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Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Loses Role as Chief After Son Joins Police

(CN) - The New Jersey Supreme Court took the feather out of the hat of a chief municipal judge whose son just joined the local police department.

George Boyd has been a judge in Perth Amboy since 1991 and supervised two other colleagues as the court's chief. After his son, Ethan, began working for the city's police department in early 2011, Boyd informed the Middlesex County assignment judge of the news.

That judge advised Boyd to resolve the "conflict" by resigning. The Advisory Committee on Extrajudicial Activities agreed.

Boyd petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court, which ruled last week that Boyd could remain as municipal judge, as long as he does not preside over cases involving the police department.

The court also ruled that Boyd can no longer serve as chief since it would put him in the position of supervising judges who heard cases involving the police department.

"If a superior court judge, whose son is an assistant prosecutor, must disqualify himself from a criminal case presented by an assistant prosecutor who works in the same office as his son (State v. Connolly, 1972), the same result should apply with equal, if not greater force in this case," Justice Barry Albin wrote for the court.

"Judges must comply with extremely high standards of conduct, on and off the bench," he added. "To be sure, meeting those standards imposes considerable personal and professional burdens on members of the judiciary - burdens that may require significant sacrifices by judges and their families."

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