Monday, December 10, 2018

Public Hearing on Access to Juvenile Justice Mental Health Services

On Tuesday, December 11 the New York State Assembly committees on Children and Families and Mental Health will examine mental health services provided to youth in the juvenile justice system and identify other supports and services that may be utilized to address unmet mental health needs of these youth:
With the recent implementation of Raise the Age, youth that would have potentially entered the adult criminal justice system, may
now be directed to the juvenile justice system, where there are more robust and age appropriate services available. In light of these additional youth, it is even more important to understand the scope of mental health services currently available, as well as additional services that may be necessary to adequately care for youth in the juvenile justice system. This hearing will examine funding and other resources the State utilizes to treat youth with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system and other supports and services that could be used to address unmet mental health needs of such youth in the future.
For more information, click here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Authorities investigating online predator who’s blackmailing students at Penn Yan, possibly Dundee schools
New York State Police are investigating reports of an online predator, and now letters have gone home to parents — warning them about the threat. 
Officials with Penn Yan and Dundee Central Schools say they’re investigating reports of an individual blackmailing area students over social media. 
Penn Yan Superintendent Howard Dennis says the investigation began a few days ago when students in Penn Yan confided in trusted adults at the school. They then notified law enforcement. Dennis says the predator has victimized more than a handful of students, and he has heard reports there may be as many as 15 young people who have been blackmailed, according to Dennis. 
Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck says she is not aware of any students in Dundee who have been directly involved.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Schuyler County officials warn homeowners: beware of property deed “scams”

Schuyler County Clerk Theresa Philbin and County Attorney Steven Getman are warning homeowners to be aware of a property deed "scam" that may be taking place in Schuyler County.

“Reports have surfaced recently of a company soliciting homeowners in the area who recently have completed real estate transactions, asking them to pay $89.00 for records which contain public information about their own property,” Getman said.

However, according to Philbin, deeds for every parcel of land in Schuyler County are already recorded and kept on permanent record at the Schuyler County Clerk's Office.

“After a real estate closing the original deed is returned to the property owner or their attorney at no additional charge and if you ever need another copy, you can request one from the county clerk for as little 65 cents per page and often less than five dollars,” Philbin explained.

“All public records can be searched in the county clerk’s office through its indexes Monday- Friday 8:30 AM- 4:30 PM.”

Philbin and Getman also warned that the assessment profile the company is trying to sell includes information that the homeowner does not need, and that could be obtained for free from the County’s Real Property Tax Division or other municipalities.

Currently there is no law against companies selling you your own information, or a limit on what they can charge.

Getman says the best way to protect yourself is to stay vigilant and informed.

"We want the residents of Schuyler County to be aware that the entities marketing such requests are not related to the County Clerk's Office or any other department inside Schuyler County government," Getman said.

If you receive anything in the mail about your property records that seems questionable, Philbin and Getman said that you can contact the county clerk or, in the event of possible criminal activity, local law enforcement.

The Schuyler County Clerk is responsible for all books, files and other necessary equipment for the filing, recording and depositing of documents, maps, papers in actions and special proceedings of both civil and criminal nature, judgment and lien dockets and books for the indexing of the same as directed or authorized by law

The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal advisor for county government and its various officials.  The County Attorney prosecutes and defends civil actions on behalf of the county and county employees acting pursuant to their official duties..

Monday, November 26, 2018

How to protect yourself from Cyber Monday scammers

A new report says Cyber Monday provides the perfect environment for cyber criminals: “They offer up distracted shoppers and ample opportunity. An estimated 164 million people are planning to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, and online sales alone are expected to reach up to $143 billion.” Here are some tips from to protect yourself online:
• Shop only on secure Internet connections. 
• Do not be tricked by confusingly similar website and domain names.  
• Protect yourself by using credit or debit cards.  
• Beware of misleading bargains and added fees.  
• Compare warranty terms.  
• Know the terms of a layaway plan.  
• Check return and refund policies.  
• Beware of restricted gift cards.  
• Be wary of too-good-to-be-true contests and prize promotions.  
• Read the fine print. 
For more information on how to protect yourself from Cyber Monday scams, click here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Committee on Women in the Courts to survey attorneys on gender fairness

The New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts is conducting a poll of lawyers, judges and court personnel to examine gender fairness and steps necessary to eliminate gender disparities in the courts:

The Committee has been working with experts to develop and distribute the survey, which will be emailed to a large, random sample of attorneys who have been admitted to practice law in New York State. Those attorneys selected will be able to complete the survey online. Their responses will be confidential and aggregated with others who respond. The Committee is also working with the State’s various bar associations to raise awareness about the survey and encourage attorneys, if selected, to participate.

The survey will address the experiences of attorneys and other court users. Some survey sections cover a broad range of experiences that may be encountered in the court system regardless of the survey participant’s practice area. Other sections ask about specific areas of practice and substantive law, such as family law, matrimonial law and criminal law.

Among the more general questions, the survey will query participants on whether and how gender affects courtroom interactions, the courthouse environment (sexual harassment) and fee-generating appointments and assignments. The survey also contains questions regarding the availability and impact of courthouse children’s centers ̶where litigants and other court users can safely leave their children while they attend to court matters ̶baby-changing tables in public restrooms and lactation facilities.

Survey participants will be instructed to select the responses that best reflect their opinions based upon their own recent experiences or direct knowledge while handling matters in the New York State courts. At the end of each section, respondents will be given the opportunity to offer comments and suggestions.

For more on the survey, click here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Town of Ovid Postpones Public Hearing for Comprehensive Plan

The Public Hearing for the recently completed Town of Ovid Comprehensive Plan, originally scheduled for Wednesday, November 14, is being adjourned to a later date, to ensure proper legal notification and to allow more time for public review of the draft document.

Upon consultation with the Town Board, Attorney Steven Getman recommended that the hearing take place in December, to allow the Town Clerk time to file a legal written notice, keeping the procedure within the requirements of NY State Law. 

Postponement will also provide more time for residents to review recommended revisions to a small section of the plan.  Those revisions involve minor “corrections” to three paragraphs, which were requested by the Steering Committee but inadvertently omitted from the version that was published for public review.  The page impacted has been posted online, with copies made available at the Town Clerks office and at the Library in Ovid.  While the corrections cannot be made prior to the public hearing, the Town Board wanted the Steering Committee’s intended language to be part of the review process.

The Town Board is expected to formalize and announce the new date/time of the Public Hearing at its meeting on Wednesday.  It is anticipated that the Public Hearing will be rescheduled for 7 pm, during the Town Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on December 12.

“This adjournment will ensure that extraordinary measures have been taken to inform all stakeholders of the Public Hearing,” said Town Attorney Steven Getman.  “From its very beginning, this planning process has been guided by the Town Board’s strong encouragement for all residents to get involved,” Getman stated.

“We hope residents take this opportunity to read the proposed plan, and attend the meeting,” he concluded.

Information about the plan and its process can be found online at or at the Town’s website, .