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Glossary

Adjournment/Postponement - An adjournment, also called a postponement, changes the hearing to a later date.   For example, you may ask for an adjournment if you want time to get more information to help you present your case or if you need time to find a lawyer to represent you. The judge will decide whether to approve an adjournment. See Rescheduling a Hearing for more information.

Civil Forfeiture Proceeding - A case filed in the New York State Supreme Court  brought by the City of New York to obtain permanent ownership of the car. See Separate Forfeiture Proceedings are Possible for more information.

Closing Statement - A closing statement is a brief summary of a party's case presented in a persuasive manner. Both you and the police department may each give a closing statement supporting your side at the end of the hearing. See The Hearing Itself for more information.

Conference Judge - A conference judge will be different from the judge who presides at the formal hearing.  The conference judge will explain the hearing process and help you assess your case.  The conference judge may also help you reach an agreement with the police department so that a hearing won't be necessary. See The Settlement Conference for more information.

Criminal Trial - A criminal trial is the trial for the crime the car driver is accused of committing that led the police to take away the car in the first place. The criminal trial will be in a New York State Court - either Criminal Court or Supreme Court. The Krimstock Hearing is completely separate from the criminal trial, it does not replace it.

Cross-Examine - Cross-examining is when a witness is questioned by the other side in front of the judge. For example, at the hearing, the police may cross-examine you and any witnesses you bring. Note that the police are unlikely to bring any witnesses, so you will not likely have the opportunity to cross-examine anyone. See The Police Officer Will Not be Present for more information.

Danger to the Public - One of the three things the police department must prove in its case: that returning the car would make the public less safe. See Plan to Respond to what the Police Must Prove for more information.

Discovery/Disclosure - The process for getting information from the other side about the case before the date of the hearing. The police may send you a demand for documents and information, and you may also ask for documents and information from the police department. See Document Requests for more information.

District Attorney (DA) - A lawyer who acts as the prosecutor in New York State criminal cases.  Each borough has its own DA's office.  The DA or assistant DA is the person trying the criminal case.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) - DWI, also known as "drunk driving," is a type of criminal charge that often leads to car seizures. See If You were Arrested for DWI for more information.

Krimstock Hearing - The process where you are allowed to try to convince an OATH judge that the police must temporarily give you your car back until the police win a civil forfeiture proceeding.

Likelihood of Success - One of the three things the police must prove in its case: that the car was likely used as part of a crime.  If this is true, the police could win a civil forfeiture proceeding in State Court and permanently keep your car. See Plan to Respond to what the Police Must Prove for more information.

Notice of Appearance - The form filled out by an attorney who is representing someone at the Hearing to let everyone know that the attorney is representing that person. See You May Bring an Attorney for more information.

Notice of Right to Hearing / Vehicle Seizure Form - The form that the Police must give to a driver and mail to the owner when taking away a car. See a sample here. The Vehicle Seizure Form is also the form that you must complete and mail in to schedule a Hearing to get back the car. See The Police Must Give you Notice for more information.

Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) - OATH is a New York City tribunal separate from the state court system. OATH judges oversee the Krimstock hearings.

Opening Statement - An opening statement is a short summary of the case given in a persuasive manner. Each party may give an opening statement at the beginning of the Hearing. See The Hearing Itself for more information.

Petitioner - The legal term for the police department in a Krimstock Hearing.  The police department initiated the proceeding by seizing the car from the person who is requesting its return.  The person requesting the return of the car is the respondent.

Pre-Hearing Conference - The process leading to a possible settlement. See Settlement and also Conference Judge.

Preponderance of the Evidence – The police must prove their Krimstock case by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that they must convince the judge that what they say is more likely true than not true. Plan to Respond to what the Police Must Prove for more information.

Probable Cause – One of the three things that the police must prove:  that the police had enough information to stop and arrest the person in the car. Plan to Respond to what the Police Must Prove for more information.

Respondent - The legal term for the person who argues to get the car back from the police at the hearing.  The respondent is the owner or driver of the car that has been seized.

Retention Order - An order from the State Court handling the criminal case. It says that the car is needed as evidence in the criminal case and therefore cannot be released until after the criminal trial. If there is a retention order on the car, the car cannot be returned through a Krimstock hearing. You may ask your criminal defense attorney to ask for the retention order to be removed. See Request the Hearing for more information.

Seizure - When the police department confiscates and holds a car in connection with an arrest.

Settlement - A settlement is a way to reach an agreement with the police department so that they will give you back the car as long as you agree to certain terms. Those terms might mean you have to pay for storage fees or other fees. If the arrest was DWI related, you may also have to attend a counseling program. A settlement ends the car release hearing at OATH as well as prevents the City from filing a civil forfeiture proceeding in New York State Supreme Court. A settlement means you get the car back permanently. A settlement does not affect the criminal case. See The Settlement Conference for more information.