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State v. Patton

Decided: October 4, 1962.

THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES J. PATTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Goldmann, Freund and Foley. The opinion of the court was delivered by Foley, J.A.D.

Foley

Defendant appeals from denial by the Camden County Court of his motion to compel the immediate trial or, alternatively, dismissal of an indictment lodged against him charging armed robbery.

The underlying facts are these: On March 6, 1951 defendant allegedly committed an armed robbery of a business establishment in Camden and escaped. On March 19, 1951 he was arrested in Philadelphia, after an unsuccessful attempt to hold up the Hamilton Savings and Loan Association in that city. Allegedly this was his second attempted holdup of the savings and loan association, the first having taken place on March 9, 1951.

It is represented by the State that defendant was sentenced to confinement in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia for a maximum term which was to expire on March 28, 1959. He became eligible for parole March 28, 1955 but declined to file an application therefor.

On May 3, 1951 the Camden County grand jury indicted defendant for the attempted robbery committed there, and a warrant was lodged against him at Eastern State Penitentiary.

In March 1958 the Camden County Prosecutor was notified by the United States Department of Justice, United

States Penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia, that in addition to the Camden charge it held detainers from Birmingham, Alabama, for robbery, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for robbery with deadly weapon, and Northampton, Massachusetts, for armed robbery.

The State is unable to inform us concerning defendant's transfer from Eastern State to the federal prison at Atlanta where he is presently confined. In any event, he is scheduled for release therefrom on March 7, 1966.

It appears that on three occasions, July 1959, April 13, 1961 and June 8, 1961 defendant requested the prosecutor's office to bring him to trial on the Camden County indictment. Each time he was informed that his request was denied and that disposition of the matter would be deferred until the expiration of the federal sentence.

In July or August 1961, defendant filed an application for a "writ of mandamus" entitled in the "Court of Oyer and Terminer," directing Camden County to show cause why he should not be granted a speedy trial or, alternatively, have the indictment dismissed.

We pass the obvious misnomers of court and proceeding and consider the application on the merits.

The basis of the opposition of the State to defendant's application is: (1) "defendant himself caused the delay by crimes that he committed after the Grant store [Camden] incident," (2) "doubt exists as to whether the federal authorities would permit the prisoner to stay in our county jail pending assignment of counsel and investigation and preparation for defense by said ...


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