SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
May 20, 2011
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
HOWARD B. JOHNSON,
Appeal from two judgments of the City Court of Peekskill, Westchester County (William L. Maher, J.), entered March 16, 2009.
People v Johnson (Howard)
Decided on May 20, 2011
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
PRESENT:TANENBAUM, J.P., LaCAVA and IANNACCI, JJ
The judgments convicted defendant, after a non-jury trial, of failing to wear a seatbelt and operating an uninspected motor vehicle, respectively.
ORDERED that the judgments of conviction are affirmed.
In separate simplified traffic informations, the People charged defendant with failing to wear a seatbelt (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1229-c ) and operating an uninspected motor vehicle (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 306 [b]). At the scene of the traffic stop, the state trooper had issued to defendant electronic tickets and supporting depositions, which he had produced on a hand-held device and upon which were printed, as a part of the forms, the trooper's facsimile signatures. Defendant later demanded, and received, additional supporting depositions (CPL 100.25 ), which also bore the trooper's facsimile signatures. The City Court denied defendant's pretrial motion to dismiss the simplified traffic informations based on the alleged infirmity of the electronic signature verifications on the supporting depositions (see CPL 100.20). At the non-jury trial, the trooper testified to the issuance of the electronic tickets and the sets of supporting depositions, identified the electronic signatures as his own, and stated that he had authorized their use for the purpose of verifying the truth of the contents of both documents. Upon the trooper's credible testimony, which defendant did not rebut, the City Court convicted defendant of the charged offenses. The sole issue raised by defendant in the City Court and on appeal is that the use of electronic signatures to verify the supporting depositions violated CPL 100.20. We reject defendant's contention and affirm the judgments of conviction.
In People v Bize (30 Misc 3d 68 [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2010]), this court generally approved the use of electronic tickets. In light of the clear legislative policy to promote the use of electronic signatures "to facilitate both business in, as well as the business of, New York State" (9 NYCRR 540.01), with exceptions not relevant here (State Technology Law § 307), we now hold that an issuing officer's electronic signature on a supporting deposition may be deemed "adopted by [the officer] with the intent to sign the record" (State Technology Law § 302 ) and with "the same validity and effect as the use of a signature affixed by hand" (State Technology Law § 304 ).
Accordingly, the judgments of conviction are affirmed.
Tanenbaum, J.P., LaCava and Iannacci, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: May 20, 2011
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