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People v. Cordeiro

New York Justice Court Of Town Of Webster, Monroe County


April 6, 2009

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
v.
RYAN J. CORDEIRO, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas J. DiSalvo, J.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the printed Official Reports.

History of the Case

The defendant was previously charged with Common Law Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(3), Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(2-a), Imprudent Speed, 1180(a) and Moved From Lane Unsafely, V.T.L. 1128(a) on December 16, 2007. The charges of Common Law Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(3), Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(2-a) were subsequently dismissed, without prejudice, by this court on February 21, 2008, because the supporting deposition was not sufficient on its face, pursuant to C.P.L. 100.40(2) and 170.30(1). The reason for the insufficiency was that the form DWI supporting deposition did not indicate specifically how the arresting officer knew the defendant operated the vehicle in question. See People v. Cordeiro, (2008) 18 Misc 3d 1135(A), 859 N.Y.S.2d 897, 2008 NY Slip. Op. 50320(U). The remaining charges were withdrawn by the prosecution.

The People re-filed all four charges on April 15, 2008 via Simplified Traffic Informations. The defendant was arraigned on said charges on May 7, 2008. The people relied on the original form DWI supporting deposition dated December 7, 2007. Said supporting deposition attested to various indicia of intoxication relative to the original charges that were dismissed by the court. In addition the arresting officer filed a new supporting deposition, affirmed on April 14, 2008, which alleged how the officer determined that the defendant was the driver of the vehicle in question. However, said supporting deposition failed to attest to the physical condition of the defendant at the time of the arrest.

Defense counsel moved to dismiss the re-filed common law and aggravated driving while intoxicated charges on two grounds. First, the defense contends that the re-filed accusatory instruments before the court were insufficient, since C.P.L. 160.50(1)( c) forbids the use of a prior supporting intoxication deposition issued in support of charges that were previously dismissed.

Second, the defense contends that the current charges should be dismissed on statutory speedy trial grounds pursuant to C.P.L. 30.30(1)(b).

The People argue that the file, relative to the original charges, was never sealed, because the People were never served with a Notice of Entry of the order of dismissal by the defense.

Based on that fact, the People contend that reliance on the original intoxication supporting deposition was justified, which would then satisfy the non-hearsay requirements of C.P.L. 100.40(1)( c). Lastly, the People maintain that the defendant has not been denied his speedy trial rights.

Issues Presented

Can the People rely on the supporting deposition filed as part of the initial case that was dismissed without prejudice?

Was the sealing of the court's file precluded by the fact that the defendant did not serve the court's order of dismissal on the District Attorney?

Should the instant case be dismissed for failure to timely prosecute this matter pursuant to C.P.L. 30.30(1)(b)?

Legal Analysis

A.Reliance on original supporting deposition.

(i)A. Sealing of Court's File

Criminal Procedure Law 160.50(1) requires that when a case is resolved in favor of a defendant, the record of said action must be sealed, unless otherwise directed by the court. No such previous direction has been made by this court relative to said original charges."For purposes of subdivision one of this section, a criminal action or proceeding against a person shall be considered terminated in favor of such person where an order dismissing the entire accusatory instrument against such person pursuant to section 170.30.... was entered...." C.P.L. 160.50(3)(b).

The same charges that are currently before the court were dismissed against the defendant for insufficiency as set out in this court's aforementioned written decision. Thus pursuant to C.P.L. 160.50(1) & (3) the previous case was decided in favor of the defendant, which required that the entire record of that previous action be sealed. The sealing of said record would not allow the supporting deposition issued in support of the original simplified traffic informations to be used in support of the simplified traffic informations filed in the subsequent action. This would render the re-filed simplified traffic informations charging the defendant with both Common Law Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(3) and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated V.T.L. 1192(2-a) insufficient, requiring their dismissal pursuant to C.P.L. 170.30(1), C.P.L. 170.35 and C.P.L. 100.40(1) & (2), unless a supporting deposition, dated after the date the of previous dismissal, attesting to some of the alleged indicia of intoxication of the defendant was re-filed as well.*fn1 In this case the arresting officer did not re-file a supporting deposition sworn to after the said dismissal.

Thus there is no non-hearsay allegations before the court relative to the issue of intoxication as required by C.P.L. 100.40(1)( c).

(ii) Failure to Serve the Order of Dismissal by Defendant on the People

The People in their written response rely on the requirements set out in C.P.L. 460.10(1)(a), which deals with the time requirements for filing an appeal in a criminal case. In particular the prosecution argues that since it was not served with a notice of entry of the court's initial order of dismissal by the defendant or his attorney, the court's file was never sealed. The prosecution argues that this would permit the use of the prior supporting deposition in question. However, there is no requirement in the Criminal Procedure Law which would require the prevailing party to serve the order of dismissal on the losing party in order to seal the court's file. Criminal Procedure Law 160.50 is quite specific. It requires that "Upon the termination of a criminal action or proceeding against a person in favor of such person, as defined in subdivision three of this section ... the record of such action or proceeding shall be sealed ...." In fact, the sealing is automatic"... unless the district attorney upon motion with not less than five days notice to such person or his or her attorney demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court that the interests of justice require otherwise, or the court on its own motion with not less than five days notice to such person or his or her attorney determines that the interests of justice require otherwise and states the reasons for such determination on the record, the record of such action or proceeding shall be sealed ...."*fn2

Thus the burden is on the People or the Court to keep such a file open.No motion was ever filed in this matter requesting that the file remain open. Nor did the court order the original file to remain open.

B. Speedy Trial

As previously indicated the new charges were filed on April 15, 2008. In conjunction with same, a supporting deposition, attested to on April 14, 2008, dealing with the issue of operation by the defendant, was also filed with the court. However, as previously indicated, the arresting officer did not re-file a supporting deposition relative to the issue of intoxication. The defendant's motion to dismiss was filed with the court on February 11, 2009. Three hundred two (302) days elapsed between the date of the re-filing of the charges and the date of the defense's Omnibus Motions.

During all that time jurisdictionally defective accusatory instruments have been pending before this court. C.P.L. 30.30(1)(b) requires that a motion for dismissal "... must be granted where the people are not ready for trial within ninety days of the commencement of a criminal action wherein a defendant is accused of one or more offenses, at least one of which is a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of more than three months and none of which is a felony."

Since the accusatory instruments before the court were insufficient ab initio, the people could not be considered ready for trial. People v. Kendzia, (1985) 64 NY2d 331, 486 N.Y.S.2d 888.

Conclusion

The re-filed charges of Common Law Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(3), Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(2-a) are dismissed on grounds of insufficiency, pursuant to C.P.L. 100.40(1)( c), C.P.L. 170.30(1)(a) and C.P.L. 170.35(1)(a). The People's reliance on C.P.L. 460.10(1)(a), in an attempt to extrapolate the notice of appeal rules to the sealing requirements of C.P.L. 160.50(1), is misplaced. Normally, a dismissal on insufficiency grounds is without prejudice.*fn3 However in this case the re-filed charges of Common Law Driving While Intoxicated, V.T.L. 1192(3) and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated V.T.L. 1192(2-a) are also dismissed on speedy trial grounds pursuant to C.P.L. 30.30(1)(b) and 170.30(1)(e), which effectively is a dismissal with prejudice.*fn4 The remaining vehicle and traffic charges to wit: Imprudent Speed, 1180(a) and Moved From Lane Unsafely, V.T.L. 1128(a) remain before this court. Traffic infractions are not governed by statutory speedy trial standards. See People v. Gonzalez (1996) 168 Misc 2d 136, 645 N.Y.S.2d 978. This constitutes the decision and order of this Court.


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