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The People of the State of New York, Respondent v. Lawrence Rosano

New York SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


March 15, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
LAWRENCE ROSANO, APPELLANT.

Appeal from judgments of the District Court of Nassau County, Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency (Allen S. Mathers, J.H.O.), entered July 7, 2010.

People v Rosano (Lawrence)

Decided on March 15, 2013

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: NICOLAI, P.J., and IANNACCI, J.

The judgments, entered upon defendant's default in answering various traffic infraction charges, imposed fines against defendant. The appeal from the judgments brings up for review the denial of defendant's oral application to, in effect, open his default.

ORDERED that the appeal from the judgments is dismissed except insofar as the appeal brings up for review the denial of defendant's oral application to, in effect, open his default; and it is further,

ORDERED that the judgments, insofar as reviewed, are affirmed, without costs.

Defendant failed to answer seven simplified traffic informations. On the day the fines were imposed, defendant appeared and made an application to, in effect, open his default and submit a motion regarding a justification defense. The District Court denied defendant's application, and default judgments, civil in nature (see Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1806-a [1]), were entered against him. On appeal, defendant contends, in effect, that the judgments should be reversed because the court improvidently exercised its discretion in denying his application. We disagree.

Since defendant failed to timely answer the traffic infraction charges, the judgments subsequently entered are deemed default judgments from which no appeal lies except insofar as the appeal brings up for review the denial of defendant's prejudgment application to, in effect, open his default and submit a motion regarding his justification defense.

Defendant's prejudgment application, in effect, to open his default failed to set forth a reasonable excuse for his default. Moreover, his proffered meritorious defense, that his conduct in committing the traffic infractions was justified (see Penal Law § 35.05 [2]) since the "imminent public or private injury" his conduct sought to avoid -- the federal government's alleged improper support of abortion and contraception rights -- lacks merit, as the claimed facts and circumstances, even if established, would not constitute a defense.

Accordingly, the judgments, insofar as reviewed, are affirmed.

Nicolai, P.J., and Iannacci, J., concur. Decision Date: March 15, 2013

20130315

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