FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 04/29/08


In the Matter of M. S v. E. S., No. 63
In a proceeding wherein wife sought an upward modification of maintenance and child support in a written separation agreement, judgment that the parties were bound by the terms of the separation agreement is affirmed where the Family Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the spouse’s application for increased spousal maintenance.

Wilson v. Galicia Contracting & Restoration Corp., No. 65
In a personal injury action arising when plaintiff was walking under scaffolding assembled by defendant and a piece of material fell in his eye, a judgment and award for plaintiff is affirmed primarily where: 1) a claim that CPLR 3215 (f) renders the judgment a nullity was not preserved; and 2) the courts below correctly held that, due to its failure to comply with a self-executing conditional order, defendant was precluded from introducing any evidence at the inquest “tending to defeat the plaintiff’s cause of action”.

People v, Sparber, No. 53
In appeals considering whether defendants were entitled to relief of their statutory obligation to serve a term of post-release supervision (PRS) because sentencing courts failed to pronounce their PRS terms in accordance with Crim. Proc. Law sections 380.20 and 380.40, the court of appeals concludes that the procedure through which PRS was imposed upon the defendants was flawed, as it did not comply with the statutory mandate. However, in remedying this error, rather than striking the PRS from the sentences, the matters are remanded for resentencing and the proper judicial pronouncement of the relevant PRS terms.

In the Matter of Garner v. New York State Dep’t of Corr. Serv. , No. 57
The New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) may not administratively add a mandatory period of Post-Release Supervision (PRS) onto a prisoner’s sentence when the PRS term was never pronounced by the sentencing judge, as Crim. Pro. Law 380.20 and 380.40 collectively provide that only a judge may impose a PRS sentence.

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