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State v. Greco

Decided: February 11, 1965.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RICHARD GRECO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Salsburg, J.c.c.

Salsburg

Defendant Greco was convicted in the Municipal Court of the Township of Egg Harbor for violating the local ordinance relating to a person under the age of 21 years of age having in his possession any altered or false document or documents for the purpose of identification and/or establishing his age, which ordinance generally pertains to the purchase of alcoholic beverages by minors. He was fined $200, and appeals to this court.

The ordinance in question is No. 12 of 1960, and the section allegedly violated was section 3, which provides:

"Any person under the age of 21 years of age who shall have in his or her possession any altered or false document or documents for the purpose of identification and/or establishing the age of said person, shall be deemed a disorderly person."

The charge against defendant was that he did, on August 16, 1964, while at the Dunes, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey, have in his possession two false ID cards in the name of Peter John Georges, Wilmington, Delaware, and thereby violated the afore-mentioned section 3.

The matter came before this court on the stenographic record of the municipal court proceedings, arguments by counsel and briefs. R.R. 3:10-10. The basic issues for determination are:

1. Whether defendant waived his rights to suppress the evidence by noncompliance with R.R. 3:2A-6, even if there were an unlawful search and seizure;

2. Whether the ordinance violates any constitutional inhibitions and is a reasonable exercise of police power; and

3. Whether, in the factual circumstances of this case, defendant violated section 3 of the ordinance.

The Dunes is a tavern and entertainment center where alcoholic beverages are dispensed. Defendant made three attempts to enter the tavern prior to his arrest. On each occasion he was stopped by a police officer, who requested an identification card to prove his age and that he was not a minor, commonly referred to as an "ID" card. On the third occasion when defendant tried to enter the tavern, the officer asked for this "ID" card and was told by defendant that he had none. However, the officer noticed that defendant had a wallet and asked him to bring the wallet out and the card. Defendant did bring out his wallet but said that he had no card. However, when the police officer asked defendant again, he handed over two cards. The cards were in the name of Peter John Georges, Wilmington, Delaware, one being a Selective Service registration certificate, issued September 30, 1958, and the other a certificate of registration at the University of Delaware with the birth date given as May 8, 1940.

Defendant claimed that the identification cards were produced and secured from him by an unreasonable or illegal search and seizure. He also contended that he never gave his consent to be searched without a search warrant because the consent was not freely and intelligently given, uncontaminated by any duress, coercion, intimidation, actual or implied. Defendant's attorney moved before the municipal court to suppress the evidence -- the motion was denied. Defendant's attorney here renews the motion on the grounds of unreasonable or illegal search and seizure.

Much of what has been said in the case of State v. Ferraro, 81 N.J. Super. 213 (Cty. Ct. 1963), is applicable here. The court there said, among other things, that even if there were an unlawful search and seizure, defendant waived her rights by noncompliance with R.R. 3:2A-6. This rule provides that a person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure and having ...


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