Monday, August 19, 2019

New York's new Domestic Violence laws take effect

New York state officials have enacted three new pieces of legislation that aim to expand protections for victims of abuse and domestic violence.

These measures are intended to:

broaden the definition of domestic violence to include forms of economic abuse, including identity theft;
give victims the choice to vote by mail-in ballot, even if they remain within the county where they are registered to vote; and
allow victims to report abuse to any law enforcement agency in New York State, regardless of where the violence originally took place.

For more on these new laws, click here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

New York State passes law allowing emergency responders to remove distressed pets left in cars

WENY-TV:
Under the new law, firefighters and other emergency personnel will be allowed to remove pets from unattended cars under conditions that endanger the animals' health or well-being, such as extreme temperatures.

The law goes into effect immediately.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Savona man jailed on family court’s child support warrant

A Savona man was remanded to jail on a Family Court warrant, tied to his failure to pay child support, on Wednesday (August 7, 2019).

According to County Attorney Steven Getman, the respondent was previously found in willful violation of an existing court order because he failed to pay $475.00 in back child support for his two children, together with an additional $344.00 in judgments.  According to court records, the respondent was scheduled to appear for sentencing on the violation July 16, but failed to do so, resulting in Family Court Judge Joseph Cassidy issuing a warrant for his arrest.
The respondent was later located in Steuben County, after the Schuyler County Attorney’s office determined he was on probation in that county for an unrelated criminal offense, Getman noted.    He was taken into custody in Steuben County and transferred to Schuyler County for further proceedings on the warrant.

The respondent was arraigned before Montour Falls Village Justice Donald Spaccio, who continued bail at $475.00 and remanded the respondent to jail pending the next Family Court date.

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman
Getman represented the petitioner at the court appearance.   The respondent was represented by Schuyler County Assistant Public Defender Valerie Gardner.

“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 said.  “Furthermore, support violators who do not appear in court as ordered, can be subject to a warrant of arrest.”

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

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

Article: The Shocking Lack of Lawyers in Rural America

The Atlantic writes that "while cities are trying to reform their criminal-justice systems, smaller, more far-flung locales are struggling to provide basic services."

While it is well known that public defenders’ caseloads are untenably high in jurisdictions nationwide, prompting lawsuits, the situation is particularly dire in largely rural states such as Louisiana. These so-called legal deserts may have only one or two defense attorneys, who are usually near retirement with no one to take their place. In Mississippi, defendants routinely wait up to a year to even get assigned counsel. In Minnesota, counties can span hundreds of miles and court may sit only twice a month, requiring staff and lawyers to drive an hour each way.

Meanwhile,several counties in New York, including Schuyler County, "have been implementing the historic reforms to public criminal defense set forth in the 2014 Settlement Agreement in Hurrell-Harring v. The State of New York (Settlement) which received court approval in March 2015."

By ensuring counsel at every arraignment, utilizing uniform criteria and procedures for assessing financial eligibility for assignment of counsel, and taking steps to reduce attorney workloads, the Hurrell-Harring counties and providers have worked tirelessly for four years with the aid of $23.8 million in State funds annually to improve the quality of representation provided in criminal cases.

For more on Schuyler County's work to improve the quality of legal services for indigent defendants, click here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Changes to New York's landlord-tenant law

Some of the biggest changes are:
• If a tenant is ordered evicted, instead of 72 hours, the court order must give the tenant 14 days.
• If the tenant can pay up, in full, at any time during the eviction process, the landlord has to accept.
• Landlords who unlawfully evict tenants can now be fined and charged with a misdemeanor.
• Landlords cannot use a tenant’s history of evictions or judgments from landlords to refuse to rent to them.
• Landlords have to give written notice when they start eviction proceedings. They cannot start court proceedings for at least 10 days after the tenant is served.
• If the tenant shows up to court and asks for an adjournment, the judge has to grant it and the minimum is two weeks.
For more on the new laws, click here.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Elmira man jailed for failure to pay child support, probation violation



Watkins Glen, NY (July 16)--An Elmira man was given a 60-day jail sentence for not paying past-due child support and violating his probation, following an appearance in Schuyler County Family Court on Tuesday (July 16, 2019).

According to County Attorney Steven Getman, the respondent was found in willful violation of a prior court order because he failed to pay over $2500.00 in back support for his two children and absconded from probation supervision.

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman
At Tuesday’s court appearance, Getman noted that the respondent had been placed on probation in 2018 for prior violations of the court’s support orders.    However, Getman said, the respondent continued to miss payments and then absconded to California, causing a warrant to be issued for his arrest.

The last payment was made in September, 2018, Getman said.

Based on the evidence, Getman argued, the respondent should be sentenced to jail.

The respondent was represented by Schuyler County Assistant Public Defender Mark Raniewicz. Raniewicz asked the court to consider releasing his client on a suspended judgment, giving him time to make payments.

After hearing from the attorneys, and the respondent, Acting Schuyler County Family Court Judge Joseph Cassidy determined that the respondent should be incarcerated.  Therefore, he sentenced the respondent to sixty days in jail, with the opportunity to “purge” the sentence if he paid at least $1000.00 towards the back child support.      Cassidy then ordered the man immediately taken into custody by court security.

Getman said he was pleased with the court’s decision.

“This jail sentence sends a message that will hopefully resonate,” Getman said. “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.”

“Parents who refuse to support their children can, and will, be punished when appropriate.”

The county attorney’s office represents the Department of Social Services and Probation Department in prosecuting child support cases brought in the family court by those agencies.  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 and county probation department.

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Schuyler County Clerk Theresa Philbin endorses Getman for Judge

Schuyler County Clerk Theresa Philbin is the latest local leader to endorse Republican nominee Steven Getman in this year’s election for Schuyler County Court Judge.

“As your County Clerk, I've seen Steve's work up close for years. He is always level-headed and focused on achieving a fair and just result. He is knowledgeable, understanding and fair in all of his dealings with county employees, elected officials and the public. Steve is right for this position in every way.”

“Theresa is one of Schuyler County’s finest public servants and it’s an honor to have her support in this important election,” said Getman.

Getman and Philbin have worked together extensively to help residents of Schuyler County. For example, earlier this year, they teamed up to help warn residents about a possible deed scam involving a company that sells public information to homeowners about their own properties at inflated costs.

Philbin also noted that, “Anyone who cares about Gun Rights should support Steven Getman. He has been extremely helpful to me by providing advice and counsel related to the Second Amendment and he is a lifelong supporter of our Right to Bear Arms.”

Getman, a resident of Watkins Glen, has been the Schuyler County Attorney since 2015. Prior to that, he served as the assistant county attorney. He has practiced law since 1992, in areas including criminal law, family law, and municipal government. He has helped teach our next generation as an Adjunct Instructor at Keuka College, leading courses focused on criminal justice and constitutional law.

Getman has previously been endorsed by Schuyler County Republican Chairman Van Harp, former County Republican Chairman Lester Cady, former County Republican Chairman and current County Legislator Phil Barnes and Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer, among others.

In late June, Getman also earned the endorsement and nomination of the full Schuyler County Republican Committee. Getman will be the only county court judge candidate to appear on the Republican line on this November’s ballot.

He has been cross-endorsed by the Libertarian Party as well.

The General Election is slated for Tuesday, November 5.

Schuyler County Clerk Philb... by on Scribd