Monday, May 21, 2018

New Version of N.Y. Family Court "Do it Yourself" Form Programs Launched

All New York State Family Court DIY (Do It Yourself) Form computer programs have been updated to improve the unrepresented litigant’s experience.

Program users no longer require Adobe Flash or Microsoft Word or Word Viewer to prepare their court papers. Instead the papers generated by the programs open in a PDF document. The computer program is also now available on mobile devices.

The DIY Forms FAQ page has been updated to reflect the changes to the program. According to the Court System, improved DIY Form Programs for Surrogate’s, Supreme, County, District, City, Civil, Housing and Justice Courts will be coming soon.

These forms cannot give you legal advice.  Litigants having questions about family court procedures should consult an attorney.  In certain cases, you may be eligible for assigned or low-cost counsel.

For more information about DIY Form Programs click here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Town of Ovid Honors Former Clerk

The Ovid Town Board honored former Town Clerk James Vangalio for his “lifetime of service” to the town at its Wednesday (May 9) meeting.

Vangalio, who passed away April 4, had served as Town Clerk for twenty years.

To honor Vangalio, the Town Board presented his widow, Michele Vangalio, and his children and grandchildren with a certificate honoring his service to the community.

Vangalio was a lifelong resident of the Town of Ovid. As a 27-year member of the Ovid Fire Department, he was a truck captain and 2nd assistant chief. For more than 16 years, he and Michele hosted 43 foster children through Seneca County Department of Social Services.

Vangalio is survived by his wife of nearly 43 years, Michele; and his children Harland Kent, Lisa (Lee Benjamin) Vangalio, Vincent (Jamie) Vangalio, Staci (Martin) Hooker all of Ovid, Brian (Kayla Plante) Kuhlman of Red Creek, and Tracy (Chris Dresser) Andrews of Interlaken; his grandchildren Jade and Chelsea Parson, Grace and Hayden Benjamin, Lucas, Zackary and Addilyn Hooker, Skylar Howard, Emily, Alyssa and Toni Vangalio, Derek Andrews, McKenzie Dresser, and Brian Kuhlman Jr.; his sister, Patty (Dean) Arcangeli and their family; and his mother in law, Julie Byrne of Auburn; along with his wife's extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents; by a son, Anthony Vangalio; and by his father-in-law, James Byrne.

Michele Vangalio is currently serving as Town Clerk to fill the vacancy until the end of the year.

The Ovid Town Supervisor is Walt Prouty. The Ovid Town Board members are Mark Beardsley, Joseph Borst, Erik Holmberg and Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty.

(Photo credit: Steven J. Getman, Esq.)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Schuyler County files lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain killers.

Schuyler County officials are formally taking “big pharma” to court.

On Friday (May 11, 2018), Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman filed a nearly 250-page Summons and Complaint against manufacturers and distributers of prescription opiates for damages to the County arising out of the fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of opiates in and to the County.

“Over the past few years, despite its small population, Schuyler County has seen an uptick in opioid and heroin use and overdose,” Getman said. “To date, County officials have expended significant resources to help its residents battle opioid addiction and prevent further deaths. The lawsuit will seek to reimburse the County for its expenses related to the opioid crisis as well as provide the County with financial assistance to continue this battle.”

The Summons names approximately thirty defendants, including some of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry, such as: Purdue Pharma L.P.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Actavis Pharma, Inc. and Insys Therapeutics, Inc.

The Complaint alleges the defendants knew--and had known for years–that opioids were addictive and subject to abuse, particularly when used long-term for chronic non-cancer pain, and should not be used except as a last-resort. However, the Complaint alleges, the defendants spent hundreds of millions of dollars disseminating scientific materials and advertising that misrepresented the risks of opioids’ long-term use.

“The United States is now awash in opioids,” the Complaint says.

Summons and Complaint: The County of Schuyler v Purdue Pharma L.P. by Steven Getman on Scribd

Schuyler County is the latest New York State county to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain killers. At least 14 counties across New York are suing pharmaceutical companies for what they're claiming are deceptive marketing practices. In addition, in February, New York State officials filed a lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics, Inc., alleging that Insys deceptively promoted prescription opiate Subsys for unsafe uses and violated state law by downplaying drug’s addictive risks.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Missing Infant: Schuyler County authorities search for missing 15-day-old

The Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of a missing infant from Rock Cabin Road in the Village of Montour Falls.

