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99% of the time court reporters have a positive impact on a courtroom and trial. They do their jobs and do them well. But very rarely, there can be a negative impact. In New York, a Grand Jury indictment was dismissed after a courtroom stenographer spoke with grand jurors during the trial.

For the second time this year, the actions of a stenographer in the Grand Jury room is causing difficulties for District Attorney Lawrence Friedman in the Genesee County Courtroom. This caused the DA to seek that the Grand Jury indictment be dismissed after the stenographer spoke with Grand Jurors.

Friedman moved to have a sealed indictment on burglary, trespassing, and forgery charges dismissed because a stenographer spoke to grand jurors about the case while the prosecutor was out of the room!


What Happens Now

Friedman must now have a new grand jury hear the case against defendant Malik Ayala at a later date.

Ayala was in court today to deal with matters related to his pending case of criminal possession of stolen property. He was also arraigned on these new charges from the sealed indictment.

The counts in the indictment were burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, and forgery.

After the charges were read, Friedman made a motion to dismiss the indictment because a court stenographer had jeopardized the integrity of the proceeding.

Freidman said he had previously informed the Public Defender representing Ayala, that he would move to have the indictment dismissed. But with the court’s permission, he wanted to resubmit the case to a grand jury.

He gave the defender a choice. You can present it to the current grand jury, which is the one that heard the case the first time, or wait for a new grand jury to be empaneled. They asked that the case be presented to a new grand jury.


The Details

This has happened before as noted. In March, Friedman revealed during a previous court proceeding that a stenographer had been using an audio recording device on her machine to record grand jury proceedings.

Friedman was not immediately available for questions, so it is not known if it is the same or a different stenographer.

Ayala was arrested in November along with his brother after the two men were stopped in a car that had pulled into the driveway of County Manager Jay Gsell where they reportedly tried to dispose of a handgun.

During today’s proceedings, the Judge told Ayala that he had been informed that Ayala had violated the terms of his release-under-supervision contract. He said that Ayala is accused of testing positive for marijuana and alcohol consumption May 7th and May 14th, and for marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol May 28th, and that he was arrested on a petit larceny charge June 7th.

Ayala’s status could change when and if a new grand jury indictment is returned.

One can be assured that the court reporters and stenographers at CourtScribes would never make this mistake. But you already knew that. is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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