People v. Rickoff

CourtNew York Magistrate Court
Citation31 Misc.2d 549,221 N.Y.S.2d 116
Decision Date21 April 1961
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of New York v. Sadie RICKOFF et al., Defendant. Magistrate's Court of City of New York, Upper Manhattan Arrest Part

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221 N.Y.S.2d 116
31 Misc.2d 549
PEOPLE of the State of New York
v.
Sadie RICKOFF et al., Defendant.
Magistrate's Court of City of New York, Upper Manhattan Arrest Part.
April 21, 1961.

[31 Misc.2d 550] Mark Lane, New York City, for defendant.

John J. Maguire, New York City, for Police Legal Bureau.

MORRIS WEINFELD, City Magistrate.

Defendant is charged with violation of Sec. 436-1.0 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, in that he operated a cabaret without first obtaining the required license therefor.

The pivotal inquiry here is whether the premises were used and operated as a 'cabaret' as defined by par. 3 of the cited statute which reads as follows:

'3. the word 'cabaret' shall mean any room, place or space in the city in which any musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other similar amusement is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or the business of directly or indirectly selling to the public food or drink.'

While the court is mindful of 'that principle of construction, which is coeval with municipal law, that purely statutory offenses cannot be established

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by implication, and that acts otherwise innocent and lawful do not become crimes, unless there is a clear and positive expression of the legislative intent to make them criminal' (People v. Phyfe, 136 N.Y. 551, 559, 32 N.E. 978, 979, 19 L.R.A. 141), it is reluctantly constrained to find defendant guilty for the reason that he concededly failed to obtain the prescribed license, and operated his premises as a cabaret, within the statutory definition.

Defendant owns and operates what is popularly known as a 'coffeehouse' in the Greenwich Village section of New York County. He has procured a restaurant license for the premises, and does not sell alcoholic beverages.

The proof established that music and singing are furnished, or permitted, during business hours. Defendant contends that since no food or beverages are served during such periods of entertainment, he is not cast in violation of the statute--a contention which appears to be a non sequitur and irrelevant.

It is undenied that food and beverages are served in the premises to the general public, and that the premises are conducted as a restaurant. Nor is it denied that musical entertainment and singing are permitted while the patrons consume food and beverages. Indeed, the proof established that contemporaneous with the police incursion which resulted in the [31...

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1 practice notes
  • Carroll v. Hastings
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 9 d5 Dezembro d5 1977
    ...ordinance has been made prosecutable as a penal offense. See People v. Byrne, 84 Misc.2d 211, 375 N.Y.S.2d 792; People v. Rickoff, 31 Misc.2d 549, 221 N.Y.S.2d 116. The ordinances presently before the court are to similar effect. Section 68-15 of the Rochester City Code provides punishment ......
1 cases
  • Carroll v. Hastings
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 9 d5 Dezembro d5 1977
    ...ordinance has been made prosecutable as a penal offense. See People v. Byrne, 84 Misc.2d 211, 375 N.Y.S.2d 792; People v. Rickoff, 31 Misc.2d 549, 221 N.Y.S.2d 116. The ordinances presently before the court are to similar effect. Section 68-15 of the Rochester City Code provides punishment ......

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