People v. Macchi

Citation43 Misc.2d 542,251 N.Y.S.2d 607
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. George MACCHI, Defendant.
Decision Date09 July 1964
CourtNew York City Court

Roger Miner, Hudson, for defendant.

Warren E. Zittell, Dist. Atty., Hudson, for plaintiff.


This is an application for a Writ of Error Coram Nobis brought on behalf of the defendant, George Macchi.

On July 31, 1963, the defendant was arrested by the New York State Police for a violation of Section 986-b of the Penal Law, the possession of bookmaking records, a misdemeanor. On the same day, in fact almost simultaneously, five other individuals were also arrested by the New York State Police, their charges being gambling in one form or another. All of these arrests including defendant's were predicated and based upon the search warrants issued by the Columbia County Court and which said search warrants were all based upon a sworn affidavit of one of the state police investigators, said affidavit being exactly the same in the case of each separate warrant issued. All of the individuals arrested were taken to the New York State Police barracks for questioning and legal processing and thereafter brought before this Court, where each including defendant were fully advised of their constitutional rights of counsel, bail and the like, this fact is conceded by defendant's attorney on the argument of this application. That after being so advised, petitioner and two other defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges and were fined $200.00 each by the Court. The three remaining defendants requested adjournment for counsel and bail was fixed by the Court and the 3 defendants were released on bail to obtain counsel. Thereafter these 3 defendants through their counsel made application to the Supreme Court of this State to have the search warrants issued by the Columbia County Court vacated and the evidence seized thereunder suppressed and returned to them; the basis of their application was that the affidavit upon which these search warrants were issued were legally insufficient. At the time this application was made in the Supreme Court the Supreme Court also stayed all proceeding in this Court until a decision was made as to the Search Warrants. This matter was thereafter returned to the County Court by the Supreme Court and the County Court which had originally issued the warrants dismissed and vacated them and ordered all evidence obtained returned to the defendants. These 3 defendants then moved against their respective informations in this Court and these informations were dismissed by this Court.

The defendant, George Macchi, took no appeal from the judgment of conviction and made no move as to the same, then ten months later, however, he instituted this coram nobis proceeding to set aside his conviction alleging that his plea of guilty had been procured from him through coercion and threats on the part of the State Police and on the further ground that the search warrant upon which he was arrested was based upon exactly the same affidavit as the other search warrants which the County Court had vacated as being null and void because of the legal insufficiency of the affidavit and therefore his arrest was illegal and should be set aside. The defendant through his counsel maintains that he, the defendant, was deprived of an important constitutional right, the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure since these search warrants being null, and void could not be the basis for a search of defendant's person.

The writ of error coram nobis is to be treated as an emergency measure, born of necessity to afford a defendant a remedy against injustice when no other avenue of judicial relief is, or ever was available to him (People v. Sulivan, 3 N.Y.2d 196, 165 N.Y.S.2d 6, 144 N.E.2d 6.)

A writ of error coram nobis is distinguishable from an appeal in that it is addressed to the Court which rendered the judgment in the first instance and it is held to be unavailable where other established remedies or procedures can serve, or might have served its purpose.

The writ of error coram nobis cannot be used to correct an error of law which appears on the face of the record. Similarly where an alleged error of fact appears on the record and might have been raised on appeal, the same rule has been stated that Coram Nobis does not lie. It is also true that there is no time limit on an application for a Writ of Error Coram Nobis (People v. Richetti, 302 N.Y. 290, 97 N.E.2d 908).

Under present law an appeal from a conviction in a Court of Special Sessions must be made to the County Court within thirty days. The law is also clear that a plea of guilty constitutes an admission of all well pleaded facts in an information and waives all defects in the information except jurisdictional ones. A plea of guilty is an admission on the part of a defendant that he committed the acts set forth in the information and that he is guilty of the crime charged, in other words a plea of guilty gives a defendant the status of one convicted after a jury trial (People v. Kass, 35 Misc.2d 449, 229 N.Y.S.2d 81; People v. Quinn, 8...

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2 cases
  • People v. Reese
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court
    • August 27, 1979
    ...procedure appropriate to afford relief as to matters appearing on the record that might have been raised on appeal (People v. Macchi, 43 Misc.2d 542 (251 N.Y.S.2d 607), affd 44 Misc.2d 170 (253 N.Y.S.2d 240); CPL section 440.10) . . The court in this case in its charge to the jury stated: "......
  • People v. Macchi
    • United States
    • New York County Court
    • October 22, 1964
    ...211 N.Y.S.2d 746). Order of the City Court of the City of Hudson is affirmed on the opinion of City judge Lieberman (People v. Macchi, 43 Misc.2d 542, 251 N.Y.S.2d 607). See also People v. Caminito, 3 N.Y.2d 596, 170 N.Y.S.2d 799, 148 N.E.2d 139, affirming 4 A.D.2d 697, 163 N.Y.S.2d 699; Pe......

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