New York State Court of Appeals
Subsequently-filed Written Motion — Mistrial
People v. Hampton
Background: The defendant, after being convicted, moved to set aside a jury verdict based upon a lack of evidence. Just prior to this, the presiding judge learned of a potential personal connection between him and the victim. The judge recused himself and a second judge heard the motion. The defendant’s motion was not granted and on appeal argued that he was entitled to a mistrial because the original judge who heard his oral motion and the Judiciary Law barred a second judge from deciding a subsequently-filed written motion.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that Section 21 of the Judiciary Law did not bar a substitute judge from deciding a question of law presented in a motion argued orally before another judge so long as a transcript or recording of the prior argument was available for review.
Joseph A. Gentile for the appellant; Barbara Kornblau for the respondent