Posted by: Patricia Salkin | October 31, 2015

NY Appellate Court Holds Provision of Town Code Prohibiting Parking a Commercial Vehicle Outdoors was Unconstitutionally Vague on Its Face

On June 14, 2012, defendant was charged with violating section 77–38(D)(2) of the Code of the Town of Kent, that he parked a prohibited commercial vehicle outdoors at his residence: a 2010 Ford dump truck registered to defendant at his residential property. The relevant provision set forth “not more than one commercial vehicle, excluding construction equipment, may be parked on any lot in a residential district, provided that no such vehicle shall have more than four wheels …” On appeal, defendant argued that Code § 77–38(D)(2) was unconstitutionally vague on its face in that it fails to provide adequate notice as to what constitutes a violation. 

Here, the term “construction equipment” when viewed in the context of the ordinance, was construed to have stated a complete exception to the parking prohibition set forth in section 77–38(D)(2) where construction equipment is concerned. Here, the defendant’s dump truck could be considered such equipment. Thus, the court found that the Code did not provide “adequate warning” as to “the nature of the offense prohibited” Accordingly, the judgment of conviction was reversed. 

People v Noga, 2015 WL 5775751 (NY Sup. Ct. App. Term 9th and 10th Dist. 9/18/2015)

 


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