People v. Sisson

Decision Date01 August 1958
Citation176 N.Y.S.2d 785,12 Misc.2d 18
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York v. Gary Allen SISSON, Defendant.
CourtNew York County Court

Morris Marshall Cohn, Dist. Atty., County of Schenectady, Schenectady, for the People, W. Albert De Matteo, Asst. Dist. Atty., Schenectady, of counsel.

Romolo Versaci, Schenectady, for defendant.

ARCHIBALD C. WEMPLE, Judge.

The defendant was arrested on April 5, 1958, charged with violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, § 15, subd. 1 (inadequate muffler) and Section 95-b (crossing white solid line or lines). On the trial, the only testimony of inadequacy of the muffler was the statement of the State Trooper that the noise from the exhaust of the defendant's car was loud or excessively loud. There was no proof that the muffler was not in proper working order, that it was defective or used a 'cutout'.

This Court concurs with the opinion of Hon. William E. J. Connor, expressed in People v. Zanchelli, Columbia County Court, cited in 8 Misc.2d 1069, 169 N.Y.S.2d 197. The statute under which this defendant was arrested is unconstitutional in that it fails to set up any standards sufficient to define a violation thereof. To permit a conviction to stand based upon the 'hearing' of one individual even though he be a State Trooper, permits too much interpretation of violation to vest in a law-enforcement officer. It is also to be noted that the new section of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, in effect July 1, 1958, relating to mufflers, corrects the error found in the law under consideration by setting up standards and definitions covering prevention of excessive noise emanating from mufflers.

As to the alleged violation of Section 95-b of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, this Court finds that the evidence produced by the People fails to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; that the information filed herein in this Court is vague, indefinite and defective, and that there were errors of law committed by the trial justice, all of which warrant the dismissal of the information relating to this violation.

Specifically, the testimony as to the crossing of a solid line or lines, by the State Trooper, was rebutted to the extent that a reasonable doubt was raised by the defendant. The refusal of the trial justice to admit the photographs in evidence, was an error. The information was vague, indefinite and defective in that from a reading of the text the defendant could not determine whether he was...

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4 cases
  • People v. Byron
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • February 24, 1966
    ...of this provision was challenged in County Courts in People v. Zanchelli, 8 Misc.2d 1069, 169 N.Y.S.2d 197 and People v. Sisson, 12 Misc.2d 18, 176 N.Y.S.2d 785 and in each case the provision was held unconstitutional. The courts found that the provision was vague and susceptible to a dual ......
  • People v. Meyer
    • United States
    • New York Court of Special Sessions
    • July 10, 1970
    ...Section 15(1), which was held to be unconstitutional in People v. Zanchelli, 8 Misc.2d 1069, 169 N.Y.S.2d 197 and People v. Sisson, 12 Misc.2d 18, 176 N.Y.S.2d 785. The legislature repealed Section 15(1) and enacted Section 375(31) establishing a new standard for muffler noise regulation. T......
  • People v. Gubala
    • United States
    • New York Justice Court
    • January 17, 1977
    ...the wording 'unnecessary noise' and the Court noted People v. Zanchelli, 8 Misc.2d 1069, 169 N.Y.S.2d 197 (1957) and People v. Sisson, 12 Misc.2d 18, 176 N.Y.S.2d 785 (1958) which held 'unnecessary' to be vague and susceptible to dual In Byron, (supra) the Defendant argued that the new word......
  • People v. Cohen
    • United States
    • New York District Court
    • March 30, 1976
    ...8 Misc.2d 1069, 169 N.Y.S.2d 197). Two decisions, People v. Zanchelli, supra (Columbia County Court, 1957) and People v. Sisson, 12 Misc.2d 18, 176 N.Y.S.2d 785 (Schenectady County Court, 1958) both held the above quoted statutory language to be unconstitutionally The language was thereafte......

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