Dear NYSALJA, I’m a full time ALJ with a NYS agency. I’ve been asked to officiate a wedding and would like to know whether, as ALJs, we have that authority. I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

Dear Judge, the short answer is that in New York State, ALJs are not authorized to perform marriages. Many judges are but, regrettably, state administrative law judges are not among them.

Currently, the only judges who are permitted to do so are federal district court judges for the northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge of the United States Court of International Trade, a federal administrative law judge presiding in this state, a judge or justice of the Unified Court System of this State, a housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York, or a retired judge or justice of the Unified Court System or a retired housing judge of the civil court.

For a full look at the statute that regulates this area of the law, please refer to New York Domestic Relations – Article 3 – § 11.