October 9, 1992

Opinion 92-38
Canons 5B and 2B

Dear Judge

You have inquired whether you may continue to be involved in the solicitation of donations of coats for the homeless now that you have been appointed to the Circuit Court. You state you annually conducted a program in which coats and gloves were distributed by the Salvation Army and your local police to those in need. No solicitation of any funds was involved.

It is the unanimous opinion of the committee that the Code of Judicial Conduct does not permit you as a Judge to be involved in the solicitation of coat donations.

Canon 5B(2) prohibits solicitation of funds for charitable organizations and Canon 2B prohibits a judge from lending the prestige of office to advance the private interests of others.

Three members of the committee believe you may be involved with the collection aspect of the program if you restrict your role to administrative and logistical support. You cannot be involved in any solicitation and cannot allow use of {your} judicial title in any solicitation.

The committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory to the inquiring party, to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to the judiciary at large. Conduct that is consistent with an advisory opinion issued by the committee may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions issued by the committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct for Judges, 327 So2d 5 (Fla.1976).

With regards, I remain,

Yours very truly,

Harvey Goldstein, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges

JT/mc

cc: All Committee Members

Participating members: Judges Tolton, Green, Booth, Dell, Doughtie, Goldstein, Farina, Rushing and Clarke, Esq.

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