A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 03, 2004
Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)
A "desk appearance ticket" (DAT) has nothing to do with a desk's appearance. In New York City, many people arrested for misdemeanors and “E” felonies are ordered to appear for arraignment before the New York City Criminal Court and are given a desk appearance ticket..

The earliest recorded citations come from New York in the 1970s. The desk appearance ticket is sometimes given the nickname of "disappearance ticket" because many people never appear for an arraignment.


Wikipedia: Desk appearance ticket
In New York City, a desk appearance ticket (DAT) is an order to appear in the New York City Criminal Court for an arraignment. A person who receives a DAT has been arrested. The DAT is simply one of two alternative means by which a person who is arrested appears for arraignment, or first appearance. A person who receives a DAT is permitted to appear in court on their own on the date indicated on the DAT document. A person who does not receive a DAT is processed through the arrest to arraignment system and is supposed to have their arraignment within 24 hours. From the point that the case is arraigned, a DAT case is like any other criminal case. DATs may be issued for violation, misdemeanors, and "E" felonies. If a person fails to return to court on the date indicated on the DAT, the Court will issue an arrest warrant.

The authority for a DAT is found in Criminal Procedure Law §150.10, which describes a DAT as "a written notice issued and subscribed by a police officer... directing a designated person to appear in a designated local criminal court at a designated future time in connection with his alleged commission of a designated offense."

Beginning January 1, 2020, new rules imposed by the New York State Legislature as part of sweeping criminal justice reform in New York State have significantly changed Desk Appearance Ticket procedures. Chief among those changes is that the vast majority of misdemeanor and now many felony charges require the use of Desk Appearance Tickets.

24 October 1974, New York (NY) Times, pg. 60:
The men were given desk appearance tickets, similar to subpoenas, directing them to answer the charges in court on Nov. 12.

11 April 1976, New York (NY) Times, pg. 38:
He was given a desk-appearance ticket, similar to a summons, which requires his appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 29.

6 October 1976, New York (NY) Times, og. 41:
Mario Merola, the Bronx District Attorney, said that because of recent court congestion the police reportedly were giving out "desk-appearance tickets," or subpoenas, instead of making arrests for misdemeanor offenses. These subpoenas waive the arraignment and bail hearing, but require a defendant to appear in court on a specified date.

13 January 1977, New York (NY) Times, Letters, pg. 16:
In a procedural sense. the police in the last decade have constantly refined their procedures to adapt to the shortcomings on the post-arrest side, to the point where we are issuing desk appearance tickets for crimes that offend the sensibilities of the average citizen.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Friday, September 03, 2004 • Permalink