New York Prosecutor's Failure to Provide Statutory Notice of an Incriminating Statement

In People v. Chase (85 N.Y.2d 493, 650 N.E.2d 379, 626 N.Y.S.2d 721), the Court of Appeals reversed a conviction based on the prosecutor's failure to provide statutory notice of one of four incriminating statements made by the defendant while in police custody. The People claimed notice was not required because the statement was clearly voluntary. The Court ruled: It is for the court and not the parties to determine whether a statement is truly voluntary or is one in which the actions of the police are the functional equivalent of interrogation causing the statement to be made ... In People v. Greer (42 N.Y.2d 170, 366 N.E.2d 273, 397 N.Y.S.2d 613), we noted that CPL 710.30 (1) (a) notice need not be served on a defendant where "there is no question of voluntariness" (id., at 178). In that case even though this Court found that the statement was completely voluntary ... it precluded the statement for failure of the People to give the required notice. Since the statement here was made to a law enforcement official and the defendant had the right to have a court review the circumstances under which the statement was given and to determine whether it was truly spontaneous or the functional equivalent of interrogation ... defendant was entitled to notice under CPL 710.30 (1) (a). (id., at 500)