Monday, August 15, 2022

Schuyler County American Red Cross Blood Drive - November 8th, 2022

Schuyler County government will be hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

The event will be held between 9:30am - 2:30pm at the county’s Human Services Complex, Conference Room #120, in Montour Falls.

Interested donors schedule an appointment here.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Second Amendment Legal Update, August 2022

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. For a complete PDF copy of this month's update click here.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Schuyler County Dad Lands in Jail for Failing to Pay Child Support

Finger Lakes Daily News:
A Schuyler County man was given a 90-day jail sentence for not paying over $11,000 in past-due child support, following an appearance in Schuyler County Family Court on Tuesday (July 19, 2022).

(T)he man was found in willful violation of a prior court order because he failed to pay $11,735.85 in court-ordered support for the benefit of his two children. This failure to pay stretched back to at least July 2018, and had already resulted in numerous judgments, a probation sentence and a prior order of incarceration, court records showed. The man is also facing a new child support violation proceeding, that can also result in up to an additional six months of incarceration. Most recently the respondent was picked up on a child support warrant in Chemung County on Monday (July 18, 2022).

Assistant County Attorney Vinton Stevens presented the violation case for the County Attorney’s office. At Wednesday’s court appearance, Stevens advised the court that the respondent had not made any payments toward the amount due since December 2021, although the man had been employed and paying up until that time.

Based on the evidence, Stevens argued that the respondent should be sentenced to 90 days in jail, due to the man’s failure to meet the conditions of a previously imposed suspended sentence.

The respondent was represented by Schuyler County Assistant Public Defender Mark Raniewicz.

After hearing from the attorneys, and giving the respondent an opportunity to speak, Schuyler County Family Court Judge Matthew Hayden determined that the respondent should be jailed. Therefore, he sentenced the respondent to ninety days of incarceration. Hayden also directed that the respondent could be released from jail if he paid the full amount of back child support.

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

Monday, July 25, 2022

Schuyler County to hold falls prevention seminar

The Schuyler County Office for the Aging will be holding its 2022 Falls Prevention Seminar on Tuesday, September 20.

The event features 15-minute presentations to help you identify and reduce potential fall risks. It also showcases local businesses and organizations providing balance and blood pressure screenings, health and wellness class demonstrations and more. Lunch is also being provided.

The seminar will be held from 10 am - 2 pm at the county’s Human Services Complex, 323 Owego Street in Montour Falls.

Please RSVP by September 15 by calling 607-535-6834 or by email.

For more information, click here.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Watkins Glen man sentenced for grand larceny, fraud

WETM:
On July 14, Louis Latorre, 48, was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for the theft, the maximum possible sentence for each of his seven charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office. In June, Latorre pled guilty to pocketing $300,000 in “fictitious returns” from the hardware store Watkins Glen Supply between 2013 and 2020 and receiving $131,865 in public benefits.

Louis Latorre 


Neither Latorre nor his wife reported the extra income—which investigators said was thousands every month—resulting in them receiving more than $125,000 in public benefits from the Department of Social Services.

Law enforcement was tipped off in 2020 when a security camera in the store caught Latorre putting cash in his pocket. DSS later notified the DA’s office that Latorre and his wife were likely committing the fraud.

Latorre was originally arrested in November 2020 for the theft. Almost a year later in October 2021, he and Kimberley Latorre were arrested for failing to report their income and receiving the $131,865 in benefits from Social Services.

Note: Kimberly Latorre awaits trial and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

(Photo from Finger Lakes Daily News)

Monday, July 11, 2022

Schuyler County Receives $22K in Federal PILT Funds

Finger Lakes Daily News:
Schuyler County has received $22,141.00 from the U.S. Department of the Interior under the 2022 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, county officials announced Tuesday.

Notice of the Award was received by Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman on Monday (June 27). According to Getman, PILT payments are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the Department’s agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

That includes the Finger Lakes National Forest, located in both Schuyler and Seneca Counties, Getman said.

“PILT seeks to compensate local governments for the inability to collect property taxes on federally owned land,” Getman explained. “It’s a recognition that local governments provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas.”

According to County Administrator Fonda Chronis, the funds can be used for essential local government services, such as emergency services, transportation infrastructure, law enforcement and health care.

