Opinion 79-5

April 25, 1979

Re: Canon 7C

Dear Judge:

This is in response to your inquiry of March 29th, 1979, as to whether a retired Circuit Court Judge - who is occasionally pressed into service - may serve as the guardian of an estate of a non family member.

All of the Committee members who responded to this inquiry were of the opinion that inasmuch as Section 744.309(1)(b) Fla. Stat. prohibits a judge from acting as a guardian except when related to the ward by blood, marriage or adoption, a "part time judge" as defined by Canon 7C is likewise prohibited. This, despite the fact that "part time judges", according to Canon 7C(1), are not required to comply with Canon 5D, which likewise prohibits judges from serving as guardians. There is, obviously, a dichotomy between that which is permitted by the Cannon (sic) and that which is prohibited by Statute. Nevertheless, the Committee felt it would be a violation of the Canon for a judge to willfully violate the Statute. This is a matter which should be brought to the attention of the Legislature.

Yours truly,

James T. Carlisle, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges

Participating members: Judges Booth, Carlisle, Hewitt, Haverfield, Richardson, Stephenson, and Samuel J. Powers, Attorney

One member declined to participate