Monday, February 17, 2020

Schuyler County supports centralized arraignment plan for local criminal courts

As part of its ongoing effort to improve court efficiency, conserve law enforcement resources and protect the rights of criminal defendants, the Schuyler County legislature has endorsed a process for implementing a centralized arraignment program for after-hours arrests.

The vote took place Monday (February 10, 2020). All legislators in attendance supported the measure.

The plan is supported by a number of county officials involved in the legal system, including Sheriff William Yessman, District Attorney Joe Fazzary, Public Defender Wesley Roe and County Attorney Steven Getman. It was developed with input from town and village justices and the New York State Office of Court Administration.

Under the plan, anyone arrested within the county when courts are no longer in session, and not given an appearance ticket, will be arraigned in the lobby of the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office in Watkins Glen, as opposed to a town’s jurisdiction. Town and village judges, prosecutors and public defenders will be placed on rotating on-call schedules for arrests made at night, on weekends or during holidays. There is state funding for implementing the plan, which will pay for the cost of installing a judge’s bench in the sheriff’s office lobby.

“Arresting officers must currently maintain custody of an arrestee until able to locate a local court and justice able to conduct the arraignment which is a process that often consumes officer time and can result in the arraignment occurring outside of the times when the Schuyler County Public Defender is able to appear as counsel for the defendant,” the resolution noted.

“Those charged with a crime are entitled to the assistance of legal counsel at all important stages of their case including at the initial criminal arraignment,” it continued.

A centralized arraignment part, known as a CAP, is not mandated by the state, but many rural counties have found it to be the most effective way of ensuring compliance with the requirements for counsel at arraignment.

The plan, which will be implemented later this year, is the county’s latest effort to improve court efficiency, conserve law enforcement resources and protect the rights of criminal defendants.

Other efforts have included an intermunicipal agreement with Tompkins County for that county to assist in administering the Schuyler County assigned counsel plan to provide legal representation to indigent criminal defendants and certain family court litigants.

That agreement, prepared by Roe and Getman with input from Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn and representatives of Tompkins County, has been praised as “a model approach and is consistent with statewide efforts to help municipalities identify opportunities for cost savings through inter-municipal cooperation, reorganization, and regionalization,” by the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services.

A copy of the resolution is available below:

Schuyler County supports ce... by Steven Getman on Scribd

Monday, February 10, 2020

Second Amendment Legal Update February, 2020

A monthly update, prepared for the Schuyler County Chapter of S.C.O.P.E. NY, a statewide 501(c)4 organization dedicated to preserving the 2nd amendment rights for the residents of New York State.

Second Amendment Legal Update February, 2020 by Steven Getman on Scribd

Monday, February 3, 2020

Fourth National Domestic Violence Prosecution Conference to be held in March

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has announced its Fourth National Domestic Violence Conference for prosecutors and victim advocates on March 18-20.
Nationally- and internationally- renowned faculty members will facilitate discussion and train
participants on practical strategies and model policies in domestic violence prosecution. The Conference will be presented at Brooklyn Law School. A Thursday night reception at Brooklyn Law’s Subotnick Center will feature Poster Sessions amidst stunning views of New York City.

Prosecutors and victim advocates with all levels of experience are encouraged to attend. The conference will focus on the needs of jurisdictions responding to domestic violence cases.

For more information, including how to register, click here.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Law Day 2020 theme announced: “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.”

The American Bar Association has announced the 2020 theme for Law Day is "Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy. The 19th Amendment at 100":
In 2019-2020, the United States is commemorating the centennial of the transformative constitutional amendment that guaranteed the right of citizens to vote would not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. American women fought for, and won, the vote through their voice and action.

The women’s suffrage movement forever changed America, expanding representative democracy and inspiring other popular movements for constitutional change and reform. Yet, honest reflection on the suffrage movement reveals complexity and tensions over race and class that remain part of the ongoing story of the Nineteenth Amendment and its legacies.

Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King Day

Ronald Reagan:
"Each year on Martin Luther King Day, let us not only recall Dr. King, but rededicate ourselves to the Commandments he believed in and sought to live every day: Thou shall love thy God with all thy heart, and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. And I just have to believe that all of us -- if all of us, young and old, Republicans and Democrats, do all we can to live up to those Commandments, then we will see the day when Dr. King's dream comes true, and in his words, "All of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning. . . land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

(President Reagan, Coretta Scott King, Bob Dole and others at the signing ceremony for HR 3706 making the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. a national holiday. 11/2/1983)

Monday, January 13, 2020

Schuyler County calls on New York to increase support for Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Schuyler County officials are calling on New York State to increase financial support for Cornell Cooperative Extension after twenty years of “stagnant” funding.

At its meeting Monday (January 13, 2020), the Schuyler County legislature voted to ask the state to increase its appropriation for Cornell Cooperative Extension associations to $8 million statewide.

The resolution, introduced by legislator Mark Rondinaro (R-District VII) passed unanimously. It noted that “local extension educators are key community partners” in helping to implement state initiatives including maximizing agriculture, strengthening the economy, promoting healthier eating habits and partnering to promote tourism and local food and farm businesses.

“State funding is needed to ensure that the Cornell Cooperative Extension system can equitably work for all New York residents through increased resources to support rural, suburban, and urban community development needs,” the resolution continued.

However, the resolution said, “state appropriations for county cooperative extension associations to match county government appropriations …have remained stagnant for twenty years.”

Therefore, “the Schuyler County Legislature supports increasing the State appropriation for Cornell Cooperative Extension associations to $8 million, such funds to be distributed directly to the associations through Cornell University as agent for the state as provided by law.”

Currently, New York State law provides for state matching funds for each county or regional extension association, subject to the furnishing of equivalent sums from county appropriations. However, the current funding formula only allows, “fifty cents for each dollar up to the first $100,000 appropriated by such county, and five cents for each dollar in excess of $100,000, subject to annual appropriation by the (state) legislature.”

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a formal collaboration between the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at USDA, New York State, County Governments and the Citizens of the State that has served to apply research-based knowledge from Cornell, New York’s Land Grant University, to the needs of New Yorkers and their communities for over 100 years.

The County of Schuyler is governed by an eight-person legislature, headed by its Chair. Members serve staggered four-year terms. The legislature, in turn, appoints various department heads to oversee the county’s day to day operations, including the county administrator (Tim O’Hearn), county attorney (Steven Getman) and clerk to the legislature (Stacy Husted).

The current members of the legislature are Mark Rondinaro, James Howell, Jr., Gary Gray, David Reed, Michael Lausell, Van Harp, Philip Barnes and Carl Blowers, Chairman.

A complete copy of the resolution appears below.


Monday, January 6, 2020

Second Amendment Legal Update January, 2020

A monthly update, prepared for the Schuyler County Chapter of S.C.O.P.E. NY, a statewide 501(c)4 organization dedicated to preserving the 2nd amendment rights for the residents of New York State.

Schuyler County SCOPE NY Legal Update 2020 01 by Steven Getman on Scribd