senate Bill S6672

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Authorizes a judicial hearing officer to accept a guilty plea when assigned to conduct a trial

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
May 02, 2012 referred to codes
May 01, 2012 delivered to assembly
passed senate
Apr 25, 2012 advanced to third reading
Apr 19, 2012 2nd report cal.
Apr 18, 2012 1st report cal.497
Mar 08, 2012 referred to codes

Votes

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S6672 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง350.20 & 380.18, CP L

S6672 - Bill Texts

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Authorizes a judicial hearing officer to accept a guilty plea when assigned to conduct a trial.

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BILL NUMBER:S6672

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend
the criminal procedure law, in relation to authorizing a judicial
hearing officer to accept a guilty plea when assigned to conduct a trial

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Local
Courts Advisory Committee.

This measure amends section 350.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law to
authorize a judicial hearing officer to accept a guilty plea when
authorized to hold a trial of a B misdemeanor.

Judicial hearing officers are retired judges appointed to perform
certain designated judicial functions in civil and criminal courts
pursuant to Article 22 of the Judiciary Law, thereby freeing judges
to conduct more trials. People v. Scalza, 76 N.Y.2d 604, 608 (1990).

Section 350.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law authorizes a local
criminal court to assign a judicial hearing officer to conduct a
trial of a B misdemeanor upon consent of all parties to the criminal
proceeding. When assigned to try the case, the judicial hearing
officer has the same powers as a judge of the court in which the
proceeding is pending. CPL 350.20(2). With respect to a trial of a B
misdemeanor, section 350.20 provides that' the judicial hearing
officer shall determine all questions of law, act as the exclusive
trier of all issues of fact, and render a verdict. CPL 350.20(1).

It is not uncommon that after a case has been assigned to a judicial
hearing officer under this provision, the defendant decides to plead
guilty in lieu of proceeding to trial.
The problem is that because section 350.20 does not expressly
authorize a judicial hearing
officer to accept a guilty plea, the matter must be returned to the
judge from whom it originated for final disposition. The return of
the case to the originating judge defeats the purpose of the original
assignment, namely, to free the judge to dispose of matters involving
more serious offenses.

This measure would authorize the judicial hearing officer to accept a
guilty plea by amending section 350.20 to provide that a judicial
hearing officer shall have jurisdiction over the proceeding as
defined in sections 1.20(24) and 10.30(1) of the Criminal
Procedure Law. Section 10.30(1) provides that local courts have trial
jurisdiction of all offenses other than felonies. Section 1.20(24)
provides that a criminal court's trial jurisdiction of an offense
includes, among other things, the "authority to accept a plea to" the
offense. In addition, this measure would amend section 380.10 of the

Criminal Procedure Law to provide that the sentencing procedure set
forth in the Criminal Procedure Law applies to all offenses,
including those adjudicated by judicial hearing officers.

By authorizing a judicial hearing officer to accept a guilty plea,
this measure would enable the judicial hearing officer to fully
dispose of the matter assigned to him or her.

This measure would have no fiscal impact upon the State. It would take
effect on the first day of November next succeeding the date on which
it shall have become a law.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None. New proposal.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6672

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 8, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced by Sen. SALAND -- (at request of the Office of Court Adminis-
  tration)  --  read  twice  and ordered printed, and when printed to be
  committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to authorizing a
  judicial hearing officer to accept a  guilty  plea  when  assigned  to
  conduct a trial

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  Subdivision 2 of section 350.20 of the criminal  procedure
law,  as added by chapter 840 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as
follows:
  2. In the discharge of this responsibility, the judicial hearing offi-
cer shall have the same powers as a judge of  the  court  in  which  the
proceeding  is  pending, WHICH INCLUDES EXERCISING JURISDICTION OVER THE
PROCEEDING AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWENTY-FOUR  OF  SECTION  1.20  AND
SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 10.30 OF THIS CHAPTER.  The rules of evidence
shall be applicable at a trial conducted by a judicial hearing officer.
  S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 380.10 of the criminal procedure law, as
amended  by  chapter  840  of  the  laws  of 1983, is amended to read as
follows:
  1.  In general.  The procedure prescribed by  this  title  applies  to
sentencing  for  every offense, whether defined within or outside of the
penal law; provided, however,  where  a  judicial  hearing  officer  has
conducted  the trial pursuant to SUBDIVISION TWENTY-FOUR OF SECTION 1.20
AND section 350.20 of this chapter, all references  to  a  court  herein
shall be deemed references to such judicial hearing officer.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.



 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14133-01-2

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