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People v. Zona

Other Lower Courts

January 4, 2008

The People of the State of New York
v.
Joshua M. Zona, Defendant.

Editorial Note:

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

COUNSEL

Hon. R. Michael Tantillo, Special Seneca County District Attorney, Counsel for the People.

James McGraw, Esq., (Katy A. Karlovitz, Esq., of Counsel), Counsel for the Defendant.

OPINION

W. Patrick Falvey, J.

Defendant, JOSHUA M. ZONA, was indicted for one count of Petit Larceny (a Class A Misdemeanor), in violation of 155.25 of the Penal Law.

Defendant, now moves for assorted forms of relief as requested in the defendant's Notice of Omnibus Motion dated October 12, 2007, accompanying affirmation and other supporting documents.

Upon argument of his Omnibus Motions on November 16, 2007 certain branches and elements therein were decided and determined upon said argument and incorporated into an order.

The Court also reserved decision, at the conclusion of oral arguments on the following issues:

1. The Grand Jury proceedings failed to conform to the requirements of CPL Article 190 pursuant to CPL sections 210.20(1)(c) and 210.35;

2. Inspection of the Grand Jury minutes and, upon such inspection, for a dismissal of the indictment on the grounds that it was defective and/or the evidence before the Grand Jury was not legally sufficient to establish the offense(s) or any lesser offenses as well as other stated grounds. CPL sections 210.20(1)(a) and (b) and 210.30;

3. That the People turn over to the defendant as "Brady" material, any statements of those purporting to have given one Larson permission to remove items alleged to be wrongfully taken from a particular building or premises.

Based on the defendant's motion papers, the District Attorney's responding affirmation dated October 24, 2007; the Grand Jury minutes. attendance/vote/payroll records, grand juror handbook, the arguments had on October 24, 2007 and December 10, 1007, and all the submissions and proceedings herein the Court decides as follows:

THE GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS AS FAILING TO CONFORM TO CPL ARTICLE 190; MOTION TO INSPECT AND DISMISS

The defendant requests that the Court disclose the minutes of the Grand Jury proceedings. However, maintaining the secrecy or confidentiality of grand jury minutes is a matter of paramount public interest. Ruggiero v. Fahey, 103 A.D.2d 65. The secrecy is jealously guarded because confidentiality of its proceedings is necessary to ensure its continued effectiveness. Matter of Grand Jury, New York County, 125 Misc.2d 918.

However, in the discretion of the Trial Court, disclosure may be directed, when after balancing of the public interest in disclosure against one favoring secrecy, the former outweighs the latter. Matter of District Attorney of Suffolk County,58 ...


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