performs weddings in court facilities outside of court hours and who is paid for these weddings, to give any payment for the use of court facilities.
- There is no provision in the Code of Judicial Conduct which prohibits a judge from having court staff schedule a wedding even though the judicial officer is being paid. The judicial officer does, however, have the responsibility of ensuring that arrangements for weddings do not unduly interfere with the staff's ability to perform their official duties.
NOTE: Effective June 23, 1995, the Supreme Court amended the Code of Judicial Conduct. In addition to reviewing the ethics advisory opinions, the following should be noted:
Opinion 93-30—The language in CJC Canon 5(B)(2) has been modified.
The Supreme Court adopted a new Code of Judicial Conduct effective January 1, 2011. In addition to reviewing the ethics advisory opinions, the following should be noted: