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The People of the State of New York v. Antonio Stamos

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


April 1, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
RESPONDENT,
v.
ANTONIO STAMOS,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from an order of the City Court of Yonkers, Westchester County (Robert C. Cerrato, J.), dated March 2, 2009.

People v Stamos (Antonio)

Appellate Term, Second Department

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

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on April 1, 2011

PRESENT: TANENBAUM, J.P., MOLIA and IANNACCI, JJ

The order denied defendant's motion to seal and expunge the records of his arrest and conviction.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs.

Defendant was arrested and charged with sexual abuse in the third degree (Penal Law § 130.55), endangering the welfare of a child (Penal Law § 260.10), and harassment in the second degree (Penal Law § 240.26). In April 1994, defendant pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the third degree in full satisfaction of all charges. More than 14 years later, defendant moved to seal and expunge the records of his arrest and conviction pursuant to CPL 160.55 (1) (c). By order dated March 2, 2009, the City Court denied the motion. This appeal ensued.

The sealing of records can be accomplished "[u]pon the termination of a criminal action or proceeding against a person by the conviction of such person of a traffic infraction or a violation" (CPL 160.55 [1] [c] [emphasis added]). Contrary to defendant's contention that his motion should have been granted because he was convicted of harassment in the second degree, a violation, the record indicates that defendant was convicted solely of sexual abuse in the third degree (Penal Law § 130.55), a class B misdemeanor, and, therefore, CPL 160.55 (1) (c) does not apply.

While courts may have the inherent power to seal their own records (see Matter of Hynes v Karassik, 47 NY2d 659 [1979]), this power, exercised only rarely, has been wielded when there has been a showing that there is a need to protect an individual who might unjustly be injured by the indiscriminate availability of records (see Matter of Hynes v Karassik, 47 NY2d at 664). In the case at bar, defendant has not demonstrated that in the last 14 years he was unjustly injured by the indiscriminate availability of his court records or that he would sustain such an injury in the future (see People v Pettinato, 22 Misc 3d 140[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 50394[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]). Defendant's remaining contentions lack merit or are unpreserved for appellate review.

Accordingly, the order denying defendant's motion to seal and expunge the records of his arrest and conviction is affirmed.

Tanenbaum, J.P., Molia and Iannacci, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: April01, 2011

20110401

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