People v. Gooden

Decision Date26 June 1989
PartiesThe PEOPLE, etc., Respondent, v. Hopeton GOODEN, Appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Bruce Neuman, Bridgehampton, for appellant.

Patrick Henry, Dist. Atty., Riverhead (Glenn Green, of counsel), for respondent.

Before BRACKEN, J.P., and EIBER, HARWOOD and BALLETTA, JJ.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Suffolk County (Mallon, J.), rendered March 1, 1985, convicting him of reckless endangerment in the first degree, upon his plea of guilty, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

The defendant in this case made a pretrial motion to dismiss the indictment on both statutory and constitutional speedy trial grounds (U.S. Const. 6th Amend., 14 Amend.; CPL 30.20, 30.30; Civil Rights Law § 12; see also, Klopfer v. North Carolina, 386 U.S. 213, 222-224, 87 S.Ct. 988, 993-994, 18 L.Ed.2d 1; People v. Taranovich, 37 N.Y.2d 442; 444-445, 373 N.Y.S.2d 79, 335 N.E.2d 303). On appeal, the defendant continues to assert that the indictment should be dismissed on these grounds. For the following reasons, the defendant's arguments must be rejected.

The defendant's speedy trial argument, to the extent that it is based on statutory rather than constitutional provisions, is beyond the scope of appellate review as a matter of law by virtue of his plea of guilty. The well-recognized general rule is that a plea of guilty operates as a forfeiture of the defendant's right to appellate review of all nonjurisdictional defects in the criminal proceeding (e.g., People v. Fernandez, 67 N.Y.2d 686, 688, 499 N.Y.S.2d 919, 490 N.E.2d 838; People v. Prescott, 66 N.Y.2d 216, 220, 495 N.Y.S.2d 955, 486 N.E.2d 813; People v. Taylor, 65 N.Y.2d 1, 5, 489 N.Y.S.2d 152, 478 N.E.2d 755). A violation of a defendant's statutory speedy trial rights is not a jurisdictional error in the sense that it may be raised for the first time on appeal (see, People v. Cedeno, 52 N.Y.2d 847, 848, 437 N.Y.S.2d 72, 418 N.E.2d 665; People v. Lieberman, 47 N.Y.2d 931, 932, 419 N.Y.S.2d 946, 393 N.E.2d 1019; see also, People v. Udzinski, 146 A.D.2d 245, 541 N.Y.S.2d 9), nor is it a jurisdictional error in the sense that it may survive a guilty plea. Thus, "when the defendant entered a plea of guilty he forfeited his right to claim that he was deprived of a speedy trial under CPL 30.30" (People v. O'Brien, 56 N.Y.2d 1009, 1010, 453 N.Y.S.2d 638, 439 N.E.2d 354, citing People v. Suarez, 55 N.Y.2d 940, 449 N.Y.S.2d 176, 434 N.E.2d 245; see also, People v. Coombs, 138 A.D.2d 619, 620, 526 N.Y.S.2d 205; Matter of Christopher F., 126 A.D.2d 975, 511 N.Y.S.2d 750).

The Court of Appeals has stated, however, that a defendant's plea of guilty does not automatically operate as a forfeiture of his right to claim, on appeal, that he was deprived of his constitutional right to a speedy trial (CPL 30.20; see, People v. Taylor, 65 N.Y.2d 1, 5, 489 N.Y.S.2d 152, 478 N.E.2d 755, supra; see, also, People v. Pelchat, 62 N.Y.2d 97, 108, 476 N.Y.S.2d 79, 464 N.E.2d 447; People v. Blakley, 34 N.Y.2d 311, 314, 357 N.Y.S.2d 459, 313 N.E.2d 763; People v. Wallace, 26 N.Y.2d 371, 310 N.Y.S.2d 484, 258 N.E.2d 904; People v. Chirieleison, 3 N.Y.2d 170, 164 N.Y.S.2d 726, 143 N.E.2d 914). The People argue, nevertheless, that the defendant's constitutional speedy trial argument is beyond the scope of appellate review because the defendant, at his plea allocution, expressly withdrew his application for a hearing in connection with the pretrial motion in which this argument had been raised. The People thus rely on the doctrine of waiver, which is to be distinguished from the doctrine of forfeiture.

It has been held that "the constitutional right to a speedy trial is one that may be surrendered" (People v. Rodriguez, 50 N.Y.2d 553, 557, 429 N.Y.S.2d 631, 407 N.E.2d 475; cf., People v. Seaberg, 74 N.Y.2d 1, 9, 543 N.Y.S.2d 968, 541 N.E.2d 1022 [June 15, 1989, slip opn at 7]. However, there is also authority for the proposition that this constitutional right may not properly be surrendered by a defendant who is acting under duress in the context of a negotiated plea agreement. In People v. Blakley, 34 N.Y.2d 311, 315, 357 N.Y.S.2d 459, 313 N.E.2d 763, supra, for example, the Court of Appeals stated, "we hold that a reduced plea conditioned upon a waiver of a [constitutional] speedy trial claim must be vacated", citing People v. White, 32 N.Y.2d 393, 345 N.Y.S.2d 513, 298 N.E.2d 659 [waiver of constitutional speedy trial claim invalid where it was "coerced" as part of a plea agreement]. However, a review of subsequent case law discloses that the court's holding in People v. Blakley (supra) has not been extended beyond the particular facts presented in that case; it has been repeatedly held that a defendant may waive a constitutional speedy trial claim, even when that waiver is made as part of his plea agreement (see, e.g., People v. Harris, 103 A.D.2d 891, 478 N.Y.S.2d 188; People v. Galante, 91 A.D.2d 690, 457 N.Y.S.2d 136). Thus, the defendant's constitutional speedy trial argument has been waived.

Appellate review of the defendant's statutory and constitutional speedy...

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