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People v. Mena

Other Lower Courts

December 10, 2007

The People of the State of New York
v.
Elio Mena, Defendant.

Editorial Note:

This case is not published in a printed volume and its disposition appears in a table in the reporter.

OPINION

Norman St. George, J.

The Defendant was arrested on May 22, 2006 and charged with: one count of violating Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.2, Driving While Intoxicated, Per Se, as an unclassified misdemeanor; one count of violating Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.3, Driving While Intoxicated, as an unclassified misdemeanor; and one count of violating Vehicle and Traffic Law 1131, Driving on the Shoulder, as a traffic infraction. The Defendant was issued computer generated uniform traffic tickets (also known as electronic tickets or "e-tickets") by the New York State Police. In accordance with the electronic tickets, Defendant appeared in Court on June 6, 2006, and was arraigned.

Defendant moves this Court to dismiss the Simplified Traffic Informations against him pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 100.10, upon the grounds that:

a. the computer generated Simplified Traffic Informations are not "Simplified Traffic Informations" as prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles;

b. the computer generated Simplified Traffic Informations violate the mandates of 15 NYCRR Part 91, et seq;

c. the computer generated Simplified Traffic Informations are unconstitutional as they violate New York State Constitution Article IV 8; and d. the computer generated Simplified Traffic Informations are facially defective and do not constitute Simplified Traffic Informations.

Defendant also moves this Court to dismiss the Simplified Traffic Informations against him pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 30.30, upon the grounds that the time within which to prosecute the instant matter has expired. The People oppose Defendant's motion.

I. ELECTRONIC TICKETING IS AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES

The Defendant claims that the electronic tickets issued to him are not Simplified Traffic Informations and are therefore defective because they are not in the form prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and they violate the mandates of 15 NYCRR Part 91 et seq. Defendant's primary argument is that the format of the electronic tickets do not comply with 15 NYCRR 91.5, which specifies that the ticket packet must be a multi-copy packet with interleaved carbons, each part being between 4 and 4-1/4 inches wide and between 7-3/4 and 8 inches long; be 12 or 13 pound sulfite bond paper and that the colors of the ticket packet conform to the colors and content prescribed in 15 NYCRR 91.7. The Defendant further asserts that 15 NYCRR 91.7 prohibits the use of any variation of the specifications unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Defendant contends that no such authority has been given by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

Vehicle and Traffic Law 207 provides the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles with the power to prescribe the form of a summons and complaint with respect to certain violations relating to traffic. Pursuant to this grant of authority, the Commissioner promulgated 15 NYCRR Part 91. These rules and regulations specifically prescribe the form of a uniform traffic ticket, which is a ticket packet that includes several parts, one of which is the Simplified Traffic Information ( See 15 NYCRR 91 .5, 91.7, and 91.16). The Simplified Traffic Information part of the ticket packet is the accusatory instrument which is filed with the Court.

Recently, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles authorized the electronic ticketing of the information contained in the ticket packet ( See 15 NYCRR 91 .21), in lieu of the uniform traffic ticket authorized by 15 NYCRR 91.7 and 91.16. As such, the electronically transferred simplified information becomes the "form" prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

15 NYCRR 91.21 (entitled "Electronic Ticketing") provides as follows:

" (a) In lieu of issuing uniform traffic tickets to enforcement agencies, as provided in section 91.16 of this Part, the commissioner may authorize law enforcement agencies to print any or all parts of the ticket packet and/or to transfer the information contained thereon electronically. Such printing and/or transfer of information shall be authorized in all areas of the State of New York (Emphasis added).

(b) Authorization to print any or all parts of the ticket packet and/or transfer information electronically shall not preclude any police agency from using paper ticket packets issued as provided in section 91.16 of this Part. Upon the issuance of any such ticket, the ...


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