Smith, Matter of

CourtNew York Court on the Judiciary
Citation420 N.Y.S.2d 52
Decision Date18 April 1978
PartiesIn the Matter of the Proceedings pursuant to Section 22 of Article 6 of the Constitution of the State of New York in Relation to Wayne G. SMITH, A Judge of the Town Court, Town of Plattekill, County of Ulster, Third Judicial Department.

Page 52

420 N.Y.S.2d 52
In the Matter of the Proceedings pursuant to Section 22 of
Article 6 of the Constitution of the State of New York in
Relation to Wayne G. SMITH, A Judge of the Town Court, Town
of Plattekill, County of Ulster, Third Judicial Department.
Court on the Judiciary.
April 18, 1978.

Page 53

Before BIRNS, P. J., and SUOZZI, COHALAN, MOULE and CARDAMONE, JJ.

Respondent, pursuant to Section 580.5 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court on the Judiciary, moves for an order dismissing the charges served upon respondent on a number of grounds:

That a number of charges against him are based on conjecture only and fail to allege actionable misconduct; that the provisions of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct upon which the charges are based are so vague, uncertain and ambiguous as to provide no guide to a judicial officer; that respondent in the exercise of his judicial office may not be subject of a proceeding initiated by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct; that the conduct of members of the Court on the Judiciary is also subject to investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct which preferred the charges herein against respondent and any hearing and determination had will therefore violate the constitutional rights of respondent to a fair and impartial trial; that the acts upon which certain of the charges are based are alleged to have occurred prior to the effective date of the rules adopted by the Commission; that certain of the charges were not included in the written report of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and so may not be included, under Section 43 of the Judiciary Law, in the charges now filed against respondent; that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and other administrative agencies did not inform respondent of the guidelines and standards, rules and regulations governing the conduct alleged in the charges.

Respondent also moves for an order designating venue in the County of Ulster so as to serve the convenience of witnesses who may be called in his behalf.

We find each and every claim made by respondent to be without merit. The charges do allege actionable misconduct on the part of respondent. He is charged with seeking special consideration on behalf of defendants in other courts and with being influenced by requests for special consideration on behalf of defendants in his court.

The gravamen of the charges as asserted by counsel to...

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