Reporting quasi-judicial and extra-judicial activities and compensation

A.  Compensation and reimbursement.

A judge may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for the quasi-judicial and extra-judicial activities permitted by this Code, if neither the source nor amount of such payments gives the appearance of influencing the judge's official duties, or otherwise gives the appearance of impropriety.

B.  Extra-judicial compensation.

Extra-judicial compensation is defined as being the consideration received for services rendered by a judge to a person, firm, corporation or association other than the salary, benefits and perquisites of office provided to the judge for the performance of official judicial duties. Extra-judicial compensation does not include income from interest, dividends, rents, royalties, working interests, proceeds of or profits from the sale or exchange of capital assets as defined by the Internal Revenue Code and regulations, or collection of fees or retirement benefits earned or reimbursement of expenses incurred prior to entering judicial service.  Compensation or income of a spouse attributed to the judge by operation of community property or other law is not extra-judicial compensation of the judge. Extra-judicial compensation should not exceed a reasonable amount for the activities performed, and should not exceed what a person who is not a judge would receive for the same activity.

C.  Expense reimbursement.

Expense reimbursement should be limited to the actual cost of travel, food and lodging and other expenses reasonably incurred by the judge and, where appropriate to the occasion, by the judge's spouse.  Any payment in excess of actual cost is extra-judicial compensation subject to the requirements of this rule.

D.  Public reports.

In addition to all other reports required by law, a judge should report the date, place and nature of any activity for which the judge received extra-judicial compensation as defined in this rule, including the name of the payor and the amount, or character and value, of extra-judicial compensation so received.  The judge's report shall be filed as a public record in the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court of New Mexico on or before April 15 of each year covering the preceding calendar year.

[As amended, effective January 1, 1987; February 16, 1995.]


Paragraph A. Compensation and reimbursement
The Code does not prohibit a judge from accepting honoraria or speaking fees provided that the amount of the extra-judicial compensation is reasonable and commensurate with the task performed. A judge should ensure, however, that no conflicts of interest are created by the arrangements. A judge must not appear to trade on judicial office for personal advantage. A judge shall not spend significant time away from court duties in order to meet speaking or writing commitments.

Neither the source of payment nor the amount paid as extra-judicial compensation must raise any question of undue influence or the judge's ability or willingness to be impartial. Engaging in business for profit with the State of New Mexico or any of its departments, officials, or political subdivisions, either in person or through an entity in which the judge owns an interest, should be carefully scrutinized to avoid creating a conflict of interest or suggesting that the judge is exploiting judicial office for personal advantage.

Paragraph B. Extra-judicial compensation
No judge may ask for any remuneration for performing a marriage ceremony, but may receive an unsolicited gratuity for performing a marriage outside normal business hours.

Compiler's Annotations

The 1995 amendment, effective February 16, 1995, rewrote the rule and added the commentary.

Internal Revenue Code. — For the Internal Revenue Code, referred to in Paragraph B, see 26 U.S.C.S. § 1 et seq.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 46 Am. Jur. 2d Judges § 27.

48A C.J.S. Judges § 35.