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Long IslandTowns

Great Neck Estates parking case dismissed

Mark Kosofsky, a Great Neck resident, is outraged

Mark Kosofsky, a Great Neck resident, is outraged that he faces a penalty of up to $2,500 and 15 days in jail over a parking incident. (June 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A Great Neck man who faced a possible $2,500 fine and 15 days in jail for parking in the Village of Great Neck Estates won't be going to the slammer after all.

Village Justice Harry Burstein issued an order last month dismissing the case against attorney Mark Kosofsky, who received a summons in April for parking his car in a parking lot for a village park as he played tennis at the adjoining private New York Tennis Academy.

The park and its lot were limited to village residents, but Kosofsky said he was a longtime paying member of the public academy who had never before had a problem parking in the lot.

Kosofsky's attorney and law partner, Michael Palumbo of Mamaroneck, had argued in his motion for dismissal that the summons -- a trespassing violation, not a parking ticket -- was a violation of due process, because the summons named no one and was not served against Kosofsky himself, but left on the windshield of his unoccupied car. Palumbo also argued that the punishment was unconstitutionally high, comparing it to the $250 maximum fine for trespassing under state law.

In a letter on Sept. 10, Village prosecutor Gary Muhlstock had petitioned the court to dismiss the case "in the interests of justice," and not because of Palumbo's arguments, which he called "inaccurate and incorrect." Muhlstock declined to comment further Wednesday.

In the Sept. 25 dismissal order, Burstein agreed with Muhlstock, adding that prosecution of the case "would serve no useful purpose."

Kosofsky said he wasn't surprised by the outcome.

"They know legally they're wrong and they want to get rid of me because I'm rattling the cage," he said. "It just surprised me they didn't do it at the beginning."

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