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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  9 years legal experience, primarily in criminal justice
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How to file harassment violation 240.26 sub 3 in NY

Resolved Question:

I would like to know how I should proceed with a NY state county harassment for violation of 240.26 sub 3 under Penal Law of NY State: How do I file? what evidence do I need? What else is useful for pursuing this case? We have an individual illegitimately driving around with his bass up attempting to intimidate and annoy residents of the neighborhood. This occurs typically three times at day, sometimes within five minutes if he sees someone out. The kid's name isXXXXX he is the driver of a silver Subaru with license plate GFH3626. He has had various encounters with the police including possession of illegal drugs and is known by neighbors to be a pusher of them. The harassment has been occurring for years and the recent activity indicates that it will not be going away --he has recently had friends partake in the harassment by driving their vehicles around in succession. There are numerous complaints by myself and other neighbors; I would like to pursue with a formal charge representing myself and fellow neighbors.

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 11 months ago.
Hello.

Criminal charges must be filed by either the police or prosecutor's office upon a finding of probable cause. It sounds as if you have already had contact with the police and they have thus far declined to charge the person. You can try going over their heads to the prosecutor's office but prosecutors usually do not charge minor cases without the police first. Part of the difficulty with a harassment charge here is that harassment requires proof of a specific intent to harass or annoy you, and this behavior could easily be interpreted as general careless and rude behavior that may have the affect of annoying you without the intent. Unless he has done or said something to indicate that he is specifically targeting you, it is difficult to prove. However, the behavior could qualify as disorderly conduct, which merely requires that the person produce unreasonable noise with the intent to annoy the public at large. There are probably local noise ordinances that this behavior violates as well.

But essentially you have to get the police or prosecutors to file charges. You cannot file criminal charges yourself, nor can you represent other people in court (that is unauthorized practice of law). The only type of legal action you can bring yourself (on behalf of yourself and no one else) is a civil action. You would have a hard time finding one that fits your circumstances. Tort actions against public nuisances relate to homes that aggravate the neighborhood (like a drug house, or one that was unhygienic), the injuries you cite do not generally rise to the level of the damages required for an infliction of emotional distress case, etc. So you may want to try with the police again, and go to a supervisor if you have to, or to contact the prosecutor's office directly and ask for assistance.
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4024
Experience: 9 years legal experience, primarily in criminal justice
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