The New York Times reports that Mayor Bloomberg has recommended streamlining the pistol license application process by having the NYPD Pistol License Division open one night a week and providing quicker approvals or denials of applications. Read the article by clicking here www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/nyregion/15guns.html To view the rules click here nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp
Matter of Mark Biggerstaff v Judge Karen A. Drago
Petitioner, Mark Biggerstaff, filed an Article 78 to review a determination of the respondent, Judge Karen A. Drago. When Petitioner was arrested on multiple charges stemming from his operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Respondent decided to revoke Petitioner’s pistol license. The Court ruled that the Respondent’s determination was neither an abuse of her power or arbitrary and capricious.
To read about Article 78 cases go to http://www.sheerinlaw.com/?id=78.
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Matter of Leto v. Mulvey
Petitioner, John Leto, brought about this Article 78 case to get the Court to annul the Nassau County Police Department’s (NCPD) decision to revoke his pistol license and reinstate his license. Leto was issued a Nassau County Pistol License in July of 2004. He lost his pistol license after a series of altercations with his ex-girlfriend that resulted in his arrest and an order of protection being issued.
On November 6, 2004, Petitioner followed his ex-girlfriend, Donna Composto, in his motor vehicle and repeatedly cut her off in traffic. He then called her on her cell phone and made inappropriate remarks. When Ms. Composto reached her destination, Petitioner harassed her in the parking lot, inside at the event she was attending, and after the event when Ms. Composto returned to her vehicle, he threatened her with a gun. Ms. Composto complained to the NCPD resulting in Leto’s arrest, an order of protection against him, and a suspension of his pistol license. In March 2005, Petitioner violated the order of protection and was arrest and charged with second degree criminal contempt.
Petitioner’s pistol license was revoked in March of 2007. Petitioner denied any wrong doing and submitted into evidence a letter from Ms. Composto recanting her prior accusation that Leto displayed a firearm on the evening of November 6, 2004. Petitioner argued that no weight should be given to the allegations of his ex-girlfriend due to the recantation letter and that he otherwise had a clean record. Petitioner also relied heavily on Schneider v. Mulvey where the Court vacated the NCPD’s revocation of a pistol license because petitioner was unable to cross examine a witness at his hearing. The Court argued that Petitioner was not denied the right to confront and cross examine Ms. Composto at the hearing. She was not in court because she was out of town. Petitioner could have given her a subpoena to appear in court or sought an adjournment.
Accordingly, the Court found the respondent’s determination to revoke Petitioner’s pistol license to be rational and neither arbitrary nor capricious.
Matter of Schneider v. Mulvey
Petitioner brought about this article 78 proceeding to review the determination of and vacate the revocation of his pistol license and reinstate it on the grounds that the decision was arbitrary and capricious.
The officer who filed the initial complaint that resulted in the pistol permit revocation failed to attend Petitioner’s hearing. Additionally, the Hearing Officer refused to allow Petitioner’s attorney to cross-examine the witnesses. The Petitioner must be given the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses as is entitled to him in his right to due process.
Accordingly, the Court vacated Respondent’s determination and referred the matter to the Nassau County Police Department to conduct a de novo hearing with the right of cross-examination.
Dinapoli v City of
Plaintiff, Dominick DiNapoli, a 62 year old disabled veteran brought about this action against the City of New York challenging the revocation of his firearm license and the failure to accommodate his appeal in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The City moved for summary judgment.
Plaintiff was issued a license to possess a rifle or shotgun in 1970. In 2002, his license was revoked due to an arrest where plaintiff was charged with sending threatening correspondence to employees of the US Department of Agriculture. Additionally, plaintiff was evicted from his apartment and homeless for 2 years and failed to inform the NYPD. Plaintiff appealed the revocation of his license in 2002 but the hearing officer upheld the NYPD’s decision due to plaintiff not timely informing the NYPD that he had become homeless and that the prior arrest, even though the charges were dropped, indicated a lack of good moral character required for firearms possession.
In this action, the Court agreed with the previous decision and felt that since the NYPD’s revocation was not based solely on plaintiff’s disability, the City’s motion for summary judgment was granted on his claim that the City discriminated against him in revoking his license. Also, plaintiff’s allegations that defendant did not accommodate his disabilities was not substantiated. The City made reasonable accommodations for plaintiff by holding the hearing in a wheelchair-accessible facility and offering to reschedule the hearing to accommodate plaintiff’s transportation difficulties.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court granted City’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed action.