307 A.2d 657 (N.J.Mun.Ct. 1973), State v. Lippincott

Citation:307 A.2d 657, 124 N.J.Super. 498
Opinion Judge:[11] Schroth
Party Name:STATE v. New Jersey, Plaintiff, v. Roberta Anne LIPPINCOTT, Defendant.
Attorney:[6] Mr. Ira C. Miller argued the cause for the Defendant-Petitioner (Pellettieri & Rabstein, Attorneys).
Case Date:April 23, 1973
Court:Municipal Court of New Jersey

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307 A.2d 657 (N.J.Mun.Ct. 1973)

124 N.J.Super. 498

STATE v. New Jersey, Plaintiff,


Roberta Anne LIPPINCOTT, Defendant.

Municipal Court, City of Trenton, New Jersey.

April 23, 1973

[124 N.J.Super. 499] Ira C. Miller, Trenton, for defendant-petitioner (Pellettieri & Rabstein, Trenton, attorneys).

Hank San Giacomo, Deputy Atty. Gen., for State of New Jersey (George F. Kugler, Jr., Atty. Gen., attorney).

Robert M. Liwacz, Trenton, for City of Trenton (Robert A. Gladstone, Trenton City attorney).

Stephen J. Zielinski, Trenton, for County of Mercer (Harvey L. Stern, Mercer County attorney).


In this matter the law firm of Pellettieri & Rabstein (Ira C. Miller, Esquire, appearing,) was appointed to represent the defendant by the Trenton Municipal Court on the grounds that the Defendant could not afford to retain her own attorney and was entitled to representation under the guidelines of Rodriquez v. Rosenblatt, 58 N.J. 281, 277 A.2d 216 (1971).

Defendant is charged with driving while intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4--50(a) and careless driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4--97. [124 N.J.Super. 500]

Defense counsel has filed a motion seeking the appointment of an expert witness at public expense. Paragraph 4 of the petition states:

The undersigned, as Counsel for the Petitioner, having reviewed the facts and

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circumstances herein, represents to this Court that he cannot adequately prepare a defense nor sufficiently discharge his obligation to the Petitioner or the Court without the services of an expert witness competent to testify as to the consumption, ingestion and absorption rate and effects of alcohol upon the human body.

Oral arguments on said motion were heard before me on March 14, 1973. In addition, briefs were submitted by the parties.

It appears to the Court that there are at least one and possibly two questions before it. The initial inquiry is whether defendant is entitled to the appointment at public expense of an expert witness to aid in her defense. If this question is answered in the affirmative the second inquiry becomes whether the City of Trenton or the State must bear that expense which, of course, must be reasonable in nature.

In Rodriquez v. Rosenblatt, Supra, our Supreme Court held:

Our municipal court judges have had and continue to have broad discretion to assign free...

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