“This program is an important example of how the federal government can act as a good neighbor to the county and help local governments carry out vital services,” Chronis said.

“The Schuyler County Legislature remains committed to utilizing revenue from every source to offset burdens on local taxpayers,” he added.

Schuyler County Treasurer Holley Sokolowski noted that the amount paid was approximately ten percent more than the previous year.

“It was also the highest amount received this year by any county upstate, with only Dutchess and New York Counties receiving higher awards,” Sokolowski said.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Schuyler County man jailed for failure to pay nearly $31,000 in back child support

A Schuyler County man was given a 60-day jail sentence for not paying nearly $31,000 in past-due child support, following an appearance in Schuyler County Family Court on Wednesday (July 6, 2022).

According to the office of Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, the man was found in willful violation of a prior court order because he failed to pay $30,993.72 in court-ordered support for the benefit of his two children. This failure to pay stretched back to at least November 2018, court records showed.

Assistant County Attorney Vinton Stevens presented the violation case for the County Attorney’s office. At Wednesday’s court appearance, Stevens advised the court that the respondent had paid only $1,910.65 toward the amount due. Stevens also noted that the man was recently apprehended on a criminal court warrant in Chemung County, and he was already facing extradition to another state for a separate criminal prosecution.

Based on the evidence, Stevens argued that the respondent should be sentenced to 60 days in jail, consecutive to any sentence for the Chemung County criminal matter.

The respondent was represented by Schuyler County Assistant Public Defender Mark Raniewicz. Raniewicz asked the court to consider his client’s circumstances, arguing that the respondent intended to get a job and pay support upon his release from incarceration and that the court should impose any jail sentence concurrent to any sentence in Chemung County.

After hearing from the attorneys, and giving the respondent an opportunity to speak, Schuyler County Family Court Judge Matthew Hayden confirmed the man had willfully violated the child support order, and determined that the respondent should be jailed. Therefore, he sentenced the respondent to sixty days incarceration, consecutive to any sentence in the Chemung County criminal matter and entered a money judgement for the past due child support. Hayden also directed that the respondent could be released from jail if he paid the full amount of back child support.

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

“These jail sentences send 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 in prosecuting child support cases brought in 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 and address was not released to protect the privacy of his children and family.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Second Amendment Legal Update, July 2022

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. For a complete PDF copy of this month's update click here.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Public Comment Sought on Proposed Amendment for Uniform Standards of Eligibility in Family Court

The New York State Unified Court System is seeking public comment on a proposal that would implement eligibility standards for assigned counsel in all family court proceedings. This proposal would provide in part that:
1) “A person entitled to publicly funded counsel pursuant to [FCA 262, SCPA 407, or Judiciary Law 35(8)] shall be financially eligible for counsel when the person’s current available resources are insufficient to pay for a qualified private attorney, the expenses necessary for effective representation, and the reasonable living expenses of the person and any dependents.”

2) “Counsel shall be provided at the first court appearance or immediately following the request for counsel, whichever is earlier. Eligibility determinations shall be made in a timely fashion so that representation by counsel is not delayed.”

3) “A parent or legally responsible person, as defined by law, shall be entitled to and provided with immediate representation by counsel: (i) upon the filing of a petition or pre-petition request under Article 10 of the Family Court Act for an order for immediate removal of a child or temporary order of protection; (ii) where the court has received notice of an extra-judicial emergency removal of a child; or (iii) upon the filing of a petition alleging abuse or neglect against the parent or person legally responsible. In accordance with this entitlement, counsel shall be provided sufficiently in advance of the person’s first court appearance and shall also be provided for parents during a child protective agency investigation ….”

4) A presumption of eligibility when the person’s net income is at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; the person is incarcerated, detained, or confined to a mental health institution, or is currently receiving, or has recently been deemed eligible pending receipt of, need-based public assistance, or within the past six months, has been deemed financially eligible for counsel in another court proceeding in that jurisdiction or another jurisdiction.

5) A determination denying counsel by the court or delegated screening entity shall be in writing, shall include reasons for the denial and procedure for seeking reconsideration, and shall be provided to the person seeking counsel.

The request for public comment can be found here.