New York State Court of Appeals
Legal Sufficiency — Prima Facie Case
People v. Suber
Background: The defendant, a level-three sex offender, was charged with a misdemeanor for failing to inform the Division of Criminal Justice Services to inform law enforcement of his change of address. The defendant had moved twice and then admitted to a police officer of his move. The defendant challenged the sufficiency of the information as it did not state facts that corroborated his statements to the police. On appeal, his conviction was reversed, finding the information jurisdictionally insufficient.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the conviction. In making its determination, the court held that the corroboration of a defendant’s admission is not a component of the prima facie case requirement for an information. The prima facie case for an information — as contrasted with what is needed for an indictment — excludes only a particular type of incompetent evidence, i.e. hearsay. It does not restrict the people from utilizing other types of proof in order to commence a criminal proceeding.
Leonard Joblove for the appellant; Nancy E. Little for the respondent