People v. Higley

CourtNew York Court of Special Sessions
Citation55 Misc.2d 460,285 N.Y.S.2d 467
Decision Date29 November 1967
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. Curtis B. HIGLEY, Defendant.

Page 467

285 N.Y.S.2d 467
55 Misc.2d 460
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Curtis B. HIGLEY, Defendant.
Court of Special Sessions of Town of Penfield, Monroe County.
Nov. 29, 1967.

Page 468

John C. Little, Jr., Dist. Atty., Monroe County, Robert S. Agnello, Asst. Dist. Atty., of counsel, for the People.

Barrett, Maier & Barrett, Webster, John M. Barrett, Webster, of counsel, for defendant.

DECISION

DONALD J. MARK, Town Justice.

The defendant was charged with operating his motor vehicle 75 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour zone in violation of Section 1180(b) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Upon the trial the evidence showed that the arresting officer had 'clocked' the defendant at 75 miles per hour and that he had estimated the defendant's speed at 80 miles per hour.

The law is clear that two elements of proof necessary to sustain a speeding conviction are (1) the reading from an untested speedometer or radar device and (2) the opinion of an officer properly qualified as an expert to estimate speed.

People v. Dusing, 5 N.Y.2d 126, 181 N.Y.S.2d 493, 155 N.E.2d 393 (1959) The first standard has been met in the instant case and is unchallenged by the defendant.

The testimony on direct examination in regard to the arresting officer's qualification was that he had spent 19 months assigned to road patrol, that he had estimated the speed of moving vehicles approximately 200 times, that he had compared these estimates against calibrated speedometers and that he was accurate within 5 miles per hour. Upon cross examination the officer candidly admitted that he knew only through hearsay that such speedometers were calibrated.

At the conclusion of the People's case the defendant moved to dismiss the information upon the novel ground that the expertise of the arresting officer in estimating speeds was based upon the comparison of his estimates against untested speedometers and was insufficient. Decision was reserved on his motion.

[55 Misc.2d 461] The defendant is correct in his contention that the arresting officer here has compared his estimates of speed against untested speedometers, for information that a speedometer has been calibrated acquired through hearsay denominates such speedometer as untested.

People v. Marsellus, 2 N.Y.2d 653, 163 N.Y.S.2d 1, 143 N.E.2d 1 (1957) Therefore, the qualification of the officer must depend upon whether or not untested speedometers can be relied upon to acquire expertise.

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4 practice notes
  • People v. Correia
    • United States
    • New York Villiage Court
    • July 21, 1988
    ...(e.g., the police officer's estimate of speed). People v. Heyser, 2 N.Y.2d 390, 393, 161 N.Y.S.2d 36, 141 N.E.2d 553; People v. Higley, 55 Misc.2d 460, 461-462, 285 N.Y.S.2d Here, as noted earlier, the results of the tuning fork tests after the summons was issued exceeded the tolerances per......
  • Government of Virgin Islands v. Rodriguez, Crim. No. 14-1969.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of the Virgin Islands
    • June 24, 1969
    ...experience in observing the rate of speed of moving objects or some other satisfactory basis for his opinion. People v. Higley, 1967, 55 Misc.2d 460, 285 N.Y.S.2d 467; People v. Olsen, 1968, 22 N.Y.2d 230, 292 N.Y.S.2d 420, 239 N.E.2d 354. Neither type of corroborating evidence was offered ......
  • People v. Jeck-Tisch, JECK-TISC
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • November 25, 1986
    ...to qualify a police officer, read People v. Dusing, 5 N.Y.2d 126, 181 N.Y.S.2d 493, 155 N.E.2d 393 (1959). See also People v. Higley, 55 Misc.2d 460 at page 461, 285 N.Y.S.2d 467 "Q. How long have you been a motorcycle policeman? A. About two years. Q. You have made arrests for speedin......
  • Gov't of the Virgin Islands v. Rodriguez, Criminal No. 14-1969
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of the Virgin Islands
    • June 24, 1969
    ...experience in observing the rate of speed of moving objects or some other satisfactory basis for his opinion. People v. Higley, 1967, 55 Misc.2d 460, 285 N.Y.S.2d 467; People v. Olsen, 1968, 22 N.Y.2d 230, 239 N.E.2d 354. Neither type of corroborating evidence was offered by the Government ......
4 cases
  • People v. Correia
    • United States
    • New York Villiage Court
    • July 21, 1988
    ...(e.g., the police officer's estimate of speed). People v. Heyser, 2 N.Y.2d 390, 393, 161 N.Y.S.2d 36, 141 N.E.2d 553; People v. Higley, 55 Misc.2d 460, 461-462, 285 N.Y.S.2d Here, as noted earlier, the results of the tuning fork tests after the summons was issued exceeded the tolerances per......
  • Government of Virgin Islands v. Rodriguez, Crim. No. 14-1969.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of the Virgin Islands
    • June 24, 1969
    ...experience in observing the rate of speed of moving objects or some other satisfactory basis for his opinion. People v. Higley, 1967, 55 Misc.2d 460, 285 N.Y.S.2d 467; People v. Olsen, 1968, 22 N.Y.2d 230, 292 N.Y.S.2d 420, 239 N.E.2d 354. Neither type of corroborating evidence was offered ......
  • People v. Jeck-Tisch, JECK-TISC
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • November 25, 1986
    ...to qualify a police officer, read People v. Dusing, 5 N.Y.2d 126, 181 N.Y.S.2d 493, 155 N.E.2d 393 (1959). See also People v. Higley, 55 Misc.2d 460 at page 461, 285 N.Y.S.2d 467 "Q. How long have you been a motorcycle policeman? A. About two years. Q. You have made arrests for speedin......
  • Gov't of the Virgin Islands v. Rodriguez, Criminal No. 14-1969
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of the Virgin Islands
    • June 24, 1969
    ...experience in observing the rate of speed of moving objects or some other satisfactory basis for his opinion. People v. Higley, 1967, 55 Misc.2d 460, 285 N.Y.S.2d 467; People v. Olsen, 1968, 22 N.Y.2d 230, 239 N.E.2d 354. Neither type of corroborating evidence was offered by the Government ......

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