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General Municipal Law § 50-e(1)(a

A Nassau Rape Lawyer, on this appeal we are called upon to consider the effect and interplay of CPL 160.50 (sealing of records upon termination of criminal action in favor of the accused) and General Municipal Law § 50-e (notice of claim). Since the Supreme Court did not give proper consideration to the impact of CPL 160.50 in this case, we have modified the order by imposing certain conditions. On the evening of August 2, 1991, the petitioner, was arrested by a member of the New York City Housing Authority Police Department, in front of 453 Beach 40th Street in Queens. Ragland was arrested for criminal contempt in the second degree (violation of an order of protection) and harassment. The officer acted on the basis of information supplied to him by the person who was to be protected by the order of protection.

A Nassau Criminal Lawyer said that, the petitioner was arraigned in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, Queens County, and remanded, apparently in default of bail, until August 13, 1991. The charges were dismissed on November 7, 1991, and all records sealed pursuant to CPL 160.50. While the certificate of disposition does not set forth the reason for the dismissal, the petitioner indicates that it was because he had never been served with the order of protection. The petitioner, acting pro se, served a notice of claim upon the City of New York in January 1992. Subsequently, according to the petitioner, the Comptroller’s Office advised him that the City was not the proper party to be given notice. In March 1992 the petitioner consulted with his attorney and promptly moved for permission to serve a late notice of claim against the New York City Housing Authority (hereinafter the Authority), alleging false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution resulting in “mental anguish or suffering, shame and humiliation, ridicule and scorn, moral and mental degradation, loss of earnings, property loss and physical injury”. Public Housing Law § 157(2) provides that all notices of claim relating to personal injuries must be presented to the Authority within 90 days and that all of the provisions of General Municipal Law § 50-e shall apply to such notices.

The Supreme Court granted the application, and deemed the notice of claim to be timely served. This decision was predicated upon the finding that the Authority had actual knowledge of the facts constituting the petitioner’s cause of action. The court did not address the question of any possible prejudice to the Authority.

The issue in this case is whether there is an effect on interplay of CPL 160.50 (sealing of records upon termination of criminal action in favor of the accused) and General Municipal Law § 50-e (notice of claim).

General Municipal Law § 50-e(1)(a) required the petitioner to serve a notice of claim with the Authority within 90 days after the cause of action arose. The petitioner’s claim sounding in false arrest accrued on August 13, 1991, the date on which he was released from custody. This was also the accrual date of the petitioner’s cause of action sounding in false imprisonment. However, the cause of action sounding in malicious prosecution did not accrue until November 7, 1991, when the charges were dismissed by the Criminal Court. Using these accrual dates, the petitioner had until November 11, 1991, to serve a notice of claim as to the false arrest and false imprisonment causes of action and until February 5, 1992, to serve a notice of claim as to the malicious prosecution cause of action. Hence, the petitioner sought leave to serve the notice of claim approximately five months and two months late, respectively.

If you are charged with the same crime, seek the help of a Nassau Criminal Attorney and/or Nassau Rape Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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