Thursday, January 1, 2015

Seneca Falls Referendum Appeal Dismissed

Regional News Network:
Seneca Falls—The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has thrown out an appeal seeking to reinstate a petition for a voter referendum on the proposed Seneca Falls town hall.

Ruling on a motion from attorney Steven Getman, the court held on Tuesday (December 30) that the appeal should be dismissed on the ground that the appellant, former town board member Sue Sauvageau, had failed to perfect her appeal in a timely manner.

Getman represented Seneca Falls town board member Chad Sanderson. In papers filed with the appeals court Getman argued that Sauvageau’s attorneys were required to complete the filing and other requirements for the appeal no later than September 22.

Sauvageau’s notice of appeal was filed in July by Geneva attorney Mario Fratto. Neither Sauvageau nor her attorney sought an extension of the time to perfect the appeal or submitted an answer to the motion to dismiss.

In April, Sauvageau and Joyce Brady had circulated a petition to force a vote on the town board’s March 18 decision to transfer $2.55 million from the capital reserve fund to the general fund for the construction of the new town hall. The town has been leasing space in the former St. Patrick’s School.

In response, Sanderson, through Getman, filed objections to the referendum petition, alleging that the form and content was not in compliance with various legal requirements. These included a failure of the petition to require signers to affirm that their correct residence was next to their names and the failure of the witnesses to the petition to attest that each person who signed it had properly identified themselves to the witness.

Acting on Sanderson’s objections, Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Patrick Falvey held in May that certain requirements cited by Sanderson were “essential” under the New York State law, to insure that only qualified voters of the Town had signed the petition. These requirements were not met, Falvey held, and the petition for a referendum was “fatally flawed.”

In July, Sauvageau appealed Falvey’s decision. That triggered the September deadline to perfect the appeal.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Campbell woman jailed for not paying child support
A Campbell woman was sentenced Tuesday (December 22) to immediate incarceration for failing to pay nearly $1150.00 in back child support.

Assistant County Attorney Steven Getman represented the support collection unit. Getman, noting that this was not the woman’s first violation, asked the court to imprison her immediately for contempt of court. At the time of court, records showed that the woman owed approximately $1149.00 in back child support.

The punishment was imposed by Family Court Judge Dennis Morris. Morris directed the woman to report to the Schuyler County jail immediately (December 22) to begin her sentence. He ordered her released at 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve, with a direction to serve two additional weekends of jail thereafter. The woman was then taken into custody under the order of commitment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Court reverses shaken-baby conviction

Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY):
In a ruling that could have statewide significance, a Monroe County Court judge has reversed the 2001 murder conviction of a Greece woman who was accused in the shaken-baby death of a toddler in her care.

In a decision released Tuesday morning, Judge James Piampiano ruled that the science used to convict René Bailey has changed significantly since her trial.

The ruling marks the first time a shaken-baby conviction has been overturned in New York on the basis of changing science. Lawyers have won a handful of reversals in other states in recent years...

"This would be the first time in New York that we have a head-on, squarely-facing decision saying that a major change in the science qualifies as newly discovered evidence," said Bailey's attorney, Adele Bernhard.

The complete decision can be found here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bureau of Justice Statistics releases new reports

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released two new reports:
Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2012 - Statistical Tables; Capital Punishment, 2013 - Statistical Table
Each report is available at its link above.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics was first established on December 27, 1979 under the Justice Systems Improvement Act of 1979. Its mission is "to collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

State Court Docket Watch December 2014

New Edition of State Court Docket Watch
In an effort to increase dialogue about state court jurisprudence, the Federalist Society presents State Court Docket Watch. This newsletter is one component of the State Courts Project, presenting original research on state court jurisprudence and illustrating new trends and ground-breaking decisions in the state courts.
For more information, click here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Public notice: Ovid Town Board, Town Planning Board meeting

The Ovid Town Board and the Ovid Town Planning Board will hold a joint meeting of the two boards on December 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the community room of the Ovid Firehouse at 2136 Brown Street in Ovid. No public comment will be heard. However, the public is encouraged to attend. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Woman gets jail over back child support

Elmira Star-Gazette:
A Steuben County woman was ordered to serve four weekends in the Schuyler County Jail, beginning this weekend, for failing to pay over $1,000 in back child support.

The children live outside her home and are on public assistance in Schuyler County, Assistant County Attorney Steven Getman said.

Authorities did not disclose her name for privacy reasons.

The punishment was imposed Tuesday by Family Court Judge Dennis Morris.

For more on the story, click the link above.