Monday, December 9, 2019

New law aims to protect rent-controlled tenants from landlord harassment

New York State enacted A.6188/S.2605 on Tuesday (December 3). According to supporters of the law, it will protect rent-regulated tenants from landlord harassment intended to force tenants out of their homes.

The new law increases penalties for when a landlord seeks to force out two or more rent-regulated tenants by creating unsafe, disruptive, or uninhabitable conditions. A landlord engaging in this conduct against one tenant may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for harassing a rent-regulated tenant. Where the conduct impacts two or more tenants, a landlord may be guilty of a Class E felony. A landlord guilty of multiple convictions for misdemeanor conduct under these new provisions within five years can be charged with a Class E felony.

Previously, supporters say, the law only provided protections to tenants who could demonstrate physical injury and failed to take into account the conditions caused by the landlord.

For more information on the new law, click here.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Schuyler and Chemung Counties prevail in emergency tower site appeal.


Albany, New York--Schuyler and Chemung Counties have again prevailed in their five-years-long court battle against an adjoining landowner regarding the counties’ use of the Terry Hill Emergency Tower site (and right of way), owned by Schuyler County,  near Beardsley Hollow Road in Chemung County.


Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman
The County of Schuyler was represented on appeal by Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman.  Chemung County was represented by Syracuse attorney Gabrielle Figueroa.   Elmira attorney Scott Moore represented appellant William Hetrick, the adjoining landowner. 

According to court records, both counties had used the site for radio and voice communication for over fifty years. In 2012, the two counties began to update and replace the emergency communications tower at the site.  Hetrick objected to the upgrade, arguing that it violated a restrictive covenant related to his land.  In October 2014, the counties sought a declaratory judgment from Chemung County Supreme Court.  The counties maintained that the use of the property was proper and necessary for public safety.  Hetrick filed a counterclaim thereafter.  In March 2018, Supreme Court Justice Judith O’Shea ruled in the counties’ favor.  O’Shea held that the new tower and equipment were consistent with the deed language, as was continued cooperation between Schuyler and Chemung counties.

O’Shea’s judgment was unanimously affirmed in Thursday’s ruling.

“We are pleased with the appellate court’s decision,”  Getman said.  “A ruling against the counties could have eliminated a critical public service from Schuyler County.”

The site is the single transmission site for the entire Schuyler Public Safety Communication system, Getman explained.  The county uses this system to dispatch nine volunteer fire departments, three ambulance services, multiple police agencies and local highway departments, he noted.

Various Schuyler County agencies assisted in gathering information and providing evidence to support the counties’ case during the litigation, including:  Emergency Management Director William Kennedy, the County Administrator, the Clerk to the Legislature, the County Clerk, the County Treasurer, the Highway Department and Buildings and Grounds.

Hetrick has approximately thirty days to seek leave to appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Genesee County man sentenced in Schuyler County for failure to pay child support

Watkins Glen, NY (November 25, 2019)--A Bergen (Genesee County) man was given a 120-day stayed jail sentence for not paying past-due child support, following an appearance in Schuyler County Family Court on Monday (November 25, 2019).

According to County Attorney Steven Getman, the respondent was found in willful violation of a prior court order because he failed to pay nearly $7000.00 ($6943.22) in back support for his two children, who reside with their mother in Schuyler County.

Court records indicated that the last payment was made June 2016, Getman said.

After hearing from the parties, Acting Schuyler County Family Court Judge John Rowley determined that the respondent should be punished for contempt of court. Therefore, he sentenced the respondent to 120 days in jail, with the opportunity to “purge” the sentence if he paid at least $3000.00 towards the back child support prior to January 3, 2020. If the sentence is not purged, Rowley held, the man would be incarcerated on that date.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant County Attorney Vinton Bovier Stevens. The respondent was represented by Ithaca attorney Nicole Pence.

Under New York State law, parents who willfully fail to obey court orders of child support can be sentenced to up to six months for contempt of court, Getman noted.

The county attorney’s office represents the Department of Social Services in prosecuting child support cases brought in the family court by that agency. In addition, the office provides support collection services for eligible custodial parents seeking assistance in establishing and enforcing orders for child support.

The county attorney’s office was assisted in the prosecution and presentation of the case by employees of the county’s child support enforcement unit.

The man’s name was not released to protect the privacy of his children and family.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Holiday Shopping Season: Beware these "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" scams.

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the public should look out for the oncoming influx of scams tied to holiday shopping.