The infant, Gionna K. Harter is 15 days old and is believed to have been removed from the residence by her mother Katrina M. Harter, age 31. It is believed that Katrina Harter took the child to avoid service of a Family Court Order that transfers custody to another party.

Katrina Harter is believed to be in the Geneva, NY area and has family ties to Wayne County, NY.

Anyone having information about the location of Gionna or Katrina Harter is asked to call the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office at 607-535-8222 or our confidential tip line at 607-535-8224.

The Wayne and Ontario County Sheriff’s Office’s, Geneva Police Department and New York State Police are actively assisting in the investigation.

For more information, click here. 8:45PM UPDATE: Schuyler County Deputies have announced 15-day-old Gionna Harter has been located in Geneva and is safe.

The AMBER notice regarding Gionna’s disappearance has been cancelled.

More information on the case is pending.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Seniors: Beware of Medicare Scam Calls

From CNN:
In an effort to help protect the elderly from identity theft, the federal government started mailing new cards that come with a new 11-digit identification number instead of an enrollee's Social Security number. The cards will be sent automatically to Medicare's roughly 59 million participants over the next year. Seniors should be sure their addresses are up to date with the Social Security Administration....

Though the effort is designed to help minimize fraud, it has sparked a series of scams. Medicare wants enrollees to know that they don't have to do anything to receive their cards (as long as their address is correct), and there is no activation process or fee. Also, Medicare will never initiate calls and ask to verify information over the phone.

According to AARP:
Scammers posing as Medicare representatives have already been calling beneficiaries demanding a processing fee. Other fraudsters are telling beneficiaries that they are owed a refund from transactions on their old card and then asking for bank account information to process the reimbursement. Medicare will never ask an enrollee for a bank account number, and no refunds are owed.
The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud offers this advice:
• Just hang up. Medicare won’t phone you about the cards. They’re also free, and nor do seniors have to report or verify info to Medicare;
• Sign up for an alert that Medicare has mailed your new card; and
• Destroy your old Medicare card when your new card arrives.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Schuyler County Commemorates May 1 as “Law Day”: Law Day 2018 Will Focus on Separation of Powers

Watkins Glen, New York—The Schuyler County Legislature has recognized as the Law Day 2018 theme “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”

The legislature passed a resolution at its April 9, 2018 meeting, recognizing “Law Day” as an occasion of public acknowledgement of our Nation’s heritage of justice, liberty, and equality under the law. The resolution was submitted to the legislature by Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman.

“The U.S. Constitution established a system of government with distinct and independent branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—and it gave Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court separate and distinct powers, so that these three separate branches share power and serve as checks on the powers of the others,” Getman wrote.

In passing the resolution, the legislature found that “promoting public understanding of the roots of our freedom are an important component in the civic education of the citizens of the United States, the State of New York and the County of Schuyler.”

The American Bar Association selects an annual theme for each Law Day. Law Day is an annual commemoration first held in 1957 when the American Bar Association envisioned a special national day to mark our nation’s commitment to the rule of law. The following year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Law Day Proclamation. Law Day was made official in 1961 when Congress issued a joint resolution designating May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day.

A copy of Schuyler County’s resolution “Recognizing and Commemorating May 1, 2018 as ‘Law Day’ in Schuyler County is available here.

Resolution Recognizing and Commemorating May 1, 2018 as “Law Day” in Schuyler County, New York by Steven Getman on Scribd

Monday, April 23, 2018

New York’s new law: Police recording duty for certain custodial interrogations

Effective this month, the law in New York State on police recording of certain custodial interrogations has changed.

The new law amends the Criminal Procedure Law creates a recording obligation in certain highly serious felonies, including many Class A-1 offenses, A-2 sex offenses, and B violent homicide and sex offenses.

Under the statute, the recording has to begin with "custody" at a police station or other detention facility (or at same time police must give the person Miranda warnings).

There are ten "good cause" exceptions for non-recording listed in the law. They include malfunctioning equipment, booking questions and "inadvertent error or oversight.”

If police improperly fail to record an interrogation and cannot show "good cause," the statute permits the defense to obtain a jury charge at trial. However, there is no suppression remedy for police failure to comply with the recording obligation. Instead, the law provides that a failure to obey the recording rule can be a "factor" bearing on admissibility, though not the "sole factor."

For more on the new law, click here.