Monday, April 20, 2015

Council looking to decriminalize quality-of-life crimes

From the Daily News:

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s office is working on a proposal that would make some of the most common criminal court summonses civil charges instead. Violators would get a ticket to one of the city’s administrative courts, such as the Environmental Control Board, instead of criminal court. Cops could no longer make arrests for those offenses, and missed court dates would turn into default monetary judgments instead of warrants.

Bratton appears cool to the idea, saying people wouldn’t take a civil ticket seriously.

A Daily News analysis shows the seven offenses that would be sent to one of the city’s administrative civil courts under the Mark-Viverito plan account for roughly 2.7 million, or 42%, of the summonses issued by the NYPD between 2001 and June 2014. They also account for more than 510,000 open arrest warrants, according to the analysis of data provided by the state Office of Court Administration.

The seven offenses under consideration are public consumption of alcohol, public urination, bicycling on the sidewalk, being in a park after dark, failure to obey a park sign, littering and unreasonable noise. The offenses under consideration for decriminalization are under the city’s administrative code — not the state penal code — making it possible to amend them without state approval, officials said.

Public urination and open container are the only two minor offenses for which fines can be paid by mail. But Lancman said many people have reservations about allowing people to simply pay online for criminal court summonses because they’d essentially be pleading guilty to a violation or, in some cases, a misdemeanor without having an attorney present.

“When it’s a civil offense we don’t have any problem letting people pay online or by mail without having to show up at all ... that would almost certainly mean you’d have a higher percentage of people paying a fine,” Lancman said.

He said that in criminal summons court, roughly half the people don’t show up, and of the people who do show up and are assessed a fine, a quarter of them don’t pay.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah, the thing is that these are already just summonses as they are violations, not misdemeanors. It's when the person has a warrant out for something else or there are aggravating factors that they take them to jail. Hopefully that won't change.

Anonymous said...

Public Urination should be more than a minor offense. These individuals are exposing themselves, obviously, and it is a serious health hazard.

I suggest for all the offenses the individuals be taken to the station house. When a family member or friend brings the payment for the fine -- then they get released.

If the individual does not have a family member or friend -- stick them in a homeless shelter for a couple of nights.

London Laurence said...

Bad show, "old chap".
Little things things grow up to become a big nuissance.. Nip it in the bud, "shipmate" and there will be no later need for trimming down the thorn forest.

Anonymous said...

Must we constantly pander to liberal nincompoops who insist on unraveling the fabric of civilization. A perp needs to be bitch slapped. Then they won't do it again.
What should be the civil fine for murder? After all, we want to clear the courts. Disregard for the law must be discouraged early.

Anonymous said...

1970's, here we come.

Anonymous said...

Next time there's a city council hearing, let's pisss on the council floor! Hell, if it won't be a serious offense, I'm willing to pay a $500 fine for the privilege of urinating on Mark Weprin's turf or passing wind in Jimmy Van Bramer's face. That kind of experience is priceless.

Anonymous said...

Wow - this will be REALLY BAD NEWS for NYC!

Our pols never leave their little isolated, clueless bubbles (except Tony)! Maybe deSleazio and MMV should visit Queens - and not LIC or Astoria or Sunnyside - how about the twin ghettos Corona and Elmhurst?

Seven more reasons to jump from this rat-infested, tubercular ship!

Anonymous said...

These are and should remain crimes.

So take a visit to the station house in cuffs, get your id really verified with finger prints, spend a few hours in lock-up with other scum, get scolded by a cop or judge and get released on your recognizance.

It's not a perfect system, but it discourages some repeat offenders and it does pick up some with warrants for more serious crimes.

The people like DeBlalsio and Mark-Viverito who live in the bubble don't have to deal with the consequences of these quality of life issues like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

It's also an overtime machine for cops. A cop collars a guy for a "Minor" infraction. He takes the guy through the system all the way to the House of Detention. Most of this sort of arrests aoccur at the end of the P.O's shift. THe P.O. MUST walk the perp through the system all the time on the clock. Cops are getting rich from subway spitters and public pissers.....

Anonymous said...

decriminalize QoL crimes, give bail money to criminals out of the public pocket...

this is just insanity.

RC said...

These are not arrestable offenses as they stand. Except for PU and open-container, you earn an appearance ticket as long as you have ID and no open warrants. It is, however, a huge hassle to make that appearance... Losing a day of work for crossing between subway cars is on its face a ridiculous proposition. PD should still be able to run the pedigree but let the perp mail in the fine.

Anonymous said...

Public Urination should be more than a minor offense. These individuals are exposing themselves, obviously, and it is a serious health hazard.


But dog urine is ok?

Anonymous said...


But dog urine is ok?
----------------------------------

It's not bad over ice.

Anonymous said...

What would someone who has the urge to urinate do? unlike most Europe cities and most major world cities, Manhattan does not offer public bathrooms. Hotels, restaurants, etc won't allow anyone off the streets to use their facilities, and the subway system has removed all public toilets years ago. What would one to do when nature calls?

