People v. Thompson

CourtNew York Villiage Court
Citation596 N.Y.S.2d 330,157 Misc.2d 233
Decision Date22 February 1993
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. Bertnox THOMPSON, Defendant.

Page 330

596 N.Y.S.2d 330
157 Misc.2d 233
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Bertnox THOMPSON, Defendant.
Village Court of Westbury,
Nassau County.
Feb. 22, 1993.

Page 331

Bertnox Thompson, pro se.

Jerome F. Matedoro, Village Atty. of Village of Westbury (Stephen K. Malone, Freeport, of counsel), for Village of Westbury.

THOMAS F. LIOTTI, Village Justice.

The defendant is charged with a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 402(1) in that he allegedly failed to have a front plate on his car as it was parked in the [157 Misc.2d 234] commuter lot at Scally Field within the Incorporated Village of Westbury. The defendant appeared pro se. The Village was represented by Stephen K. Malone, Esq., its Prosecutor.

Vehicle and Traffic Law § 402 provides, in relevant part, as follows:

"1. No person shall operate, drive or park a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state unless such vehicle shall have a distinctive number assigned to it by the commissioner and a set of number plates ..."

The defendant has conceded ownership of the vehicle and that it was driven by him, on the day the ticket was issued. Had he not conceded these matters, then the People may have failed in meeting their burden of proof.

In other respects, during the trial an issue evolved concerning the legal right of the Village's employee to issue a "Parking Ticket" to the defendant. The Court has requested that the Village Prosecutor provide him with the legal authority allowing this employee to issue this ticket. The People rely upon Article V, §§ 1-9 and 1-10(c) of the Village Code.

§ 1-9 provides: "The purpose of this local law is to authorize certain Village employees, hereinafter designated, to issue and serve appearance tickets, returnable in local criminal courts, with respect to designated offenses of less than felony grade, upon persons when such Village employees have reasonable cause to believe that such persons have committed one (1) or more misdemeanors or petty offenses in the presence of any such Village employees."

Several questions arise from a reading of the Village's law. First, nowhere does § 1-9 refer to "Parking Tickets." Second, although we are a "local criminal court" (see C.P.L. § 10.10(3)(e), a violation of § 402(1) is not a "petty offense", albeit it may be construed as an "Offense". See CPL § Article 20 and Penal Law § 10.00. Third, the Court finds that the within "parking ticket" alleging a violation of state not local law, (for which there is no analogous provision), is not an "accusatory instrument" as defined in C.P.L. § 1.20.

Page 332

Our "Parking Enforcement Officer" is not a peace officer as defined in C.P.L. § 2.10(1). The Village may wish to consider creating a "Village Constable's" position or some other reasonable facsimile as may be permitted by law. But, so far in this Court's Opinion, the Village has not done that by, among other things, creating the enabling legislation and expressly stating therein the authorized powers of the "Village Constable", etc. See Village [157 Misc.2d 235] Code §§ 46-3 & 4. Lastly and arguably, this violation did not occur "in the presence of any such Village employees."

Next, the Prosecutor relies upon § 1-10(c) which provides:

"All code or parking enforcement officers and attendants and such other employees of the Village as the Mayor may hereafter...

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2 practice notes
  • People v. Lamountain, 2021-21362
    • United States
    • New York Justice Court
    • December 27, 2021
    ...to certain provisions of the VTL. A Village cannot, however, arrogate to itself the authority to enforce the VTL. People v. Thompson, 157 Misc.2d 233 (NY Just. Ct. 1993). With respect to the VTL section at bar, there is no equivalent or analogous Village Code provision in Chapter 98 of the ......
  • Universal Eng'g Servs., P.C. v. Indus. Dev. Agency of Mount Vernon, 69254/2019
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 22, 2020
    ...Comptroller (2011 Ops St. Comp No. 2011-1), which, while it should be considered, is nonbinding on this Court ( People v. Thompson , 157 Misc 2d 233 [Sup Ct, Nassau County 1993] ; Matter of Nyack Bd. of Educ., 77 Misc 2d 116 [Sup Ct, Rockland County 1974] ; see also American Tel. & Tel.......
2 cases
  • People v. Lamountain, 2021-21362
    • United States
    • New York Justice Court
    • December 27, 2021
    ...to certain provisions of the VTL. A Village cannot, however, arrogate to itself the authority to enforce the VTL. People v. Thompson, 157 Misc.2d 233 (NY Just. Ct. 1993). With respect to the VTL section at bar, there is no equivalent or analogous Village Code provision in Chapter 98 of the ......
  • Universal Eng'g Servs., P.C. v. Indus. Dev. Agency of Mount Vernon, 69254/2019
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 22, 2020
    ...Comptroller (2011 Ops St. Comp No. 2011-1), which, while it should be considered, is nonbinding on this Court ( People v. Thompson , 157 Misc 2d 233 [Sup Ct, Nassau County 1993] ; Matter of Nyack Bd. of Educ., 77 Misc 2d 116 [Sup Ct, Rockland County 1974] ; see also American Tel. & Tel.......

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