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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Appellate Division Declares Bronx Court Merger Unconstitutional

In a move that will affect the daily goings-on in the courthouses of the Bronx, an appeals court yesterday ruled that the merger that took place between Bronx Criminal Court and Bronx Supreme court in 2004 was unconstitutional.

The merger was brought about mainly to take pressure off jammed courtrooms by spreading out the cases. However, according to the Appellate Division, since the merger was signed off by then-Chief Judge Judith Kaye and not the state Legislature, the merger was unconstitutional. One of the appellate judges stated that yesterday's ruling "effectively upends tens of thousands of misdemeanor convictions."

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson stated yesterday that the decision "would lead to chaos...at least in the short term," and intimated that he would seek a stay that would prevent offenders from rushing back to court to attempt to have their convictions overturned. Prosecutors stated that they would appeal the decision.

Read the entire article in the Daily News...

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