Opinion 101

The Judicial Qualifications Commission has been asked for an Advisory Opinion as to whether a dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Department, who is not a sworn officer of the Department and performs only clerical duties and does not perform any functions of a Deputy Sheriff, may also serve as a magistrate.

In Opinion No. 34, the Commission concluded that a police officer was disqualified by reason of his office to serve as a Justice of the Peace and, for the same reasons, totally without respect to the nature of his duties, the Commission must conclude that any employee of a law enforcement body is disqualified by conflict of interest from serving as a magistrate.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Canon 1, Rules 1.2(B), 2.4(B), 2.11(A), 3.11. Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #34, #70, #137, #151, #162, #172, #179.]

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