Montesano Backs Swift Justice With New Bill

Legislation to hold one or both alternate jurors until verdict
January 27, 2012

Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glean Head) has introduced Assembly bill A.8972, legislation that would amend section 4106 of the civil practice law and rules (CPLR), which currently requires that alternate jurors are only held until deliberations begin and then relieved of their duties. This bill would require that one or both alternate jurors be held until after the verdict is delivered. As a practicing attorney, Assemblyman Montesano understands firsthand that allowing alternate jurors to leave can more easily result in a mistrial, raising the costs and time associated with the case.

“During the deliberation process, unforeseen circumstances can cause a juror to leave and a mistrial to occur,” said Montesano. “My legislation can help improve the Empire State’s haphazard judicial process by eliminating many unnecessary mistrials and countless dollars spent on retrials. Caseloads are already too big in today’s courtrooms and anything we can do as legislators to help streamline the process is imperative.”

The bill was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on January 10. With bipartisan support, Assemblyman Montesano is hopeful that his measure will move to the floor for a vote. For questions on this or any other state matter, Assemblyman Montesano can be reached at his Hicksville office at 516-937-3571.