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The People of the State of New York, Respondent v. Margaret Robinson (N.Y.App.Term 03/15/2013)

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.
MARGARET ROBINSON, APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the City Court of Yonkers, Westchester County (Edward J. Gaffney, Jr., J.), rendered June 30, 2011.

People v Robinson (Margaret)

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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 March 15, 2013

PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., and IANNACCI, J.

The judgment convicted defendant, after a non-jury trial, of passing a school bus that was stopped and had its lights flashing.

ORDERED that the judgment of conviction is reversed, on the facts and as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, the accusatory instrument is dismissed, and the fine, if paid, is remitted.

After a non-jury trial, the City Court convicted defendant of passing a school bus that was stopped and had its lights flashing (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1174 [a]). The sole witness for the People, the police officer who had issued defendant the simplified traffic information charging the offense, testified to little more than that he had observed defendant pass a "school bus," with red warning lights illuminated and which had stopped to pick up passengers. There was no testimony that the vehicle was a school bus within the meaning of the statute, nor that the vehicle bore the required identifying markings, lights, and signs (see Vehicle and Traffic Law §§ 375 [20]; 1174 [a]). Even if the proof need represent only "substantial compliance" with the statutory requirements (e.g. People v Teverovskaya, 22 Misc 3d 138[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 50350[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2009]; People v Kaler, 2003 NY Slip Op 51351[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2003]), the trial evidence fell far short of that standard (People v Quarantillo, 61 NY2d 992, 993-994 [1984]; People v D'Agostino, 18 Misc 3d 92, 93 [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2007]).

Accordingly, the judgment of conviction is reversed, the accusatory instrument is dismissed, and the fine, if paid, is remitted.

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

20130315

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