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State v. Bates


September 10, 2007


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, 70-2006.

Per curiam.


Submitted August 29, 2007

Before Judges A. A. Rodríguez and Parrillo.

Defendant Elliott Bates appeals from his conviction in the Perth Amboy Municipal Court*fn1 and again on appeal in the Law Division, after a trial de novo, of two counts of disorderly conduct, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. Judge James F. Mulvihill imposed the following sentence: a fifteen-day jail term, which was suspended, and a $500 fine. We affirm.

First we note that we have not been provided with a full transcript from the municipal court trial. However, these are the facts that we glean from the record presented to us. On July 17, 2006, Elizabeth Colavito, a clerk in the Violations Bureau of the Old Bridge Municipal Court, was approached by defendant. He complained to Colavito about an outstanding fine. Colavito explained that the fine was due. Defendant protested by "hollering and yelling." Deputy Court Administrator Barbara Casey called the police department and requested assistance.

Old Bridge Police Sergeant Robert Schlueter responded. He could hear defendant yelling before arriving at the Violations Bureau. Schlueter asked Colavito to step into the hallway to find out what the problem was. Defendant followed them and continued yelling. Schlueter told defendant to return to the lobby. Defendant refused to leave the hallway. Schlueter warned defendant that he would receive a disorderly-conduct summons if he continued to be disruptive. Defendant then demanded to see Schlueter's name tag, and threatened to charge Schlueter with disorderly conduct. Schlueter told defendant that if he was dissatisfied he could request to see the Chief of Police. The Sergeant asked Patrolman Trevor Haughney to escort defendant to the lobby.

Defendant accompanied Haughney to another section of the lobby, while continuing to yell. Defendant also pointed a finger so close to Haughney's face that Haughney warned defendant that if he did not stop yelling, he would arrest him. Defendant sat down, but he continued to yell. After a few minutes, Haughney issued a disorderly conduct summons.

Defendant denied that he was loud, boisterous or hostile. His intent was to pay the fine, if it was owed. He was of the view that the fine had been stayed. He subsequently learned that the stay had been vacated.

Once the summons was issued, defendant talked to Old Bridge Sergeant Paul Moser, who suggested that defendant see a captain. Apparently, he did so. Schlueter issued the other summons for disorderly conduct. Defendant paid the fine. He filed a disorderly person's complaint against Schlueter. He returned to the lobby of the Violations Bureau, and then left.

On appeal, defendant argues that "the Brain Fingerprinting Test" would "separate the innocent from the perpetrators," and thus, discredit the State's evidence. Brain Fingerprinting is a process developed by Lawrence A. Farwell, PhD. It involves showing certain images to a person to see whether the sight of those images triggers something known as a P300 brainwave. See Jeffrey Rosen, The Brain on the Stand, N.Y. TIMES, March 11, 2007; see also Harrington v. State, 659 N.W.2d 509, 516, n.6 (Iowa 2003). Apparently, he wanted to take this test and to compel all witnesses against him to take this test.

We determine that this argument is without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We merely note that defendant cannot compel, and the court cannot order the State's witnesses to undergo any tests in these circumstances. Defendant can take and pay for the test himself but it is not admissible in evidence.


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