This is an application for pre-indictment discovery of wiretapped telephone conversations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-16 that provides in pertinent part:
The court, upon filing of a motion, may in its discretion make available to such persons or their attorneys for inspection such portions of the intercepted communications, applications and orders as the court determines to be in the interest of justice.
John Doe (not the applicant's real name) has received an inventory dated December 24, 1981, pursuant to the same statute, advising him and other identified persons that:
a and b. -- A wiretap order was entered by another judge on February 26, 1981 and an extension order entered on March 20, 1981.
c. The periods of authorized interception were for 20 days, commencing February 27, 1981, and 10 days, commencing March 20, 1981, respectively.
d. During the period communications were intercepted.
The caption identified ten persons, including John Doe, as engaging in the offenses of bribery (N.J.S.A. 2C:27-2), promoting gambling (N.J.S.A. 2C:37-2), and conspiracy to commit same (N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2), and specified the telephone facility number and listing address in New Jersey. Doe also received notice of the wiretapping from the Special State Prosecutor in New York City. Oral arguments were in camera and an affidavit of a Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey indicated Doe was advised on October 17, 1981 by the New York Office of the Special Prosecutor that he was a target of an investigation in New York of suspected illegal gambling and a related gambling protection scheme.
John Doe did not appear before this court, nor did he file any affidavits in support of his motion. Through counsel he asserts he is a 34-year-old criminal lawyer and former New York City police officer on disability retirement. He contends the interest of justice calls for the discretionary disclosure to "remove the ugly and public suspicion that has both sullied his good name and threatened his livelihood" and "so that he may intelligently exercise his option to appear before the Grand Jury and through his testimony fully explain whatever conversations of his were intercepted."
The Attorney General of New Jersey and Special State Prosecutor of New York oppose disclosure at this time for several reasons. First, the New Jersey wiretaps were only a small part of a bi-state investigation and much more extensive electronic surveillance in New York (including John Doe, but where he has made no disclosure application) -- and therefore the application should be made to the New York judge presiding over the investigative grand jury considering evidence of "an elaborate criminal enterprise." Second, New Jersey is not pursuing a
prosecution of Doe and has deferred to New York. Third, there is an inadequate showing of need by Doe for disclosure. Fourth, disclosure at this time would prejudice a ...