People v. Sellars, 2021-21213

CourtNew York County Court
Writing for the CourtCraig Stephen Brown, J.
PartiesPeople of the State of New York, v. Shayla Sellars, Defendant.
Decision Date10 August 2021
Docket NumberIndex 3783-2021,2021-21213

People of the State of New York,
v.

Shayla Sellars, Defendant.

No. 2021-21213

Index No. 3783-2021

County Court, Orange County

August 10, 2021


ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Attorney for the People

MATTHEW D. WITHEROW

Attorney for the Defendant

GARY SOMERVILLE

Former Attorney for the Defendant

Craig Stephen Brown, J.

The People move for an order, pursuant to CPL §§245.70 and 245.10(1)(a)(iv)(A), for a protective order declaring certain records made by stenographers in the Grand Jury non-discoverable.

The following papers were read:

Order to Show Cause - 1 - 3

Affirmation of Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Borek -

Annexed Exhibits

Matthew D. Witherow, Esq.'s Affirmation in Opposition - 4 - 5

Affirmation of Service

Reply Correspondence of Christopher P. Borek, Esq. 6

Upon the foregoing papers, and upon the oral arguments of defense counsel Gary Somerville, Esq., defense counsel Matthew D. Witherow, Esq., and Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Borek, it is hereby ORDERED that the People's application for a protective order is granted.

In the instant matter the stenographer who transcribed the Grand Jury proceedings utilized a stenographic machine which automatically created a digital audio recording of the proceedings. The stenographic machine employed by the court reporter had proprietary software known as "Case CATalyst." The machine defaulted to create a digital audio recording of the proceeding and utilized a feature identified as "AudioSync." AudioSync synchronized the recorded audio with the transcripts created by the stenographer. The digital audio recording created by the stenographic machine is utilized as an aid by the stenographer in creating an accurate and official transcript. While the People assert that these recordings are not discoverable to defendants under CPL Article 245, they have applied for a protective order in an abundance of caution in order to notify the defendant of the presence of the recordings and to have the court rule on the same.

CPL §245.20(1)(b) states that the People shall disclose to the defendant "[a]ll transcripts of the testimony of a person who has testified before a grand jury..." The People are obligated to provide the transcripts of the witness testimony before the grand jury, however, the preliminary notes or shorthand utilized by the grand jury stenographer to create the transcript generally are not discoverable....

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