On March 12, 2007, Frank Dibrino threw his Verizon bill at his wife, hitting her in the face. The bill (which was still in the envelope), "caused a stinging pain and a red mark on her left side of her face from her chin to her cheek."
After a criminal case was filed, Dibrino's attorney moved to dismiss the harassment charge claiming that Mrs. Dibrino could not have felt harassed, annoyed, or alarmed by the contact with an envelope.*
In its decision dated July 3, 2007, the Justice Court of the Village of Tuckahoe, Westchester County, noted that while there have been cases which have involved spitting, and the throwing of pennies, the use of an envelope as a projectile was a case of first impression. Notwithstanding the novelty, the Court was of the opinion that there was sufficient physical contact and enough non-hearsay allegations of intent and behavior to make out a prima facie case.
As they prepare for trial, Dibrino's lawyer may want to consider going with paperless invoices.
For a copy of the Justice Court's decision, please use this link: People v. Dibrino
*New York Penal Law § 240.26 provides as follows: