A New York judge ruled that items in the state’s license plate inventory may be considered contraband, and could land a person in jail for up to six months.
Judges in a Suffolk County courtroom Thursday said items that appear on the license plates of the state vehicle registration agency can be considered a property.
The judge, Joseph E. Pappalardo, told the judge, however, that they can’t be sold, and that they have to be used for their intended purpose.
The items include:1.
A license plate with the state and state government’s logo2.
A state-issued identification card3.
A letter from the secretary of state4.
A government identification card5.
A business identification card6.
A U.S. government issued passport or travel document7.
A non-emergency vehicle identification card8.
A foreign passport or diplomatic passport9.
A permit issued under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which permits the importation of foreign passports.
The judge said the items are not subject to seizure or forfeiture.
He said they should be returned to the state, but that they could be used at the time of an emergency to verify that the owner is not the person on the plate.
The state said it is considering what it will do with the items, and will decide whether to appeal the ruling.
Pappalano, a former city attorney, has been a judge since 1996.
He is now president of the Superior Court of Suffolk County.