People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden of Nassau Cnty. Jail

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtHUBBS
Citation199 N.E. 647,269 N.Y. 426
PartiesPEOPLE ex rel. MEYER v. WARDEN OF NASSAU COUNTY JAIL et al.
Decision Date08 January 1936

269 N.Y. 426
199 N.E. 647

PEOPLE ex rel. MEYER
v.
WARDEN OF NASSAU COUNTY JAIL et al.

Court of Appeals of New York.

Jan. 8, 1936.


Habeas corpus proceeding by the People of the State of New York, on the relation of William Meyer, against the Warden of the County Jail, Nassau County. From an order of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division (245 App.Div. 828, 281 N.Y.S. 86), which reversed two orders in two different habeas corpus proceedings, dismissed the writs, and remanded the relator to the custody of the Warden of the County Jail of Nassau County, the relator appeals.

Order of the Appellate Division reversed, and orders of the Special Term affirmed.

FINCH, J., dissenting.


[269 N.Y. 426]Appeal from Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second department.

[199 N.E. 648]


[269 N.Y. 427]Louis Fleischer, Harry Alexander, and Charles Liebling, all of New York City, for appellant.

Martin W. Littleton, Dist. Atty., of Mineola, L. I. (Philip Huntington, of Glen Cove, of counsel), for respondents.


HUBBS, Judge.

Relator-appellant was arrested, charged with disorderly conduct. His trial was started before a police justice and a jury on Saturday and finished Sunday. He was found guilty by the jury and sentenced on Sunday for a term of thirty days in the county jail. He applied for a writ of habeas corpus and was released. He was again charged with the same offense upon the same information. Before trial he again applied for a second writ of habeas corpus and was released on the ground that a new trial would subject him to double jeopardy. The people appealed to the Appellate Division from the orders [269 N.Y. 428]sustaining the writs. The orders were reversed by a divided court. The Appellate Division held that a second trial would not place appellant in double jeopardy, as an appeal from the judgment of conviction as the result of the trial on Sunday would have resulted in granting a new trial.

The Constitution prevents a person from being placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense. ‘No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.’ N.Y.Const. art. 1, § 6.

That provision of the Constitution is fundamental and all courts of the state must be governed by it not only in form but in spirit even though the result is to release one legally indicted for the crime of murder. People ex rel. Stabile v. Warden of City Prison of City of New York, 202 N.Y. 138, 95 N.E. 729.

We are, therefore, required to determine whether under the clear wording of the Constitution and the undisputed facts, the appellant was placed in jeopardy at the trial, which was commenced on Saturday and continued into Sunday, with the result that he was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to a term in jail by the police justice.

In this state, from the early days, it has been the law that a court cannot be lawfully held on Sunday and any judgment granted on Sunday is absolutely void. Van Vechten v. Paddock, 12 Johns. 178, 7 Am.Dec. 303;Story v. Elliot, 8 Cow. 27, 18 Am.Dec. 423;Pulling v. People, 8 Barb. 384.

The question of what constitutes placing one in ‘jeopardy,’ within the meaning of that word as used in the Constitution, has repeatedly been passed upon by our courts.

The general rule in this state is that if the court has jurisdiction and all prior proceedings are valid, a prisoner is placed in jeopardy when he has been arrained and pleaded to a valid charge, a jury has been examined and sworn, and evidence given. King v. People, 5 Hun, 297; People ex rel. Stabile v. Warden of City Prison of City of New York, supra; People v. Goldfarb, 152 App.Div. 870, 138 N.Y.S. 62; affirmed 213 N.Y. 644,107 N.E. 1083; cf. 1 Bishop on Criminal Law (9th Ed.) p. 752, § 104, subd. 5.

[269 N.Y. 429]There is slight variation of that rule in other jurisdictions, but generally it is substantially the same. Cf. 16 C.J. p. 236, and cases cited.

It is not necessary, in order that a person may avail himself of the constitutional right not to be placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense, that the prior trial shall have resulted in a valid judgment either of conviction or acquittal. It is sufficient if the prisoner was actually placed in jeopardy in that he was in danger of having a valid judgment pronounced as the result of the trial.

