The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, over a two-justice dissent, determined defendant’s motion to vacate his conviction on ineffective assistance ground should not have been denied without a hearing:
… [D]efendant’s CPL 440.10 motion was supported by a notarized but unsworn statement of a witness, dated prior to defendant’s trial, who asserted that defendant had borrowed the witness’s jacket minutes before defendant’s arrest, that the controlled substances in the pockets of that jacket belonged to the witness, and that defendant had no prior knowledge of the controlled substances … . Defendant himself averred in an affidavit submitted in support of his motion that he informed trial counsel prior to trial of the witness’s willingness to testify. Defendant’s motion therefore set forth sufficient facts tending to substantiate his claim that he was denied effective assistance of counsel, and we therefore agree with defendant that Supreme Court erred in denying that claim without a hearing … .
We further agree with defendant that the court erred in rejecting his contention that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to either secure police surveillance of the traffic stop that led to defendant’s arrest or seek sanctions for the prosecution’s alleged failure to preserve the same. People v Fox, 2020 NY Slip Op 01809, Fourth Dept 3-13-20