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State v. Ferrara

Decided: January 19, 1968.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
JOSEPH FERRARA, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Gaulkin, Lewis and Kolovsky. The opinion of the court was delivered by Gaulkin, S.j.a.d.

Gaulkin

The trial court suppressed the evidence seized under a search warrant on the ground that the premises searched were not correctly or sufficiently described in the warrant. The State appeals by our leave. We reverse.

The case is submitted to us upon an agreed statement in lieu of record. R.R. 1:6-2.

The search warrant described the premises as follows:

"* * * certain premises within the City of New Brunswick, New Jersey in the County of Middlesex, to wit, the premises known as 41 Rear of Old Mack Building, Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey, consisting of a brown stucco garage complex with overhead doors in the front of said building and having green trim, the unit on the most northerly corner of said building, which building is located

at the rear of the Old Mack Building, 41 Jersey Avenue, City of New Brunswick * * *."

The warrant was issued upon the basis of an affidavit made by prosecutor's detective Engel which stated that he was reliably informed that horse bets were being placed by calling Charter 9-5366; after verifying the fact that bets could be so placed,

"On July 1, 1966 I ascertained from the Bell Telephone Company that CHarter 9-5366 was issued on May 20, 1966 to Pippy Ferrara Trucking Company, 41 Rear of Old Mack Building, Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

On July 1, 1966 at 1:00 P.M. I positioned myself in the Jersey Avenue area and observed the building in question and found it to be a brown stucco garage complex with overhead doors in the front of said building and having green trim. The unit occupied by the Pippy Ferrara Trucking Company is the one on the most northerly corner of said building, which building is located to the rear of the Old Mack Building, 41 Jersey Avenue, City of New Brunswick, New Jersey."

The affidavit described Engel's further surveillance of the "garage" on July 2 and July 4 and

"* * * that the only window on the premises being approximately 2 feet by 2 feet square is covered with some type of a cloth so as to obstruct vision. Further observation of the outside of the premises indicates a television wire running from the main building of the Mack Building approximately 800 feet to this unit. There are no other doors or exits in the unit except the overhead garage door. I did not observe any operations having to do with the maintenance or conducting of trucking business while I was there."

The correct address of the Old Mack Building is 131 Jersey Avenue. 41 Jersey Avenue is a private two-family dwelling with an appurtenant garage in the rear, three-quarters of a mile from the Old Mack Building. However, it was stipulated that "the building to the front of the garage complex ...


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