People v. Donner

CourtNew York Town Court
Writing for the CourtJOHN J. ARK
Citation435 N.Y.S.2d 225,106 Misc.2d 779
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York v. Mary DONNER a/k/a Patricia O'Leary, Defendant.
Decision Date18 December 1980

Page 225

435 N.Y.S.2d 225
106 Misc.2d 779
The PEOPLE of the State of New York
v.
Mary DONNER a/k/a Patricia O'Leary, Defendant.
Brighton Town Court, Monroe County.
Dec. 18, 1980.

Lawrence T. Kurlander, Dist. Atty., for the People; Howard R. Relin, Asst. Dist. Atty., of counsel.

Thomas J. Cocuzzi, Rochester, for defendant.

OPINION OF THE COURT

JOHN J. ARK, Justice.

Since May, 1978, the Defendant, MARY DONNER, had several arrests and subsequent

Page 226

proceedings in the Brighton Town Court. These arrests included a single arrest for Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, four arrests for Issuing a Bad Check, and one arrest alleging violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law in the State of New York. All of these matters were resolved in the Defendant's favor, i. e. either through withdrawal by the complainant and/or the District Attorney's Office or adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.

In compliance with § 160.50 of the Criminal Procedure Law, several Justices of the Brighton Town Court executed orders sealing the photographs, fingerprints, and all official records and papers relating to these several arrests and prosecutions. The court orders, however, through clerical error only, did not contain the provisions reflected in § 160.50(1)(d) making such records available to the person accused, or to such person's designated agent. Upon requesting access and being denied the same, Defendant moved ex parte for an order permitting her access to any and all files compiled relative to the charges disposed of in the Brighton Town Court. On or about August 7th, 1980, the Honorable John J. Ark executed such an order providing the Defendant with such relief. Thereafter, following correspondence on August 12th, 1980 from Mr. Howard R. Relin, Second Assistant Monroe County District Attorney, the order allowing Defendant access to her files was stayed, pending further proceedings. Thereafter, on August 26, 1980, a hearing was conducted in the Brighton Town Court. The purpose of this hearing was to provide the District Attorney an opportunity to show that the interest of justice required the Defendant be denied access to these records.

It was stipulated prior to the commencement of the hearing that The People of the State of New York bore the burden of proving that the interest of justice would not be served by providing the Defendant, MARY DONNER, access to the several files in the custody of the Town of Brighton Police Department. It was further agreed that the burden of proof should be met only upon establishing by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the interest of justice required a denial of the relief sought.

The People called as their only witness Officer Scott Hill, the record supervisor for the Brighton Police Department. Officer Hill testified that it was the policy of the Brighton Police Department not to release contents of any sealed file to any person, whether the accused or otherwise. Officer Hill further testified that the Defendant had been arrested approximately twenty-six times since 1969, and had been convicted of at least eight crimes in Monroe County alone. In addition, Officer Hill stated that he had opened the files in question the evening before the hearing, pursuant to a Monroe County Court Order, and determined that the files contained "confidential" material. However, Officer Hill did not specify upon what he based this latter conclusion.

This Court believes two threshold questions must be resolved before the ultimate criterion of the "interests of justice" can be addressed.

First, for the purposes of this proceeding, the prosecution maintained that the "interest of justice" standard in Section 160.50(1) may be made applicable...

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5 practice notes
  • Barbour v. People
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • November 18, 1994
    ...). The Court notes that sealed records are available to the "person accused" without court order (CPL 160.50(1)(d); People v. Donner, 106 Misc.2d 779, 435 N.Y.S.2d Other Statements With respect to statements in the actual possession, custody or control of the Division of Parole or in the po......
  • People v. John F.
    • United States
    • New York District Court
    • October 27, 1997
    ...from civil proceedings that require the burden of proof to be proven by a "preponderance of the evidence." In People v. Donner, 106 Misc.2d 779, 782, 435 N.Y.S.2d 225 (Brighton Town Ct.1980), the court noted that while the parties stipulated that the burden of proof was to be by a "preponde......
  • People v. White
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 17, 1996
    ...of a movant's criminal record and that factor alone is not sufficient to deny relief in the interest of justice"); People v. Donner, 106 Misc.2d 779, 782-83, 435 N.Y.S.2d 225 (Justice Ct., Monroe Cty.1980) (defendant's record alone insufficient reason to allow prosecution to deny defendant ......
  • In re Woodford, Bankruptcy No. 85-01050.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Northern District of New York
    • January 26, 1987
    ...statute in the conjunctive, for the word "and" is used to express joint interpretation. See, People v. Donner, 106 Mis.2d 779, 781 n. 1, 435 N.Y.S.2d 225 Consequently, in addition to insider involvement with the Plan's establishment, the Trustee must prove that Plan payments are made on acc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Barbour v. People
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • November 18, 1994
    ...). The Court notes that sealed records are available to the "person accused" without court order (CPL 160.50(1)(d); People v. Donner, 106 Misc.2d 779, 435 N.Y.S.2d Other Statements With respect to statements in the actual possession, custody or control of the Division of Parole or in the po......
  • People v. John F.
    • United States
    • New York District Court
    • October 27, 1997
    ...from civil proceedings that require the burden of proof to be proven by a "preponderance of the evidence." In People v. Donner, 106 Misc.2d 779, 782, 435 N.Y.S.2d 225 (Brighton Town Ct.1980), the court noted that while the parties stipulated that the burden of proof was to be by a "preponde......
  • People v. White
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 17, 1996
    ...of a movant's criminal record and that factor alone is not sufficient to deny relief in the interest of justice"); People v. Donner, 106 Misc.2d 779, 782-83, 435 N.Y.S.2d 225 (Justice Ct., Monroe Cty.1980) (defendant's record alone insufficient reason to allow prosecution to deny defendant ......
  • In re Woodford, Bankruptcy No. 85-01050.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Northern District of New York
    • January 26, 1987
    ...statute in the conjunctive, for the word "and" is used to express joint interpretation. See, People v. Donner, 106 Mis.2d 779, 781 n. 1, 435 N.Y.S.2d 225 Consequently, in addition to insider involvement with the Plan's establishment, the Trustee must prove that Plan payments are made on acc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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