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Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution

A New York Prostitution Lawyer said that, petitioner is the lessee of the premises at 6693 Broadway, Bronx, New York, which was ordered closed for one year by Police Commissioner Ward, pursuant to the Padlock Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The Padlock Law, effective August 6, 1984, authorizes the Police Commissioner to impose sanctions for public nuisances by barring the use of property in violation of penal laws, such as those relating to prostitution, gambling and drugs.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, specifically, the Padlock Law defines, as a public nuisance, any building where violations of certain provisions of the Penal Law (such as PL Article 225, relating to gambling) are occurring, and where at least two such criminal convictions have occurred within one year of commencement of proceedings pursuant to section 436-8.1. The law creates a statutory presumption of continuing criminal activity, where an arrest for violation of the relevant provisions was made within thirty days of issuance of notice pursuant to § 436-8.1. The police commissioner’s regulations provide for notice of arrests to the owner of property, informing him that if two or more convictions are obtained within 12 months for such public nuisances, proceedings may be commenced resulting in possible closure of the premises. The proceedings are commenced by service of notice of hearing on the owner, lessor, lessee and mortgagee, pursuant to CPLR Article 3. A public hearing presided over by a hearing officer, employed by the police department, is held to determine whether a public nuisance exists, and to report to the police commissioner with recommendations, either for abatement of any nuisance, or for vacatur of a closing order.
A New York Patronizing Prostitution Lawyer said that, in this case, a hearing was held on March 19, 1985 before Hearing Officer Edward Jordan, who recommended closure of the premises for numerous violations of PL Article 225 relating to gambling (specifically, 11 gambling arrests were made at the premises between March 15, 1984 and January 3, 1985, 10 of which resulted in convictions). The police commissioner later accepted the recommendation and ordered closure for one year. Petitioner admitted running a numbers operation out of the premises, but contended that gambling should not be illegal and in any event does not constitute a public nuisance. Neither of these contentions bears scrutiny. The legislation has resolved the issues, and it is not for the court to substitute its judgment. Nor is there substance to the argument that the premises do not constitute a nuisance because they are located in a relatively unpopulated area. Finally, petitioner’s claim that the closure is invalid because some of the cited convictions were obtained prior to the effective date of the padlock law, is also without merit, inter alia because evidence was submitted relating to five convictions, resulting from arrest at the premises, which took place after the effective date of the statute.

The issue in this drug case is whether petitioner’s application, pursuant to CPLR Article 78, challenging the constitutionality of the “Padlock Law” should be granted.

The court in deciding the case said that, legislative enactments are presumed to be constitutional, and should be free of judicial tampering unless shown to be arbitrary and without reasonable basis The Padlock Law is a proper exercise of the city’s police power to protect the public interest in the quality of life in the community and to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare. To Be cont…

The state’s police power may be invoked when the action is reasonable with regard to the ends to be accomplished and the means used to effect the ends. A municipality is invested with broad discretion to decide what is in the public interest and how these interests are to be protected Legislation reasonably designed to promote the general societal welfare is not unconstitutional merely because private property rights are affected. This court finds that the enforcement provisions of the Padlock Law provide for a proper exercise of police power which is reasonably related to the stated objectives of the law.

It is well settled that one who alleges discriminatory enforcement must meet the heavy burden of showing conscious, intentional discrimination. If you have been accused of promoting prostitution, seek the assistance of a New York Patronizing Prostitution Attorney and New York Criminal Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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