273 N.Y. 90, People ex rel. Prince v. Brophy

Citation:273 N.Y. 90
Party Name:People ex rel. Prince v. Brophy
Case Date:January 19, 1937
Court:New York Court of Appeals

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273 N.Y. 90



JOSEPH H. BROPHY, as Warden of Auburn State Prison, Defendant. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Appellant.

New York Court of Appeal

January 19, 1937

Submitted January 7, 1937.

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William Copeland Dodge, District Attorney (Felix C. Benvenga of counsel), for appellant. Where jurisdiction of the court issuing the process under which the prisoner is detained is established, there can be no inquiry into the manner of its exercise. Accordingly, errors or irregularities in the exercise of jurisdiction, however serious, do not constitute want of jurisdiction. Such errors render the judgment or the mandate, which is returned as the cause of detention, voidable, but not void. They are reviewable on appeal, but not on habeas corpus

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(People ex rel. Tweed v. Liscomb, 60 N.Y. 559; People ex rel. Danziger v. House of Mercy, 128 N.Y. 180; People ex rel. Scharff v. Frost, 198 N.Y. 110; People ex rel. Hubert v. Kaiser, 150 A.D. 541; 206 N.Y. 46; People ex rel. Doyle v. Atwell, 232 N.Y. 96; People ex rel. Friedman v. Hayes, 172 A.D. 442; People ex rel. Bailey v. McCann, 222 A.D. 465; People ex rel. Smith v. Barr, 223 A.D. 168; People ex rel. Frank v. McCann, 227 A.D. 57; 253 N.Y. 221; People ex rel. Haines v. Hunt, 229 A.D. 419; People ex rel. Rosen v. Warden, 234 A.D. 349; People ex rel. Holt v. Lambert, 237 A.D. 39; 262 N.Y. 511; People v. Quartararo, 76 Misc. 55.)The court acquired jurisdiction of the felony of which the prisoner was charged by the filing of the indictment, and obtained jurisdiction of the prisoner by his plea of not guilty thereto. (People v. Perrin, 170 A.D. 375; People ex rel. Tweed v. Liscomb, 60 N.Y. 559.) Error or irregularity is not a jurisdictional defect, but merely one in the exercise of jurisdiction, which is reviewable on appeal and not on habeas corpus. (Matter of Gregory, 219 U.S. 210; Matter of Watkins, 3 Pet. 193; Matter of Parks, 93 U.S. 18; Henry v. Henkel, 235 U.S. 219; People ex rel. Schneider v. Hayes, 108 A.D. 6; People v. Quartararo, 76 Misc. 55.) The defendant should not be permitted, at this late day, to take advantage of a situation that he himself brought about. He must be held to the position which he assumed and upon which he requested and secured a favorable judgment or other personal advantage. (People v. Meakim, 61 Hun, 327; 133 N.Y. 214; People ex rel. Weiner v. Warden, 237 A.D. 28; 261 N.Y. 621; People v. Schmidt, 216 N.Y. 324.)

No appearance for respondent.


On May 1, 1931, an indictment was filed in the Court of General Sessions of the County of New York against William Prince, the relator, and

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Joseph Wynne and James Miller, charging them in proper counts with the crimes of robbery in the first degree, assault in the second degree, petit larceny and criminally receiving stolen property.

On June 2, 1931, after pleading not guilty to the indictment, the defendants were placed on trial. In the course of the trial the jury was withdrawn and Prince and Wynne were permitted to plead guilty of grand larceny in the second degree and the indictment was dismissed as against Miller.

On June 9, 1931, the defendants Prince and Wynne were each sentenced to State prison for a term of not less than two years and six months and not more than five years, the execution of the sentence being suspended during good behavior, and the defendants placed on probation.

On February 20, 1933, the Court of General Sessions revoked the suspension of sentence for the crime for which Prince had pleaded guilty and ordered that the sentence be executed. The prisoner was thereupon sent to Sing Sing Prison and released on parole on September 29, 1934.

On February 26, 1935, a second indictment was filed against Prince in the Court of General Sessions, charging in three counts the crimes of robbery in the first degree, assault in the first degree and criminally receiving...

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