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Law School Case Brief

People v. Anderson - 66 N.Y.2d 529, 498 N.Y.S.2d 119, 488 N.E.2d 1231 (1985)


Although N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 30.30, like N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 30.20, is entitled "speedy trial," and in large part serves the same purposes, the history of its adoption makes evident that it addresses only the problem of prosecutorial readiness and is not a speedy trial statute in the constitutional sense.


5 cases were consolidated. In each case, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial under N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 30.30(3)(b). The trial court granted this motion. On appeal, however, the appellate division, reversed the trial court and reinstated the indictments and remanded the cases for further proceedings. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals of New York.


Should the case be dismissed for violation of speedy trial?




The Court affirmed the reinstatement of the indictments and the conviction. It found that all the trial delays were authorized, did not affect continued trial readiness, or were not chargeable to the prosecution.Thus, a granted short continuance was authorized to obtain parole revocation hearing minutes. Accordingly, it was improper to charge the prosecution with delay that did not affect the continued readiness for trial. A defendant charged with possession of a stolen automobile did not establish his right to dismissal by reason of delay. Moreover, a motion to dismiss by reason of delay was premature, and failure to deliver drugs allegedly purchased from a defendant charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance to a testing laboratory designated by defendant was not a delay that was chargeable to the prosecution.

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