The Fourth Department, reversing defendant’s conviction, determined the identification testimony of a police officer should not have been admitted because pretrial notice of the identification had not been provided to the defendant:
We agree with defendant … that the court erred in permitting the officer to identify defendant as the person in the left rear seat of the vehicle in the absence of a notice pursuant to CPL 710.30 (1) (b). We therefore reverse the judgment and grant that part of the omnibus motion seeking preclusion of that testimony on the ground that the People failed to serve a notice pursuant to CPL 710.30 (1) (b). The prosecutor advised the court and defense counsel after jury selection that the officer would identify defendant as the left rear passenger. Defendant objected and the court conducted a hearing, over defendant’s objection, and determined that the officer’s identification of defendant by means of a single photo approximately two hours after the incident was merely confirmatory and thus that no notice was required pursuant to CPL 710.30 (1) (b).
The exception to the requirement to provide notice pursuant to CPL 710.30 “carries significant consequences” … , and the Court of Appeals has “consistently held that police identifications do not enjoy any exemption from the statutory notice and hearing requirements” … . Unlike the buy-and-bust scenario, where the police participant is focused on the face-to-face contact with defendant with the goal of identifying him or her when he or she is picked up by a back up unit … , here, the officer was standing by the vehicle for approximately three minutes while he was engaged with all of the occupants of the vehicle. Thus, “we cannot conclude that the circumstances of [the officer’s] initial viewing were such that, as a matter of law, the subsequent identification could not have been the product of undue suggestiveness” … . Indeed, “the statute contemplates pretrial resolution of the admissibility of identification testimony’ ” … , and “[t]o conclude otherwise directly contravenes the simple procedure that has been mandated by the Legislature and would permit the People to avoid their statutory obligation merely because a police officer’s initial viewing of a suspect and a subsequent identification might be temporally related” … . People v Clay, 2017 NY Slip Op 01074, 4th Dept 2-10-17
CRIMINAL LAW (NO PRETRIAL NOTICE OF IDENTIFICATION TESTIMONY BY A POLICE OFFICER, CONVICTON REVERSED)/IDENTIFICATION (CRIMINAL LAW, NO PRETRIAL NOTICE OF IDENTIFICATION TESTIMONY BY A POLICE OFFICER, CONVICTON REVERSED)