New York Criminal Procedure Section 440.30 - Motion To Vacate Judgment And To Set Aside Sentence; Procedure.

440.30 Motion to vacate judgment and to set aside sentence; procedure.

1. (a) A motion to vacate a judgment pursuant to section 440.10 of this article and a motion to set aside a sentence pursuant to section 440.20 of this article must be made in writing and upon reasonable notice to the people. Upon the motion, a defendant who is in a position adequately to raise more than one ground should raise every such ground upon which he or she intends to challenge the judgment or sentence. If the motion is based upon the existence or occurrence of facts, the motion papers must contain sworn allegations thereof, whether by the defendant or by another person or persons. Such sworn allegations may be based upon personal knowledge of the affiant or upon information and belief, provided that in the latter event the affiant must state the sources of such information and the grounds of such belief. The defendant may further submit documentary evidence or information supporting or tending to support the allegations of the moving papers. The people may file with the court, and in such case must serve a copy thereof upon the defendant or his or her counsel, if any, an answer denying or admitting any or all of the allegations of the motion papers, and may further submit documentary evidence or information refuting or tending to refute such allegations. After all papers of both parties have been filed, and after all documentary evidence or information, if any, has been submitted, the court must consider the same for the purpose of ascertaining whether the motion is determinable without a hearing to resolve questions of fact.

(b) In conjunction with the filing or consideration of a motion to vacate a judgment pursuant to section 440.10 of this article by a defendant convicted after a trial, in cases where the court has ordered an evidentiary hearing upon such motion, the court may order that the people produce or make available for inspection property, as defined in subdivision three of section 240.10 of this part, in its possession, custody, or control that was secured in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the defendant upon credible allegations by the defendant and a finding by the court that such property, if obtained, would be probative to the determination of defendant's actual innocence, and that the request is reasonable. The court shall deny or limit such a request upon a finding that such a request, if granted, would threaten the integrity or chain of custody of property or the integrity of the processes or functions of a laboratory conducting DNA testing, pose a risk of harm, intimidation, embarrassment, reprisal, or other substantially negative consequences to any person, undermine the proper functions of law enforcement including the confidentiality of informants, or on the basis of any other factor identified by the court in the interests of justice or public safety. The court shall further ensure that any property produced pursuant to this paragraph is subject to a protective order, where appropriate. The court shall deny any request made pursuant to this paragraph where:

(i) (1) the defendant's motion pursuant to section 440.10 of this article does not seek to demonstrate his or her actual innocence of the offense or offenses of which he or she was convicted that are the subject of the motion, or (2) the defendant has not presented credible allegations and the court has not found that such property, if obtained, would be probative to the determination of the defendant's actual innocence and that the request is reasonable;

(ii) the defendant has made his or her motion after five years from the date of the judgment of conviction; provided, however, that this limitation period shall be tolled for five years if the defendant is in custody in connection with the conviction that is the subject of his or her motion, and provided further that, notwithstanding such limitation periods, the court may consider the motion if the defendant has shown: (A) that he or she has been pursuing his or her rights diligently and that some extraordinary circumstance prevented the timely filing of the motion; (B) that the facts upon which the motion is predicated were unknown to the defendant or his or her attorney and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations; or (C) considering all circumstances of the case including but not limited to evidence of the defendant's guilt, the impact of granting or denying such motion upon public confidence in the criminal justice system, or upon the safety or welfare of the community, and the defendant's diligence in seeking to obtain the requested property or related relief, the interests of justice would be served by considering the motion;

(iii) the defendant is challenging a judgment convicting him or her of an offense that is not a felony defined in section 10.00 of the penal law; or

(iv) upon a finding by the court that the property requested in this motion would be available through other means through reasonable efforts by the defendant to obtain such property.

1-a. (a) (1) Where the defendant's motion requests the performance of a forensic DNA test on specified evidence, and upon the court's determination that any evidence containing deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") was secured in connection with the trial resulting in the judgment, the court shall grant the application for forensic DNA testing of such evidence upon its determination that if a DNA test had been conducted on such evidence, and if the results had been admitted in the trial resulting in the judgment, there exists a reasonable probability that the verdict would have been more favorable to the defendant.

(2) Where the defendant's motion for forensic DNA testing of specified evidence is made following a plea of guilty and entry of judgment thereon convicting him or her of: (A) a homicide offense defined in article one hundred twenty-five of the penal law, any felony sex offense defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law, a violent felony offense as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 70.02 of the penal law, or (B) any other felony offense to which he or she pled guilty after being charged in an indictment or information in superior court with one or more of the offenses listed in clause (A) of this subparagraph, then the court shall grant such a motion upon its determination that evidence containing DNA was secured in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the defendant, and if a DNA test had been conducted on such evidence and the results had been known to the parties prior to the entry of the defendant's plea and judgment thereon, there exists a substantial probability that the evidence would have established the defendant's actual innocence of the offense or offenses that are the subject of the defendant's motion; provided, however, that:

(i) the court shall consider whether the defendant had the opportunity to request such testing prior to entering a guilty plea, and, where it finds that the defendant had such opportunity and unjustifiably failed to do so, the court may deny such motion; and

(ii) a court shall deny the defendant's motion for forensic DNA testing where the defendant has made his or her motion more than five years after entry of the judgment of conviction; except that the limitation period may be tolled if the defendant has shown: (A) that he or she has been pursuing his or her rights diligently and that some extraordinary circumstance prevented the timely filing of the motion for forensic DNA testing; (B) that the facts upon which the motion is predicated were unknown to the defendant or his or her attorney and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence prior to the expiration of this statute of limitations; or (C) considering all circumstances of the case including but not limited to evidence of the defendant's guilt, the impact of granting or denying such motion upon public confidence in the criminal justice system, or upon the safety or welfare of the community, and the defendant's diligence in seeking to obtain the requested property or related relief, the interests of justice would be served by tolling such limitation period.

(b) In conjunction with the filing of a motion under this subdivision, the court may direct the people to provide the defendant with information in the possession of the people concerning the current physical location of the specified evidence and if the specified evidence no longer exists or the physical location of the specified evidence is unknown, a representation to that effect and information and documentary evidence in the possession of the people concerning the last known physical location of such specified evidence. If there is a finding by the court that the specified evidence no longer exists or the physical location of such specified evidence is unknown, such information in and of itself shall not be a factor from which any inference unfavorable to the people may be drawn by the court in deciding a motion under this section. The court, on motion of the defendant, may also issue a subpoena duces tecum directing a public or private hospital, laboratory or other entity to produce such specified evidence in its possession and/or information and documentary evidence in its possession concerning the location and status of such specified evidence.

(c) In response to a motion under this paragraph, upon notice to the parties and to the entity required to perform the search the court may order an entity that has access to the combined DNA index system ("CODIS") or its successor system to compare a DNA profile obtained from probative biological material gathered in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the defendant against DNA databanks by keyboard searches, or a similar method that does not involve uploading, upon a court's determination that (1) such profile complies with federal bureau of investigation or state requirements, whichever are applicable and as such requirements are applied to law enforcement agencies seeking such a comparison, and that the data meet state DNA index system and/or national DNA index system criteria as such criteria are applied to law enforcement agencies seeking such a comparison and (2) if such comparison had been conducted, and if the results had been admitted in the trial resulting in the judgment, a reasonable probability exists that the verdict would have been more favorable to the defendant, or in a case involving a plea of guilty, if the results had been available to the defendant prior to the plea, a reasonable probability exists that the conviction would not have resulted. For purposes of this subdivision, a "keyboard search" shall mean a search of a DNA profile against the databank in which the profile that is searched is not uploaded to or maintained in the databank.

2. If it appears by conceded or uncontradicted allegations of the moving papers or of the answer, or by unquestionable documentary proof, that there are circumstances which require denial thereof pursuant to subdivision two of section 440.10 or subdivision two of section 440.20, the court must summarily deny the motion. If it appears that there are circumstances authorizing, though not requiring, denial thereof pursuant to subdivision three of section 440.10 or subdivision three of section 440.20, the court may in its discretion either (a) summarily deny the motion, or (b) proceed to consider the merits thereof.

3. Upon considering the merits of the motion, the court must grant it without conducting a hearing and vacate the judgment or set aside the sentence, as the case may be, if:

(a) The moving papers allege a ground constituting legal basis for the motion; and

(b) Such ground, if based upon the existence or occurrence of facts, is supported by sworn allegations thereof; and

(c) The sworn allegations of fact essential to support the motion are either conceded by the people to be true or are conclusively substantiated by unquestionable documentary proof.

4. Upon considering the merits of the motion, the court may deny it without conducting a hearing if:

(a) The moving papers do not allege any ground constituting legal basis for the motion; or

(b) The motion is based upon the existence or occurrence of facts and the moving papers do not contain sworn allegations substantiating or tending to substantiate all the essential facts, as required by subdivision one; or

(c) An allegation of fact essential to support the motion is conclusively refuted by unquestionable documentary proof; or

(d) An allegation of fact essential to support the motion (i) is contradicted by a court record or other official document, or is made solely by the defendant and is unsupported by any other affidavit or evidence, and (ii) under these and all the other circumstances attending the case, there is no reasonable possibility that such allegation is true.

5. If the court does not determine the motion pursuant to subdivisions two, three or four, it must conduct a hearing and make findings of fact essential to the determination thereof. The defendant has a right to be present at such hearing but may waive such right in writing. If he does not so waive it and if he is confined in a prison or other institution of this state, the court must cause him to be produced at such hearing.

6. At such a hearing, the defendant has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence every fact essential to support the motion.

7. Regardless of whether a hearing was conducted, the court, upon determining the motion, must set forth on the record its findings of fact, its conclusions of law and the reasons for its determination.


Section: Previous  440.10  440.20  440.30  440.40  440.46  440.50  440.55  440.60  440.65  440.70    Next

Last modified: September 11, 2016