It is not the verdict or judgment which places a prisoner in jeopardy. If a court proceeds illegally after a prisoner has been placed in jeopardy, its illegal act cannot nullify the jeopardy. ‘If it did, then the process might be repeated forever, and the constitutional guarantee be rendered void.’ 1 Bishop on Criminal Law, p. 772, § 1045.

In the case of People ex...

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57 practice notes
  • People v. Barrow
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 23, 1964
    ...of City Prison of City of New York, 202 N.Y. 138, 152-154, 95 N.E. 729, 733-734; People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden of Nassau County Jail, 269 N.Y. 426, 430, 199 N.E. 647, 649; Matter of Mack v. Court of General Sessions of New York County, 14 A .D.2d 98, 101, 104, 217 N.Y.S.2d 423, 425-426, 42......
  • People v. Ventura, 2004 NY Slip Op 50468(U) (NY 5/6/2004), 3933.
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • May 6, 2004
    ...Justice Court and therefore CPL 40.40 (subd. 2) has no application (cf. People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden of Nassau County Jail, 269 N.Y.426, 199 N.E. 647; Vega v. Rubin, 73 A.D.2d 658, 423 N.Y.S.2d 193, supra; People v. Riley, 58 A.D.2d 816, 396 N.Y.S.2d 271, supra). The alternative holding o......
  • Bland v. Supreme Court, New York County
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • November 29, 1967
    ...examined and sworn, and evidence given (People v. Jackson, 20 N.Y.2d 440, 231 N.E.2d 722, 285 N.Y.S.2d 8; People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden, 269 N.Y. 426, 199 N.E. 647; People v. Clark, 3 A.D.2d 700, 159 N.Y.S.2d 66; People v. Ercole, 2 Misc.2d 1015, 154 N.Y.S.2d 128, affd. 4 A.D.2d 881, 167 N......
  • People v. Garofalo
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • July 26, 1979
    ...giving rise to a sound claim of former jeopardy in respect of these four supplementary indictments. People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden, 269 N.Y. 426, 428, 199 N.E.2d 647; King v. People, 5 Hun. 297. (Emphasis supplied.) (Cf. People v. Citarelli, 247 App.Div. 53, 56, 286 N.Y.S. 734.) The same re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
57 cases
  • People v. Barrow
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 23, 1964
    ...of City Prison of City of New York, 202 N.Y. 138, 152-154, 95 N.E. 729, 733-734; People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden of Nassau County Jail, 269 N.Y. 426, 430, 199 N.E. 647, 649; Matter of Mack v. Court of General Sessions of New York County, 14 A .D.2d 98, 101, 104, 217 N.Y.S.2d 423, 425-426, 42......
  • People v. Ventura, 2004 NY Slip Op 50468(U) (NY 5/6/2004), 3933.
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • May 6, 2004
    ...Justice Court and therefore CPL 40.40 (subd. 2) has no application (cf. People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden of Nassau County Jail, 269 N.Y.426, 199 N.E. 647; Vega v. Rubin, 73 A.D.2d 658, 423 N.Y.S.2d 193, supra; People v. Riley, 58 A.D.2d 816, 396 N.Y.S.2d 271, supra). The alternative holding o......
  • Bland v. Supreme Court, New York County
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • November 29, 1967
    ...examined and sworn, and evidence given (People v. Jackson, 20 N.Y.2d 440, 231 N.E.2d 722, 285 N.Y.S.2d 8; People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden, 269 N.Y. 426, 199 N.E. 647; People v. Clark, 3 A.D.2d 700, 159 N.Y.S.2d 66; People v. Ercole, 2 Misc.2d 1015, 154 N.Y.S.2d 128, affd. 4 A.D.2d 881, 167 N......
  • People v. Garofalo
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • July 26, 1979
    ...giving rise to a sound claim of former jeopardy in respect of these four supplementary indictments. People ex rel. Meyer v. Warden, 269 N.Y. 426, 428, 199 N.E.2d 647; King v. People, 5 Hun. 297. (Emphasis supplied.) (Cf. People v. Citarelli, 247 App.Div. 53, 56, 286 N.Y.S. 734.) The same re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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