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People v. Jones

Criminal Court of the City of New York, Kings County

July 20, 2017

The People of the State of New York,
v.
Armani Jones, Defendant.

          For the People Eric Gonzalez, District Attorney, Kings County By Assistant District Attorney Jayhoun P. Rezai For the Defendant

          Andrew S. Rendeiro, Esq. Attorney for Defendant

          CURTIS J. FARBER, J.C.C.

         By Notice of Motion dated May 25, 2017, the People move for leave to reargue this Court's April 25, 2017 Decision and Order, issued to the parties in-court on April 26, 2017. By Affirmation dated June 27, 2017, defendant opposes the People's motion to reargue. In its April 25th decision, this Court granted defendant's motion to dismiss the accusatory instrument for violation of his statutory right to a speedy trial, finding 215 days chargeable to the People. (CPL 30.30). Sealing has been stayed until determination of the current motion.

         The People's motion for leave to reargue is granted. Additionally, this Court construes the People's moving papers to encompass a motion for leave to renew. Defense counsel has substantively responded to the arguments underlying both the People's reargument and renewal claims. Therefore, all the People's arguments will be considered by the Court. Upon renewal, the People's motion to reinstate the accusatory instrument is granted.

         Reargument and Renewal

         Under the Civil Practice Law and Rules ("CPLR"), a motion for leave to reargue should be based upon matters of fact or law alleged to have been overlooked or misapprehended by the court in its prior motion, but should not include any matters of fact not offered on the prior motion, and should be made within 30 days after service of a copy of the order determining the prior motion. (CPLR 2221[d]). In this case, it is undisputed that the People filed and served their motion to reargue within 30 days of the issuance of this Court's decision.

          To the extent that the People's moving papers offer new facts not argued on the prior motion, including submission of the minutes of the September 29, 2016 and November 3, 2016 calendar calls, the People's current motion is, in effect, a motion for leave to renew. Pursuant to CPLR 2221(e), a motion for leave to renew should be based upon new facts not offered on the prior motion that would change the prior determination, or should demonstrate that there has been a change in the law that would change the prior determination, and should set forth reasonable justification for the failure to present such facts on the prior motion.

         Defendant maintains this Court should not entertain the People's motion to reargue, contending that CPLR 2221 is inapplicable to criminal proceedings. Defendant further argues that because there is no express provision in Criminal Procedure Law ("CPL") which addresses motions to reargue, this Court lacks authority to rule upon such a motion. In the alternative, defendant asserts the People have failed to satisfy the requirements set forth in CPLR 2221 for motions to reargue. [1]

         Contrary to defendant's arguments, this Court has the discretion to entertain a motion to reargue or renew, so long as the criminal action remains pending before it. It is well established that the CPLR generally governs in civil matters, while the CPL applies to criminal actions. Whether the specific procedural requirements of CPLR 2221 should be applicable to motions to reargue or renew in a criminal case is not determinative of the motion. Irrespective of CPLR 2221, the criminal courts retain the inherent authority to consider motions to reargue and renew. In People v. Godbold, 117 A.D.3d 565 (1st Dept 2014), lv denied 27 N.Y.3d 997 (2016), the First Department determined that the lower court had properly exercised its discretion when it considered the People's motion to reinstate an indictment. It found the motion was, in essence, a motion for renewal. In Godbold, the trial court had dismissed the indictment for legal insufficiency. The People's motion for reinstatement included a portion of the grand jury minutes which they had inadvertently omitted from their original submission to the court. Godbold held the trial court "had inherent authority to reinstate the indictment." (Id. at 566). It further noted that the defendant had not been prejudiced by any mislabeling of the People's motion. (See also, People v. Rodriguez, 21 A.D.3d 834');">21 A.D.3d 834 [1st Dept 2005] [court properly exercised its discretion when it entertained a motion to reargue dismissal of a count of the indictment, although the motion was technically untimely under CPLR 2221(d)]; People v. DeFreitas, 48 Misc.3d 569');">48 Misc.3d 569 [Crim Ct, NY County 2015] [trial court in a criminal case has inherent power to grant leave to reargue]; cf., People v. Crisp, 268 A.D.2d 247');">268 A.D.2d 247 [1st Dept 2000], lv denied 94 N.Y.2d 946');">94 N.Y.2d 946 [2000]; People v. Holden, 260 A.D.2d 233');">260 A.D.2d 233 [1st Dept 1999], lv denied 93 N.Y.2d 1003 [1999]; People v. Silva, 122 A.D.2d 750');">122 A.D.2d 750 [1st Dept 1986] [finding the specific CPLR provisions at issue in those cases were inapplicable to criminal proceedings]).

         Here, this Court, in its April 25, 2017 decision, ruled that the September 29, 2016 and November 3, 2016 adjournments were pre-readiness, rather than post-readiness, as the People had maintained. Therefore, the People are justified in raising new facts to support exclusion of portions of these time periods, under a pre-readiness analysis, pursuant to CPL 30.30(4)(b).

         Background and Analysis

         This action was commenced by the filing of a felony complaint on January 20, 2016. Upon defendant's arraignment on the felony complaint, the case was adjourned to March 23, 2016, for grand jury action. On March 23rd, there was no grand jury action, and the case was adjourned to July 29, 2016, for final disposition.

         On April 25, 2016, the People had the case advanced and added to the AP1F calendar. The felony charges were dismissed on the People's motion. The People filed a superseding information, dated April 19, 2016, which charged defendant with Class A misdemeanors and other ...


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