Legal Aid Society (Michele Maxian and Paul Montgomery of counsel), for defendant.
Richard A. Brown, District Attorney of Queens County (Lynne Kurtz-Citrin of counsel), for plaintiff.
Roger N. Rosengarten, J.
Defendant was charged, under indictment number 3525/00, with robbery in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, and related charges. After a jury trial before this court, the defendant was found not guilty of the felony charges, and guilty of misdemeanor weapons and possession of stolen property charges. At the time of his arrest on October 25, 2000, the defendant, who was born on November 16, 1980, was 19 years old, and resided with his father in Far Rockaway, Queens, in a home owned by his father. He has been very capably represented throughout in this matter by assigned counsel, the Office of Michele Maxian, which is the Legal Aid Society, mandated to represent indigent defendants in Queens County. The case came before this court for trial, at which time the defendant was being held on $10,000 cash bail. During the course of jury selection, on or about August 29, 2001, the defendant's father, Alan Kearns, posted the cash sum of $10,000 to satisfy the bail condition and the defendant was released in court. Defense counsel, employed by the Legal Aid Society, made the court aware that his client had made bail and had been released. Based upon this information, on August 31, 2001, the court directed the defendant's parent, Alan Kearns, to appear for an inquiry into his son's eligibility for assigned counsel, to be held on September 4, 2001.
Eligibility Hearing--County Law § 722-d
Upon reviewing the testimony, and the applicable case law, this court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
Findings of Fact
As stated supra, an inquiry was held before this court on September 4, 2001. The court examined the defendant's father, Alan Kearns, whom the court found credible. After due consideration, this court finds the following facts:
Alan Kearns testified that the defendant, Patrick Kearns, is his son, and that he is currently under 21 years of age. Alan Kearns is his son's sole means of support. He has no dependents other than the defendant. The defendant resides with him in a home which Alan Kearns owns in Queens County. Alan Kearns failed to produce his prior three years New York State and federal income tax filings as directed by the court in
its order dated August 31, 2001.H e stated that he is gainfully employed as an oil truck delivery driver for a home heating oil company and takes home $680 dollars a week ($35,000 per year). In addition to his base pay, he earns substantial overtime during the winter heating season months. Alan Kearns was unable to state the precise amount of his overtime pay. Since the defendant's father failed to provide tax records which would have shown his exact gross pay, despite being ordered to do so, the court will assume that he earns in excess of the $39,375 required for presumptive eligibility for assigned counsel for a household consisting of two persons pursuant to the eligibility guidelines of the Second Department. The value of the home which Mr. Kearns owns in Far Rockaway, according to Mr. Kearns, is approximately between $135,000-$145,000. The home has a mortgage outstanding of $86,000. His mortgage payment is $808.58 per month. A computer search on the property conducted by the court revealed no other outstanding liens. He has no bank accounts or stocks or bonds. He does have a checking account. The ...