Anonymous said...

Pleasecpost aclist of where all coucil people live so i can start pissing in front of their respective residences. Let's see how they like the snell of urine in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Good job Dublaz! F-ing up the city weekly. So glad we got rid of Bloomberg, right Crappy?

Anonymous said...

Dog urine is biodegradible (Act- ually all Animals except Humanes).

Jerry Rotondi said...

We ought to be classing the behavior of most of our council members as criminal. Do they work for REBNY, like Paul Vallone, or us constituents. Just look up their campaign contributors online. Then decide for yourselves.

As for Councilman Valllone, who is supposed to have our district's best interests at heart, he's only interested in serving himself the biggest piece of political pie he can fit into his mouth, and then some.

Be extremely careful who you vote for next time around.

Anonymous said...

We need some of these around. Sorry ladies.
http://www.amsterdamlogue.com/urinals-in-amsterdam-an-unusual-tourist-attraction-of-sorts.html

Anonymous said...

At least vallone isn't a commie like most of his colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Noise complaints have been misunderstood and passed off as mere annoyances for too long. Noise is the number one complaint for residents in NYC. All social classes and all neighborhoods are assaulted by after-hours construction noise, motorcycle noise, helicopter and aircraft noise, boom box noise. I recommend choosing a more forceful way to stop the noise.

Anonymous said...

Dog urine is biodegradable, a commentator claims? Try having a dog urinate all over your garden for one season and see how healthy it is.

Anonymous said...

"As for Councilman Valllone, who is supposed to have our district's best interests at heart, he's only interested in serving himself the biggest piece of political pie he can fit into his mouth, and then some."

Leave it to Rotondi to make this an attack on Vallone.

Anonymous said...

Every one of these offenses is committed almost every evening from around 11pm to about 3 am or later, especially during the summer on weekends, in Flushing Meadows Park. Between the drag racing, motorcycles and loud music, the quality of life around this area is horrible. Calling the cops is useless as these are exactly the prime times for other "real" crimes which is where they say their manpower is. As a result, many sleepless nights are spent by the folks that actually work for a living and don't get to live off thier parents money.
Of course, installing gates would solve the problem, but better we spend those millions on a new roof on the tennis court. A court that the common folk can't even afford to attend.

Anonymous said...

Good morning crapinski:
Nice photo of Metro Ave. and the fence surrounding Lutheran/All Faiths cemetery. Too bad the cemetery's Führer, Dan Austin, won't spend the money to fix up the fence which looks like real Queens Crap.
A shame for the Middle Village neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a "commie" is better than having Paul Vallone, a simple real estate industry lobbying thug, and as dumb as they come. The exception being the voters , who elected this shady goombah (with mobster pals?).
He stood up for Joey ("d'or") Franco of the White House Restaurant (formerly of Cafe on The Green) a purported Gambino connected gentleman, so the press had noted.

Anonymous said...

Who keeps sucking Vallone's saseech here?
A girl or boyfriend? Wipe the brown off of your nose and take a look at the real world.

Anonymous said...

Vallone, Vallone leave us alone!
With representatives like you, who needs enemies?

JQ said...

All of these offenses are committed by people of all races every day. The motive behind this proposal is supposedly to prevent selective enforcement by the police.

The easing up on charges like these kills 2 birds with 1 stone. It mollifies the minority communities where most of this type of behavior exists and will for a while no longer be subject to harassment for stupid shit like drinking a corona in front of their house or taking a short cut through a park as it placates all the frivolous spending hipsters and all those in the bro and hot mess culture who are currently running around the streets they gentrified stinking drunk and wasted with more freedom to continue their vices and habits.

So now the cops can concentrate on serious crimes and units will be deployed correctly.

We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Jerry stated:
"We ought to be classing the behavior of most of our council members as criminal. Do they work for REBNY...."
Here is a link to our pols attendees at the latest REBNY annual dinner:
http://www.rebny.com/content/rebny/en/newsroom/press-releases/2015/REBNYs_Longest_Serving_President_Honored_at_Industrys_Biggest_Event_Year_REBNY_119th_Annual_Banquet.html

Anonymous said...

She is nuts! Does she want a city of lawlessness and disorder?

zee zeem said...

Paying a ticket fine for these violations should be good enough, no include these in the criminal system. Civil system is okay.

Anonymous said...

Why are people so against this? Other than pissing in public and littering, none of these are even a big deal.

How often do you see the government decriminalizing things? We should be encouraging this trend.

Anonymous said...

"Why are people so against this? Other than pissing in public and littering, none of these are even a big deal."

I'm so happy that you live in a neighborhood where this crap isn't a constant occurrence. It's different around here (Richmond Hill/Ozone Park). We have them hanging out being loud, drunk and stupid in the park 'til the wee hours. Basketball playing at 1AM, thunderously loud music coming from multiple vehicles and homes. Just last Saturday we has one BBQ start before noon and run until after 11PM - an early night for them.

With summer coming this shit only gets worse and only quiets down around Thanksgiving.


Of course the police never see/hear anything.