Monday, October 27, 2014

New York Appellate Court Creates New Rule for Criminal Appeals

New York State's Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Third Department, recently amended its Rules to add a provision specifically addressed to dormant criminal appeals.

Rule 800.14′s new paragraph (j) (Abandonment of Appeals) declares that a criminal appeal is deemed to have been abandoned – notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) of 800.14 pertaining to enlargements of time – when the appellant has not sought poor person relief or has failed to serve his/her brief-appendix within 24 months after the date of the Notice of Appeal.

The Clerk’s Office will not accept any brief or appendix received after the 24-months mark “unless directed to do so by order of the court”, which “shall be granted only pursuant to a motion on notice supported by an affidavit setting forth a reasonable excuse for the delay.”

For more on the new rule, click here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Steuben County Woman Sentenced for Missed Child Support

Copyright © 2014 Twin Tier News:
A Steuben County woman has been sentenced to four weeks in the Schuyler County jail’s work release program for failing to pay over $1,000.00 in back child support...

The last payment was made in January 2014, according to the Schuyler County support collection unit.

Assistant County Attorney Steven Getman represented the support collection unit...

The punishment was imposed by Family Court Judge Dennis Morris. Morris ordered the woman to report to the Schuyler County jail this Saturday (October 25) to begin her sentence.

For more on this story, click the link above.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ithaca man sentenced for failure to pay child support
An Ithaca man is facing a thirty-day jail sentence for not paying past due child support, following an appearance in Schuyler County Family Court on Tuesday (October 7, 2014).

[T]he man was found in willful violation of a prior court order, due to his failure to pay nearly $1200.00 for the support of his teenage child. The last payment was made in April 2014, according to the Schuyler County Support Collection Unit.

The case was prosecuted by assistant County Attorney Steven Getman. Getman argued that a sentence of jail was appropriate, given the failure to make payments for approximately six months. Earlier this year, the child had been on public assistance in Schuyler County, Getman noted.

The sentence was imposed by Family Court Judge Dennis Morris. Morris did not order the man immediately incarcerated, but suspended the jail term to give the man time to pay the back support.

If the man fails to begin making payments by November 1 he can be returned to court and jailed at that time, Morris held.

For more information, click on the link above.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Seneca County town wins over $200,000 against business for unpaid loans

Seneca Daily News:
A Geneva business and two Yates County businessmen have been found liable to the Town of Romulus for over $200,000.00 in unpaid community development funds.

On Tuesday (August 12), Acting Supreme Court Justice Dennis Bender granted a motion by the Romulus town attorney, Steven Getman, and directed summary judgment against Top Quality Hay Processers, Jeffrey Warren and Charles Long, for failure to repay a 2008 loan.

According to the town’s complaint, the loan was intended for Top Quality Hay Processors to create jobs at the former Seneca Army Depot, located in the Town of Romulus. As principals in the business, Warren and Long agreed to personally guarantee the loan, the court papers said.

However, the complaint alleged, the loan was not repaid and in 2012, the building housing Top Quality Hay Processors was condemned by Seneca County Code Enforcement.

Shortly thereafter, town supervisor David Kaiser and the town board directed Getman to commence a lawsuit to recover the money.

The money was from the state government through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program (“CDBG”), the complaint said...

At Tuesday’s court appearance, Bender found for the town and directed the three defendants to repay the $200.000.00, together with costs, interest and attorneys’ fees.

The town has estimated the total amount due the town at approximately $217,000.00 plus additional interest...

The defendants have approximately thirty days to appeal. After that, if the judgment is not repaid, the town will begin collection effort...Those efforts may include seizing property, garnishing wages and other measures...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New York passes new laws to crack down on domestic violence, lewdness against children

New York state lawmakers enacted a series of bills Wednesday (July 23) that strengthen existing laws and add new measures to protect people from electronic harassment, stalking, and public lewdness.

Under the new laws, Second-degree Aggravated Harassment will make it a crime to use harassing communications that "threaten to cause physical harm to a victim or the victim's property where a defendant knows or should know that the communication will cause the victim to fear such harm."

The harassment legislation is in response to a recent court decision, striking down a previous version of the law on First Amendment grounds.

The anti-stalking measure prohibits the tracking of a person with an electronic device where "likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property" of another person or their families.

Finally, the state enacted a new statute, creating the crime of Public Lewdness in the First Degree, a class A misdemeanor. It applies to persons aged 19 or older who intentionally expose themselves to children under the age of 16. It is punishable by up to one year in county jail.

Previously, Public Lewdness was only a class B misdemeanor, and provided no additional penalties when the act was committed against a child.

It is hoped that these new laws, focusing on threats and endangerment of others, will strengthen protections for vulnerable members of the population, while ensuring important rights to free and open expression.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New York's Top Court strikes down cyberbullying law on free speech grounds

Legal Insurrection reports that "[t]he New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that a local law intended to protect children from cyberbullying violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment because it was too broad."

Monday, June 30, 2014

New York's high court says towns and villages can ban fracking

In a long-awaited decision, the New York State Court of Appeals has upheld the right of towns and villages in the State to ban natural gas drilling, sometimes referred to as "fracking."

Environmental groups are hailing the decision. Others warn that the bans may hurt job growth.

The complete decision is here.