373 A.2d 729 (N.J.Mun.Ct. 1977), State v. Conner

Citation:373 A.2d 729, 149 N.J.Super. 319
Opinion Judge:[10] Carchman
Party Name:STATE of New Jersey, Plaintiff, v. Jack CONNER, Defendant. STATE of New Jersey, Plaintiff, v. Ronald TOCCO, Defendant.
Attorney:[6] Mr. Benjamin Cittadino for the State (Messrs. Mason, Griffin & Pierson, attorneys).
Case Date:February 22, 1977
Court:Municipal Court of New Jersey
 
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Page 729

373 A.2d 729 (N.J.Mun.Ct. 1977)

149 N.J.Super. 319

STATE of New Jersey, Plaintiff,

v.

Jack CONNER, Defendant.

STATE of New Jersey, Plaintiff,

v.

Ronald TOCCO, Defendant.

Municipal Court, Borough of Princeton, New Jersey.

February 22, 1977

Page 730

[149 N.J.Super. 320] Benjamin N. Cittadino, Princeton, for the State (Mason, Griffin & Pierson, Princeton, attorneys).

Edward J. Bergman, Princeton, for defendant Conner.

Ouida C. M. Young, Princeton, for defendant Tocco (Joseph L. Stonaker, Princeton, attorney).

CARCHMAN, J.M.C.

These matters involve violations of N.J.S.A. 33:1--77, alleging the sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor. Both cases, while presenting separate factual circumstances, involve a common issue of law: whether the presentation of a false photographic identification card by a minor is a 'representation in writing' under N.J.S.A. 33:1--77(a). On September 24, 1976 defendant Conner was employed by, and a salesman in, Cousins Liquor Store in the Borough of Princeton. During the course of that evening Sgt. Procaccino of the Princeton Borough police force arrested two minors, both of whom possessed alcoholic beverages. Sgt. Procaccino later had a conversation with defendant, who admitted selling the beer to the minors in question and who indicated that identification had been produced establishing their age as 18 years. The two minors M and W, were in possession of five cans of beer: M had three and W, two. A search of M revealed possession of an identification card, which indicated his name and address and set forth his date of birth as March 26, 1958. A photograph was affixed to the card, and the card was signed by M. While the minors denied displaying identification, legitimate inferences can be drawn from the facts presented that an identification card was shown to defendant Conner. It was admitted by M that the card was false and that both he and W were, in fact, 17 years of age at the time of the [149 N.J.Super. 321] purchase. Both minors testified and appeared to be persons who could easily pass for 18. At no time did defendant request any written statement in the minor's handwriting certifying that the minor was in fact of age.

Defendant Tocco was, on December 3, 1976, a bartender in the Pink Elephant Bar in Princeton Borough. At that time Det. Timothy Huizing of the Princeton Borough Police Department observed an individual, known to be a minor, sitting at the bar drinking what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage. The detective entered the bar and ascertained that the minor was in fact consuming an alcoholic beverage and that the drink had been served to her by defendant Tocco. Defendant testified that on a prior occasion the minor had produced to defendant's brother, another bartender, an identification card indicating her date of birth as July 5, 1958, and that the minor had been sufficiently 'carded' to...

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