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State v. Levin

Decided: March 29, 1948.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT IN ERROR,
v.
MOLLIE LEVIN, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR AND APPELLANT



On application for abatement of appeal and dismissal of writ of error and appeal because of the death of the plaintiff in error and appellant.

For the defendant in error, Duane E. Minard, Jr., Prosecutor of the Pleas.

For the plaintiff in error and appellant, Anthony A. Calandra.

Before Case, Chief Justice, and Justice Burling.

Burling

The opinion of the court was delivered by

BURLING, J. The plaintiff in error and appellant, Mollie Levin, was convicted on March 6th, 1947, in the Essex County Court of Quarter Sessions on the first count of an indictment of breaking and entering with intent to steal and upon the third count of the indictment of larceny. On March 21st, 1947, she was sentenced to the Women's Reformatory at Clinton on each of the two counts, the sentences being indeterminate and to run consecutively. Sentences were for imprisonment only and no costs were attached.

Writ of error was issued on March 25th, 1947, to review the judgment of conviction. The case was submitted to this court on briefs at the opening of the May term, 1947.

The plaintiff in error had been committed to the Reformatory at Clinton in execution of the above sentences and during her confinement, on June 16th, 1947, she died at said institution prior to the decision upon the appeal. Her death was suggested on the record and there has been filed with the clerk of this court on June 23d, 1947, a copy of the death certificate issued by Robert M. Dunn, Jr., local registrar of Union Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

On the opening of the October term, 1947, motion was made by the state for abatement of the appeal and dismissal of the writ because of the death of the plaintiff in error and appellant.

The situation is governed by the principles laid down in this court in State v. Stevens (Supreme Court, 1945), 133 N.J.L. 488. In that case it was held that the death of the defendant convicted of operating an automobile while intoxicated abated the defendant's pending certiorari proceeding. The defendant was convicted of drunken driving (R.S. 39:4-50) and sentenced to pay a fine of $350 and costs of $2. The judgment imposed was that in case of default the defendant was to be committed to a penitentiary for ninety days. The defendant defaulted and was committed. After serving two months of his term he appealed to this court

by certiorari and was released in bail pending the appeal. The matter was submitted on briefs at the opening of this court's term, and shortly thereafter the defendant died. It was held that the proceedings on appeal were abated by his ...


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