Business Insider asked experts for the warning signs that shoppers should be aware of when it comes to Black Friday deals. They include:
• Don't fall for early temptations — the deals could be better on the actual day of Black Friday. Don't fall for early temptations; the deals could be better on the actual day of Black Friday.
• Watch out for deceptive store hours.
• Be careful with handing out sensitive information when you're calling stores to put items on hold.
• Examine all delivery-related emails and texts closely — some of them may not be legitimate.
• Beware of fake offers from non-trusted and third-party sites.
• Don't fall for unusually high discounts or sales.
• Watch out for stores suspending their price-matching policies, or else you could end up stuck with a bad purchase.
• Read the fine print on coupons and promotions — your favorite products might be excluded.
• Be wary of freebies. • Beware of door-buster deals.
• You'd be wise to ignore deals on certain products that will get even cheaper at other times of the year — even as early as December.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press offers other tips to stay safe on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
• Beware of pitches for hot toys you can't find.
• React fast if your password doesn't work.
• Take the extra steps for ID verification.
• Examine that gift card before you buy it.
• Don't fall for text from the bank — it's a scam.
• Be aware of e-skimming.
• Be wary of attachments in any email that you receive.
• Use a credit card, instead of a debit card online, for more consumer protection.



Monday, November 18, 2019

New York enacts new adoption law allowing release of original birth certificates

From Syracuse.com:
For the first time since 1935 when the state sealed adoption records, adoptees will be able to obtain their original birth certificate when they turn 18 and find out the names
of their birth parents....

New York law prevented... adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates because the state sealed birth records to protect the privacy of mothers and fathers who gave up their children for adoption.

Supporters of the bill argued that times have changed, and that adoption no longer carries the stigma it did decades ago. It’s also easier to track down relatives through advances in genetic testing and online ancestry sites....

The law will go into effect Jan. 15, 2020. The legislation directs the state Department of Health to develop a process to handle adoptee requests for the records.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Notice and Petition of Foreclosure: Schuyler County Index No. 18-224

Please take notice that on the 1 day of November, 2019, the Treasurer, County of Schuyler (the “Enforcing Officer”) of the County of Schuyler (the “Tax District”), pursuant to law filed with the Clerk of Schuyler County a petition of foreclosure against various parcels of real property for unpaid taxes. Such petition pertains to the following parcels: [see exhibits A, B and C annexed hereto and made a part hereof].

The last day for redemption is hereby fixed as February 20, 2020.

Every person having any right, title or interest in or lien upon any parcel of real property described in such petition may serve a duly verified answer upon the attorney for the Tax District setting forth in detail the nature and amount of his or her interest and any defense or objection to the foreclosure. Such answer must be filed in the office of the County Clerk and served upon the attorney for the Tax District on or before the date above mentioned as the last day for redemption.

In the event of failure to redeem or answer by any person having the right to redeem or answer, such person shall be forever barred and foreclosed of all his or her right, title and interest and equity of redemption in and to the parcel described in such petition and a judgment in foreclosure may be taken by default.

Schuyler County Notice and Petition in Foreclosure Index No. 18-224 by Steven Getman on Scribd

Monday, October 21, 2019

Shooter’s Group Grades Schuyler Judicial Candidates. Republican Steven Getman Gets Top Grade with “A.”

Montour Falls, NY— The Schuyler County chapter of S.C.O.P.E. (the Shooters Committee On Political Education) has released ratings on the four candidates for Schuyler County Court Judge and Republican Steven Getman was the clear winner.

Getman, currently the Schuyler County Attorney, received a grade of “A,” based on responses to a written questionnaire and responses to questions presented to all four candidates at a recently held S.C.O.P.E. public forum at the Montour Falls Moose Club.

Steven Getman at a
recent "Friends of the NRA" dinner
Getman scored well ahead of his three rivals: Democrat Matt Hayden scored a “B Minus,” while third-party candidates Dan Fitzsimmons and Jessica Saks each came in with a “C minus” for their grades.

An attorney since 1992, Getman has practiced in each of the courts over which the County Court Judge presides: County Criminal, Civil, Family and Surrogate’s. He has also handled dozens of criminal and civil appeals in the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division. As Schuyler County Attorney, Getman is the chief legal advisor to approximately 250 county employees, including the County Administrator and County Legislature. He and his staff have handled thousands of cases, prosecuted and defended civil actions, appeared in numerous courts, and drafted legislation. In addition, his office prosecutes family court cases involving child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency and child support violations. Beyond his service as an attorney, Getman has taught criminal justice and constitutional law as an Adjunct Instructor at Keuka College for the past eight years.

S.C.O.P.E. is a 501 (c) 4 statewide organization since 1965 dedicated to preserving the 2nd Amendment rights of the citizens of New York State through public education and promoting voter participation.

In addition, to the Republican Party, Getman has been cross-endorsed by the New York State Libertarian Party and will appear on that ballot line as well. The general election is scheduled for November 5.