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MATTER WALTER J. WIGGINS v. ITHACA JOURNAL NEWS (08/05/68)

CITY COURT OF NEW YORK, ITHACA 1968.NY.42766 <http://www.versuslaw.com>; 292 N.Y.S.2d 920; 57 Misc. 2d 356 August 5, 1968 IN THE MATTER OF WALTER J. WIGGINS, PETITIONER,v.ITHACA JOURNAL NEWS, INC., ET AL., RESPONDENTS Bruce G. Dean for Ithaca Journal News, Inc., and others, respondents. Mathew McHugh, City Prosecutor, for the People. Michael LoPinto for interested party. Walter J. Wiggins, petitioner, in person, and for an interested party. Richard I. Mulvey, J. Author: Mulvey


Richard I. Mulvey, J.

Author: Mulvey

 This decision involves a motion by the respondents, Ithaca Journal News, Inc., Randall Shew and Patricia Nordheimer for an order dismissing the contempt proceedings brought against them upon the order to show cause issued on the affidavit of Walter J. Wiggins, Esq., an attorney for one of the interested parties herein. The respondents' notice states the following grounds for their motion: (1) that the order to show cause and affidavit of Walter Wiggins do not contain a plain and concise statement of any act constituting criminal contempt under article 19 of the Judiciary Law; (2) that the alleged acts do not constitute criminal contempt, and (3) the contempt proceeding herein is contrary to law.

Briefly the history of this matter is as follows: On June 19, 1968, two youths were apprehended and brought before me on a charge of petit larceny stemming from the stealing of two gasoline cans from a motor boat and the subsequent apprehension of the youths by a Deputy Sheriff of Tompkins County. Present in the courtroom were attorneys Wiggins and LoPinto, representing the two youths and the respondent, Patricia Nordheimer, a reporter for the respondent, Ithaca Journal News, Inc. The following colloquy took place:

"City Court -- Ithaca, New York, June 19, 1968.

The Court: O.K. There's two charges here involving minors and there's a possibility that they will become Youthful Offender Treatment. In that event I wouldn't want to prejudice their rights.

Mr. Lo Pinto: In that regard, Your Honor, I would like Your Honor to instruct the press not to print anything considering these minors.

The Court: Do you have any objection?

Mr. Mc Hugh: I certainly don't.

The Court: Maybe she doesn't even know about the two cases.

Voice: (Court Clerk) I understand she (the reporter) does.

The Court: Well, I won't even mention the two cases in court, but it's the direction of the Court that under Section 913 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that since there is a possibility that they will be disposed of as Youthful Offenders, it will be prejudicial under that law to reveal their identity or any contents of the charge."

Mr. Wiggins, attorney for one of the youths and Mr. LoPinto, attorney for the second youth then appeared before me in the chambers of the Ithaca City Court with their clients and requested that I give consideration to their clients being afforded youthful offender treatment. At that time both attorneys were advised while in chambers that their request would be considered and the matter was adjourned pending investigation by the Tompkins County Probation Department to determine the youths' eligibility for such treatment.

In the afternoon edition of the Ithaca Journal the following two articles appeared:

"Proceedings 'Withheld'

City Judge Richard Mulvey ordered withheld from the press today court proceedings of a case he did not identify involving youths represented by attorneys Michael LoPinto and Walter Wiggins. LoPinto asked for the treatment and Wiggins and City Prosecutor Matthew McHugh concurred.

Mulvey ordered secrecy of the court records under Sec. 913e of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Mulvey said the case was one in which Youthful Offender consideration might be given, he and the others then went into his chambers." "Wednesday, June 19, 1968 ITHACA JOURNAL

Arrest Three In Theft

Three boys were arrested Tuesday by city police detectives on warrant secured by the Tompkins County Sheriff's navigation patrol in connection with the reported theft of two full fivegallon gas tanks about 3:30 a.m. Sunday from a boat owned by Albert Kessell, 900 Dryden Rd., at Freeman's dock on the Inlet.

According to the report of Deputy Byron VanZile, navigation officer, he went to Freeman's to get the county's patrol boat to answer another call and found the youths at the site. He chased their boat in the county's craft, heard a splash and found ...


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