People v. Quandt, 2021-32059

CourtNew York City Court
Writing for the CourtHON. THOMAS LAMB WATERVLIET CITY COURT JUDGE
PartiesPEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK v. PHILIP QUANDT, Defendant.
Decision Date28 September 2021
Docket NumberCR-00057-21,2021-32059

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
v.

PHILIP QUANDT, Defendant.

No. 2021-32059

Docket No. CR-00057-21

City Court of Watervliet, Albany County

September 28, 2021


Unpublished Opinion

FOR THE PEOPLE: HON. P. DAVID SOARES Albany County District Attorney Eric E. Bisaillon, Jr. Esq., Assistant District Attorney

FOR THE DEFENDANT: HON. STEPHEN W. HERRICK By: Donald L. Partyka, Esq., Assistant Public Defender

DECISION AND ORDER

HON. THOMAS LAMB WATERVLIET CITY COURT JUDGE

On May 16, 2018 defendant Philip Quandt was charged with criminal mischief in the second degree, a class D felony (Penal Law § 145.10); menacing in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor (Penal Law § 120.14); and reckless endangerment in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor (Penal Law § 120.20). On October 17, 2018, the People's CPL 180.40/180, 50 motion to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor was granted and the People announced trial readiness in open court. By decision and order dated February 25, 2019, defendant's initial CPL 30.30 motion was denied by Colonie Town Court (see People v Philip Quandt, Docket No. CR-00057-21[Sommers, J., Feb. 25, 2019 omnibus decision and order]) upon finding that the People timely declared trial readiness on day 153 of the applicable 184 days (see CPL 30.30 [5][c]).[1] Now, defendant moves for an order invalidating the People's January 7, 2020 Certificate of Compliance and concomitant statement of trial readiness alleging that: (1) the People failed to comply with their CPL 245.20 (1)(c) automatic discovery obligation relating to witness lists; and (2) the absence of a CPL 245.50 (3)/30.30 (5) judicial inquiry precludes a valid statement of readiness. Consequently, defendant further moves, pursuant to CPL 30.30, to dismiss all charges arguing that the People have failed to validly declare trial readiness within the applicable time frame set forth in CPL 30.30 - here 6 months or 184 days (minus excludable time) from the day after defendant's arraignment on March 16, 2018 (People v Stiles, 70 N.Y.2d 765, 767 [1987]).[2]The People oppose defendant's motion and defendant has filed a reply.

2020 Statements of Trial Readiness

Effective January 1, 2020, the Legislature significantly broadened the People's discovery obligations in enacting CPL Article 245 and repealing former CPL Article 240 (see People v Ozzie Williams, 2021 Slip Op 50743(U), 2021 WL 3356381 [Rosenthal, J., NYC Crim Ct, July 30, 2021]). Chief among the legislative changes is that now, "the People cannot be ready for trial unless they have first served on defendant and filed with the court a certificate of compliance certifying that they have complied with their discovery obligations pursuant to CPL 245, 20" (People v Ouinlan, 71 Misc.3d 266, 268-69 [NY Crim Ct 2021]; see CPL 245.50 [3]; CPL 30.30 [5]). Once the People declare trial readiness, the law requires the court to "make inquiry on the record as to their actual readiness" and "'[t]he prosecution shall not be deemed ready for trial for purposes of section 30.30 . . . until it has filed a proper certificate pursuant to subdivision one of this section'" (People v Ouinlan, supra at 268-69, quoting CPL 245.50 [3]). As a "'proper' certificate of compliance - that is, one filed in good faith asserting that the prosecution has exercised the necessary due diligence in complying with their obligations - is now a prerequisite before the People may legally be deemed ready for trial, previous case law holding that discovery failures do not impact the People's readiness have now been abrogated by statute and are no longer controlling." (People v Adrovic, 69 Misc.3d 563, 575 [NY Crim Ct, Kitsis, I, Sept 3, 2020]). Accordingly, if upon inquiry the court determines that the People have not complied with their automatic discovery obligations and are not ready for trial, the People's "statement or notice of readiness shall not be valid for [speedy-trial purposes]" (CPL 30.30 [5]).[3] Moreover, "Article 245 contains an express 'presumption of openness,' favoring disclosure when interpreting the discovery provisions" (People v Soto, No. CR-007995-21NY, 2021 WL 3355998, at *1 [NY Crim Ct Rosenthal, July 30, 2021]), citing 245.20 [7] and Willi am C. Donnino, Practice Commentary, McKinney's Cons Laws of NY, CPL § 245.10 ["the prosecutor's obligations to provide discovery under the current statutes are so broad as to virtually constitute 'open file' discovery, or at least make 'open file' discovery the far better course of action to assure compliance. Thus, a prosecutor who fails to engage in 'open file' discovery (except for 'work product' and information subject to a protective mandate of...

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