March 15, 1994
(Should judge serve on advisory
(board of juvenile detention center
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
RE: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated January 31, 1994
In response to your inquiry, our Committee has the following advise. You have been asked to serve in an advisory capacity on the Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center's Community Advisory Board. All of our Committee members who have responded with one exception find that there is no ethical problem in serving on this Board. We find it would be advisable to clear your appointment with the Chief Judge and also that you may wish to abstain from voting certain issues before the Board. Additionally, it may be improper for you to actually lead the Board and to represent the Board before a county commission. One member feels it would be improper to serve on this Board as it is an HRS Board and HRS frequently appears before judges in a variety of capacities. You should also exercise caution in the recruitment of volunteers so that you are not applying judicial pressure improperly.
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 So.2d 5 (Fla.1976).
Yours very truly,
Nath C. Doughtie, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Office of the Courts Administrator (name of judge deleted from this copy)
Participating members: Judges Doughtie, Farina , Goldstein, Green, Kahn, Patterson , Rushing, Taylor, Tolton.