IN RE: Michael G. Dowd

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

IN RE: Michael G. Dowd, et al., petitioners, v. Richard Buchter, etc., et al., respondents.


Decided: August 17, 2010

PETER B. SKELOS, J.P. RANDALL T. ENG L. PRISCILLA HALL PLUMMER E. LOTT, JJ. Michael G. Dowd, New York, N.Y. (Niall Mac Giollabhui of counsel), petitioner pro se and for petitioner Barbara Sheehan. Richard A. Brown, District Attorney, Kew Gardens, N.Y. (Donna Aldea of counsel), respondent pro se.

Submitted-June 14, 2010


Proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 in the nature of prohibition, inter alia, to bar enforcement of an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Cooperman, J.), dated November 10, 2009, in a criminal action entitled People v. Sheehan, pending in the Supreme Court, Queens County, under Indictment No. 1124/08, which, inter alia, granted those branches of the People's motion which were to preclude the petitioner Barbara Sheehan from offering psychiatric and/or psychological evidence at the trial and to impose monetary sanctions on the petitioner Michael G. Dowd to reimburse the Queens County District Attorney's Office in the sum of $1,912.50 for the professional service fees incurred for the People's psychiatric expert's time incurred for the court-ordered continued examination of the petitioner.

ADJUDGED that the petition is denied and the proceeding is dismissed, without costs or disbursements.

The extraordinary writ of prohibition is available only where there exists a clear legal right, and only in those cases where a court acts or threatens to act in excess of its authorized powers (see Matter of Holtzman v. Goldman, 71 N.Y.2d 564, 569;  Matter of Rush v. Mordue, 68 N.Y.2d 348, 353).   It is never available “merely to correct or prevent trial errors of substantive law or procedure, however grievous” (La Rocca v. Lane, 37 N.Y.2d 575, 579, cert denied 424 U.S. 968), nor is it available if there exists an adequate remedy by way of appeal or otherwise (see Matter of Molea v. Marasco, 64 N.Y.2d 718, 720;  Matter of Morgenthau v. Erlbaum, 59 N.Y.2d 143, cert denied 464 U.S. 993).

Here, the court's order of preclusion was within its discretion and may be subject to review, unless waived, on appeal from any judgment of conviction (see CPL 250.10[5] ).   With respect to that portion of the order which granted that branch of the People's motion which was to impose monetary sanctions on the petitioner Michael G. Dowd to reimburse the People for professional services rendered by the People's expert, upon weighing the relevant factors and in the exercise of our discretion, we decline to grant the relief requested (see generally Matter of Holtzman v Goldman, 71 N.Y.2d at 569;  Matter of Rush v. Mordue, 68 N.Y.2d at 353;  La Rocca v. Lane, 37 N.Y.2d at 579).

SKELOS, J.P., ENG, HALL and LOTT, JJ., concur.


James Edward Pelzer

Clerk of the Court

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