People v. Roc

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Justice Ronald Hollie

Roc sought dismissal arguing a failure to establish probable cause for his arrest, and for suppression. Prosecutors moved to preclude Roc from re-litigating the issue of probable cause arguing the doctrine of collateral estoppel applied and a prior ruling was law of the case. Roc was arrested and charged with homicide, and a gun was later recovered. Prosecutors chose to proceed with the homicide case first, and the court found probable cause to arrest Roc, denying suppression, but Roc was not convicted. Prosecutors then proceeded with the criminal possession of a weapon case. Defense argued as there was no final and valid prior judgment, collateral estoppel did not apply. The court agreed ruling the dismissal of the related homicide case on the prosecutors' motion constituted a resolution, but did not provide the requisite finality to invoke collateral estoppel. It denied the motion to preclude Roc from re-litigating the Dunaway issue previously decided. The court also found as there were two separate litigations between the parties, it was not bound by the prior Dunaway decision and law of the case did not preclude re-litigating the Dunaway issue. It ruled the arrest was unlawful, suppressing the gun and Roc's statement.

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