Do Provisions of CPL 710.30 Give Ample Opportunity to a Defendant to Challenge Evidence ?
In People v. O'Doherty (70 NY2d 479), the Court articulated what was the purpose behind the enactment of CPL 710.30.
"The 'central purpose' of the notice provisions of CPL 710.30 is to provide a defendant with adequate notice of statements and pretrial identifications so as to permit the defendant a meaningful opportunity to challenge the evidence at issue." (People v. Centeno, 168 Misc 2d 172, 175.)
This then begs the question: what kind of information must be provided in the CPL 710.30 notice, which provides the defendant with "a meaningful opportunity to challenge the evidence at issue"? the defendant relies on People v. Lopez (84 NY2d 425) to underscore his argument that the failure to provide the name of the identifying witness in the notice renders the notice insufficient.
In People v. Lopez (supra), the Court found the CPL 710.30 notice was inadequate.
The notice in Lopez (supra), which listed various types of evidence and contained appropriate boxes before each that the prosecutor had marked where applicable with an "x" indicating the type to be offered at trial, including an oral and a written statement made to a public servant and an identification of defendant by a witness, was found to be inadequate where the form provided no further information about the evidence, and no documents were attached.
The Court found (at 428) that the notice "informed [the defendant] that the People intended to offer oral and written statements and identification evidence but failed to specify the evidence as the statute commands." the People were required to (at 428) "inform defendant of the time and place the oral and written statements were made and of the sum and substance of those statements ... Full copies of the statements need not be supplied but they must be described sufficiently so that the defendant can intelligently identify them."
The defendant's reliance on the holding in Lopez (supra) is erroneous.
The notice provided in Lopez was in essence a "blank notice."
A "blank notice" is defined in People v. Cox (161 Misc 2d 1011, 1015) as a form sheet "which simply tracks the language of the statute."
In Lopez, the Court held that in order for a CPL 710.30 notice to be sufficient, the People are required to inform the defendant of the time, place, to whom the identification was made and the sum and substance of the statements. People v. East (174 Misc 2d 374) is a case that is right on point on the issue of whether the failure to identify the identifying witness in the CPL 710.30 notice renders the notice insufficient.
The court held that the notice was sufficient even though the CPL 710.30 notice did not name the identifying witness, because the date, location, number of witnesses, and type of identification procedure were all included in the CPL 710.30 notice.
In People v. Sang Bae (164 Misc 2d 669) the court also found that the CPL 710.30 notice was sufficient because it also included the date, the manner of the identification, and the number of witnesses the People intended to offer at trial.