Catching up on some news from yesterday afternoon.... Last March, police arrested Billy Leroy and charged him with a felony of possession of stolen property in connection with subway signs that were seized from Billy's Antiques on East Houston.
Yesterday, the Times reported:
A Manhattan judge this week ruled against an antiques dealer attempting to get back subway signs that the police seized from him last year in a criminal case that was eventually dismissed.
But the judge, Rita Mella of Criminal Court, did empathize with the dealer, William LeRoy, and urged the State Legislature to change the laws governing cases like Mr. LeRoy’s.
Because state law does not give criminal courts the right to return to defendants belongings seized from them under a search warrant, Mr. LeRoy may be forced to file a lawsuit to get them back, “a measure that places a substantial financial burden on that individual, and contravenes the due process rights the courts and Legislature have sought to protect,” Judge Mella wrote in a 15-page decision.
Ronald L. Kuby, one of Mr. LeRoy’s lawyers, said his client was still considering his next step. The cost of continuing the litigation would be greater than the value of the signs... Mr. Kuby said.
As Billy said in an e-mail to me, "Well, looks like I'm fucked."