People v. Jennings

Citation430 N.E.2d 1282,446 N.Y.S.2d 229,54 N.Y.2d 518
Parties, 430 N.E.2d 1282 The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Richard J. JENNINGS, Appellant.
Decision Date23 December 1981
CourtNew York Court of Appeals
David I. Schoen, Matthew Muraskin and Michael J. Obus, Mineola, for appellant

MEYER, Judge.

An arrest is invalid when the arresting officer acts upon information in criminal justice system records which, though correct when put into the records, no longer applies and which, through fault of the system, has been retained in its records after it became inapplicable. Accordingly, an arrest made in reliance upon the computerized criminal record file of defendant, which showed as outstanding a parole violation warrant which had in fact been executed nine months before and vacated four months before the arrest, is made without probable cause. The order of the Appellate Division, 81 A.D.2d 645, 440 N.Y.S.2d 559, affirming the County Court Judge's denial of suppression of evidence obtained as a result of defendant's arrest should, therefore, be reversed.

Defendant was suspected of committing a series of burglaries in Malverne, Long Island, in August, 1978. A flyer alerting Hempstead, Malverne and Lynbrook Police Departments about defendant's identity, the make and model of his car, and his suspected activities was circulated by Nassau police in early September, 1978. On September 11, 1978, Officer Raymond Enright of the Hempstead Police Department spotted defendant while cruising on Belmont Parkway. He followed defendant's car for several blocks during which defendant drove through a stop sign and twice failed to signal before making a turn. Enright pulled defendant over for these traffic violations and while writing up the tickets gave defendant's name, date of birth, race and sex to Hempstead Police Headquarters for a warrant check, in accordance with standard procedure. From Hempstead headquarters Officer Kenneth Bergman forwarded the identifying information by teletype to the National Crime Information Center maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Maryland 1 and to the New York State Identification and Intelligence System. 2 Within two or three minutes he received a teletype response of a "hit", an active violation warrant issued in November, 1977 by the New York State Division of Parole, which had been reported to both NYSIIS and NCIC. In fact, the warrant had been executed in January, 1978 and NYSIIS had been notified soon thereafter by the filing of a clearance form that the warrant was no longer outstanding. Moreover, after a hearing held June 21, 1978, the parole violation warrant had been vacated by Supreme Court order.

Based upon the teletype he received, Officer Bergman advised Enright of the existence of the warrant and then sought by teletype to check with the Division of Parole on its status. No response to that inquiry was ever received, but, Officer Bergman testified, response to such an inquiry being a manual rather than a computer operation, a lapse of 6 to 24 hours in receiving a response would be normal.

Enright, informed that there was an open warrant for defendant, immediately arrested him. Search of defendant's person incident to the arrest produced a quantity of jewelry which had been stolen from two households in Hempstead earlier that evening. Search of the trunk of defendant's car uncovered television sets, stereo and other equipment also taken from these households. In addition, defendant's palmprint, obtained in the arrest processing, was found to match a print lifted from a fishbowl at a North Valley Stream residence that had been burglarized in August, 1978, a crime which defendant subsequently admitted.

Indicted for the Hempstead and North Valley Stream burglaries, defendant moved on Fourth Amendment grounds to suppress the physical evidence, his palmprint and his statement. The motion was denied and defendant was convicted after trial. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the judgment of conviction. There should be a reversal. We agree with the decision of the Appellate Division, Third Department, in People v. Lemmons, 49 A.D.2d 639, 370 N.Y.S.2d 243, affd. without reaching the issue 40 N.Y.2d 505, 387 N.Y.S.2d 97, 354 N.E.2d 836 which is contrary to the decision below.

The question presented is extremely narrow. Defendant does not contest the validity of the vehicle stop (see People v. Ingle, 36 N.Y.2d 413, 369 N.Y.S.2d 67, 330 N.E.2d 39). He challenges, instead, the validity of his subsequent arrest as a parole violator. Nor can it be controverted that if defendant's arrest was invalid, the...

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  • People v. Zimmerman
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 29 Diciembre 1982
    ...Illinois v. Gates, 82 Ill.App.3d 749, 38 Ill.Dec. 62, 403 N.E.2d 77, and rejected in the New York Court of Appeals in People v. Jennings, 54 N.Y.2d 518, 446 N.Y.S.2d 229, 430 N.E.2d The terms are defined in the opinion which follows. The defendant is charged with three counts of Criminal Po......
  • People v. Johnson
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    • New York Court of Appeals
    • 26 Noviembre 1985
    ...assessment of probable cause turns on what was reasonably and objectively in the mind of law enforcement authorities (People v. Jennings, 54 N.Y.2d 518, 523, 446 N.Y.S.2d 229, 430 N.E.2d 1282; People v. Adams, 53 N.Y.2d 1, 9, 439 N.Y.S.2d 877, 422 N.E.2d 537, cert. denied 454 U.S. 854, 102 ......
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    • 1 Agosto 1983 fact become inapplicable, notwithstanding the People's claim that the arresting officer acted in good faith (see People v. Jennings, 54 N.Y.2d 518, 446 N.Y.S.2d 229, 430 N.E.2d 1282). According to the Jennings court (p. 523, 446 N.Y.S.2d 229, 430 N.E.2d 1282), "[a]n assessment of probabl......
  • Mendoza v. City of Rome, 92-CV-436.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of New York
    • 21 Diciembre 1994
    ...officer does not have probable cause, the arrest is unlawful regardless of the good faith of the arresting officer. People v. Jennings, 54 N.Y.2d 518, 523, 446 N.Y.S.2d 229, 430 N.E.2d 1282 (1981); see also Whiteley, 401 U.S. at 568, 91 S.Ct. at 1037; Rosario, 78 N.Y.2d at 589, 578 N.Y.S.2d......
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