New York CPL 140.20 (1) - Interpretation

In People ex rel. Maxian v. Brown (164 AD2d 56, 60, 561 NYS2d 418 [1990], affd 77 NY2d 422, 570 NE2d 223, 568 NYS2d 575 [1991] [Roundtree]) the Supreme Court interpreted CPL 140.20 (1) which requires a police officer to perform administrative duties preliminary to an arraignment and to bring such person before a local criminal court for arraignment without unnecessary delay. The Appellate Division observed that "the application of CPL 140.20 (1) is intimately concerned with the question of necessity." (164 AD2d at 62.) The trial court found that 24 hours was generally adequate to permit the arresting officer to perform required administrative tasks prior to arraignment. The appellate courts affirmed, based upon the language of the statute. The Criminal Procedure Law expressly does not apply to family court matters (Family Ct Act 303.1 1). "A court may, however, consider judicial interpretations of appropriate provisions of the criminal procedure law to the extent that such interpretations may assist the court in interpreting similar provisions of" the Family Court Act. (Family Ct Act 303.1 2.) It is apparent that the two statutes, Family Court Act 305.2 (4) (b) and CPL 140.20 (1) serve similar purposes relating to prearraignment detention and therefore should be read in pari materia. (McKinney's Cons Laws of NY, Book 1, Statutes 221.) The Court of Appeals in Roundtree found that the Criminal Procedure Law "requires that a prearraignment detention not be prolonged beyond a time reasonably necessary to accomplish the tasks required to bring an arrestee to arraignment." (77 NY2d at 427.)