The Second Department reversed defendant’s conviction because the prosecutor failed to show good cause for her failure to provide timely notice of rebuttal witnesses. Defendant had provided a “notice of alibi.” Defendant’s alibi witness was his girlfriend, who testified defendant was home with her at the time of the offense. The prosecutor did not provide reciprocal notice of rebuttal witnesses who would testify that cell phone records demonstrated defendant was not at home with his girlfriend at the time of the offense. In spite of the lack of timely notice, the trial court allowed the rebuttal testimony after an adjournment:
CPL 250.20(1) provides, among other things, that within eight days of service of a demand by the People, a defendant “must” serve upon the People a “notice of alibi,” and that “[f]or good cause shown, the court may extend the period for service of the notice.” The reciprocal provision, CPL 250.20(2), provides, among other things, that “[w]ithin a reasonable time after receipt of the defendant’s witness list but not later than ten days before trial,” the People “must” serve and file a list of the witnesses the People propose to offer in rebuttal to discredit the defendant’s alibi at the trial, and that “[f]or good cause shown, the court may extend the period for service” of the People’s witness list.
CPL 250.20(3) provides that if the defendant calls an alibi witness at trial without having first served the requisite notice pursuant to CPL 250.20(1), the court “may exclude any testimony of such witness,” or “may in its discretion receive such testimony, but before doing so, it must, upon application” of the People, “grant an adjournment not in excess of three days” (CPL 250.20). CPL 250.20(4) provides that the provisions of subdivision (3) “shall reciprocally apply” when the People seek to offer alibi rebuttal witnesses without having given the requisite notice pursuant to CPL 250.20(2).
Here, the People contend, in effect, that, unlike CPL 250.20(2), which requires the People to show “good cause” for an extension of time to serve the list of alibi rebuttal witnesses, CPL 250.20(3) and (4) do not require such a showing for the court to exercise its discretion in receiving such testimony absent any compliance with the notice requirement. We disagree … . A construction of the statute which requires good cause to be shown before trial, but not during trial, when late notice would be most prejudicial, is both contrary to the plain meaning of the statute, as well as contrary to the intent of the Legislature in amending the statute to comply with the Due Process Clause … . To hold otherwise would mean that CPL 250.20(3) and (4) completely eviscerate the timeliness of notice requirements of CPL 250.20(1) and (2). People v Crevelle, 2015 NY Slip Op 01661, 2nd Dept 2-25-15
ess Required Reversal