People v. Kay

CourtNew York Town Court
Writing for the CourtTherefore
Citation125 Misc.2d 833,480 N.Y.S.2d 171
Decision Date22 August 1984
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. James R. KAY, Defendant.

Page 171

480 N.Y.S.2d 171
125 Misc.2d 833
PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
James R. KAY, Defendant.
Amherst Town Court, Erie County.
Aug. 22, 1984.

Richard J. Arcara, Dist. Atty. (Robert M. Graff, of counsel), for plaintiff.

Terrence M. Connors, Buffalo, for defendant.

DECISION AND ORDER

SHERWOOD L. BESTRY, Town Justice.

Defendant is charged with having committed a violation of Penal Law Sec. 235.05 (subd. 1) (Obscenity in the Third Degree) in the Town of Amherst, Erie County on October 14, 1983. The complaining witness, Detective Sergeant Vincent Costanza of the Erie County Sheriff's Department, verified the information November 21, 1983.

Page 172

The arrest warrant was issued and signed November 22, 1983 by Hon. Theodore S. Kasler, Justice of the Supreme Court and also Criminal Administrative Justice of the Eighth Judicial District. 1

The same day defendant was arrested by the Erie County Sheriff's Department and issued an appearance ticket returnable December 14, 1983 in the Amherst Town Court. 2

Following the issuance of the appearance ticket and on November 25, 1983 the accusatory instrument was physically filed in this court. Defendant appeared on the return date, with his attorney and was arraigned. Eventually the present voluminous Omnibus Motion was made.

I.

JURISDICTION TO HEAR AND DETERMINE MOTION TO SUPPRESS

EVIDENCE SEIZED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SEARCH WARRANT

The first issue that must be resolved is whether this court has such jurisdiction as enables it to decide this branch of the motion, to wit: a motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant issued by Hon. Theodore S. Kasler, Justice of the Supreme Court.

At first blush, CPL 710.50 (subd. 1, par. ) would seem to lay the issue to rest. 3

By virtue of the local rules of this court, because the alleged offense was committed during the first fifteen days of the month, the case was assigned to the undersigned; and under this court's anti-judge shopping rule, will remain with him until disposition. Therefore, in the ordinary course of matters, there would be no question that this court and this judge would have both jurisdiction and the duty to determine the motion (CPL 100.55, subd. 4; 120.90, subd. 1). However, the search warrant was issued by another judicial officer (ironically, a member of the State Supreme Court bench, and of a town court are both called justice).

When Judge Kasler issued the search warrant herein, he was acting as a local criminal court (CPL 10.10, subd. 3, par. ). If this court determines the instant motion, and rules in favor of the defendant, this court will have reviewed and reversed a determination made by a judge who in a very limited posture was for an instant "a fellow judge of this court".

In People v. Versace, 73 A.D.2d 304, 426 N.Y.S.2d 61, the same judge who issued an eavesdropping warrant,...

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