People v. Diaz

Decision Date09 June 1978
Citation406 N.Y.S.2d 239,94 Misc.2d 1010
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York v. Joseph DIAZ, Defendant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court

Archibald R. Murray, New York City, The Legal Aid Society by Jane Denkensohn, New York City, of counsel, for defendant.

Robert M. Morgenthau, Dist. Atty., New York County by Patrick J. Dugan, III, Asst. Dist. Atty., for the People.

E. LEO MILONAS, Justice.

Defendant herein was indicted on April 2, 1976 for three counts of assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree and related crimes arising out of an incident in which he allegedly struck a police officer with a stolen car being driven by him. The defendant had initially been arrested in connection with this matter on February 5, 1976, but when he failed to make a scheduled court appearance on March 30th, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Sometime after the filing of the indictment, a Supreme Court warrant was also ordered.

In October and November of 1976, the defendant was arrested in Los Angeles, California on two separate cases. He was subsequently convicted, receiving consecutive sentences to County Jail of, respectively, six months and one year, plus periods of unsupervised probation. Following his sentencing, the defendant was notified of the existence of a detainer warrant lodged against him by the State of New York. He was also informed of his right to request a final disposition of the untried indictment upon which the detainer was based, as well as the fact that he should direct his application to the warden of the institution in which he was confined.

Accordingly, on May 3, 1977, the defendant drew up a hand-written "Petition for Habeas Corpus: Speedy and Public Trail" (sic) addressed to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Manhattan. He then submitted it to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at the Wayside Maximum Security, the place of his incarceration, which proceeded to prepare a form entitled "Record of Inmate's Legal Document." This paper, along with the defendant's petition, was mailed by the Los Angeles authorities to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of New York County. However, no copy was ever sent to the New York County District Attorney's Office, so that the defendant's whereabouts remained unknown to the People until December of 1977 or January of 1978. His presence in this jurisdiction was finally secured when he waived extradition under section 1555.1 of the California Penal Law.

Defendant now moves to dismiss the indictment against him on the ground that he was not brought to trial within the statutory time period of one hundred and eighty days mandated by the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, which is incorporated into New York law by section 580.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Pursuant to Article III of this provision:

"(a) Whenever a person has entered upon a term of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution of a party state, and whenever during the continuance of the term of imprisonment there is pending in any other party state any untried indictment, information or complaint on the basis of which a detainer has been lodged against the prisoner, he shall be brought to trial within one hundred eighty days after he shall have caused to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the appropriate court of the prosecuting officer's jurisdiction written notice of the place of his imprisonment and his request for a final disposition to be made of the indictment, information or complaint; provided that for good cause shown in open court, the prisoner or his counsel being present, the court having jurisdiction of the matter may grant any necessary or reasonable continuance. The request of the prisoner shall be accompanied by a certificate of the appropriate official having custody of the prisoner, stating the term of commitment under which the prisoner is being held, the time already served, the time remaining to be served on the sentence, the amount of good time earned, the time of parole eligibility of the prisoner, and any decisions of the state parole agency relating to the prisoner.

"(b) The written notice and request for final disposition referred to in paragraph (a) hereof shall be given or sent by the prisoner to the warden, commissioner of correction or other official having custody of him, who shall promptly forward it together with the certificate to the appropriate prosecuting official and court by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested."

The uniform compact, adopted by nearly every state, as well as the District of Columbia and the federal government, was designed to promote the expeditious and orderly transfer of an individual from one jurisdiction to another, the principal objective being to eliminate uncertainties produced by the continuing existence of outstanding charges against that person such as would obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. CPL sec. 580.20, Art. I. In order to effectuate its purpose, the Agreement on Detainers established a standardized procedure for the speedy disposition of untried indictments, informations or complaints. It is that procedure...

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11 cases
  • Sweat v. Darr
    • United States
    • Kansas Court of Appeals
    • February 2, 1984
    ...Seadin, 181 Mont. 294, 297, 593 P.2d 451 (1979); State v. Wells, 186 N.J.Super. 497, 502, 453 A.2d 236 (1982); People v. Diaz, 94 Misc.2d 1010, 1013-1014, 406 N.Y.S.2d 239 (1978). What constitutes "substantial compliance" is where jurisdictions divide. Article III (a) and (b) of the Agreeme......
  • State v. Tarango
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • February 19, 1987
    ...to do, the duty of carrying out the statutory provisions belongs entirely to the authorities involved." People v. Diaz, 94 Misc.2d 1010, 1012, 406 N.Y.S.2d 239, 241 (1978) (emphasis Cases holding that the IAD provisions were activated even though there was something less than strict complia......
  • Martin v. People, 85SC148
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • June 8, 1987
    ...and asking whether it had been received, section 16-14-103 imposes no such obligation on the defendant. See, e.g., People v. Diaz, 94 Misc.2d 1010, 406 N.Y.S.2d 239 (Sup.1978) (sole obligation of defendant under Interstate Agreement on Detainers is to advise warden of request for dispositio......
  • Narel v. Liburdi
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • December 15, 1981
    ...In this regard, custodial officials in the asylum and the charging states are viewed as agents for each other. People v. Diaz, 94 Misc.2d 1010, 1014, 406 N.Y.S.2d 239 (1978). If we assume the facts as stated by the plaintiff, the commonwealth of Virginia can adequately protect his rights by......
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