The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Garcia, over a two-judge dissenting opinion, held the suppression court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the People to reopen the suppression hearing to present another witness after the People had rested. The court subsequently denied the motion to suppress. The Court of Appeals framed the issue around the “one full opportunity” rule which precludes reopening a hearing in other contexts and decided not to extend the rule to the “”pre-ruling” stage of a suppression hearing:
In Havelka [45 NY2d 636], we applied the “one full opportunity” rule to a holding by an appellate court overturning the decision of the suppression court. In Kevin W [22 NY3d 287}. we applied the same rule to the suppression court’s decision to reopen the hearing after its ruling on the merits of the motion. Defendant now asks us to apply the rule at a point still earlier in the process, similarly restricting the suppression court’s discretion before any decision is made. This we decline to do.
A basic concern underlying both Havelka and Kevin W. is finality, described as the “haunt[ing] . . . specter of renewed proceedings” after the defendant initially has prevailed … . We explained in Havelka that allowing the People to present additional evidence at a new hearing would render success at the original suppression hearing “nearly meaningless” … . The People, we said, should not get “a second chance to succeed where once they tried and failed” … . However, that concern is absent where no decision on the motion has been rendered by the hearing court: no victory will be rendered “nearly meaningless.”
The second issue of concern weighing in favor of the “one full opportunity” rule — the risk of improperly tailored testimony at the reopened proceedings — is significantly lower where the People do not have a formal decision from either an appellate court or the hearing court. People v Cook, 2019 NY Slip Op 09059, CtApp 12-19-19