People v. Guagnini

CourtNew York Villiage Court
Writing for the CourtSTEPHEN R. TAUB
Citation143 Misc.2d 676,541 N.Y.S.2d 907
Decision Date17 April 1989
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. Patricia A. GUAGNINI, Defendant.

Page 907

541 N.Y.S.2d 907
143 Misc.2d 676
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Patricia A. GUAGNINI, Defendant.
Village Court of Kensington,
Nassau County.
April 17, 1989.

Page 908

John Gionis, Village Pros. Atty., Great Neck, for the people.

Marinello & Rosenstock, Mineola, for the defendant.

STEPHEN R. TAUB, Justice.

On March 24, 1988, at 8:55 A.M., Patricia A. Guagnini received a Uniform Traffic Ticket for violation of Section 1180(d) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, alleging that she was travelling at the rate of 46 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone, in a westbound direction on Beverly Road in the Village of Kensington.

[143 Misc.2d 677] A trial was held before this Court on December 5, 1988. At the conclusion of the People's case, the defendant moved to dismiss and decision was reserved. The Court was requested to rule on the motion without consideration of any testimony or evidence derived thereafter. The Court agreed, although obligated to so do in any event, without such specific understanding.

At the completion of testimony, upon both sides resting, the Court requested a formal motion and response upon the issues raised by the defense.

The defendant contends that the People failed to comply with her demand for discovery pursuant to Section 240.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law which sought, inter alia: "... (c) [a]ny written report or document, or portion thereof, concerning a ... scientific test or experiment, relating to the criminal action or proceeding ...". She argues that since a radar device was tested and used, she was entitled to pre-trial discovery thereof, and further asserts that the Prosecutor's affirmative denial of the existence of a "scientific test" was deliberate and constituted misconduct, as a result of which she demands dismissal of the summons.

Criminal Procedure Law Section 240.20(1) requires disclosure of certain material for inspection, photocopying, copying or testing to a "defendant against whom ... [a] simplified information charging a misdemeanor is pending". Violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1180(d) is a traffic infraction, not a misdemeanor, and Section 240.20 is, therefore, wholly inapplicable. Further, this Court relies upon its prior Order dated August 19, 1988, which denied similar discovery demands made prior to the trial.

Were the Court not to deny the motion on the aforesaid grounds, it would do so on the merits. In the opinion of this Court, the use of...

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