Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New York adopts new attorney discipline rules

From the New York State Office of Court Administration:
The new rules, which provide for a harmonized approach to the investigation, adjudication and post-proceeding administration of attorney disciplinary matters were approved following public comment and upon recommendation of the Administrative Board of the Courts. They will be promulgated as Part 1240 of the Rules of the Appellate Division (22 NYCRR Part 1240) and will take effect in July 2016.

The rules announced today are comprehensive in scope, and set forth a uniform approach to the full panoply of issues in attorney discipline, including: standards of jurisdiction and venue; appointment of disciplinary committees and staff; screening and investigation of complaints; proceedings before the Appellate Division; rules of discovery; the name and nature of available disciplinary sanctions and procedural remedies for further review; expanded options for diversion to monitoring programs; reinstatement; and confidentiality.

The new rules are available here.

Monday, December 21, 2015

New York State Constitutional Convention Boot Camp

In 2017, New York voters will decide whether to authorize a convention to consider revising the New York State Constitution. The New York State Bar Association co-sponsored a "boot camp" for reporters on the issue on Dec. 7.

While intended for journalists, the boot camp offers valuable information for everyone interested in the state constitutional process.

View a video of the boot camp here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Report: Gov. Cuomo vetoes transparency laws

Glens Falls Post-Star:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the weekend vetoed two laws intended to strengthen the Freedom of Information Law process but issued an executive order to expedite the process of receiving government documents, but only for state agencies.

Blair Horner, legislative director of New York Public Interest Research Group, said it is odd that Cuomo vetoed the measures when Robert Freeman, executive director of the State Committee on Open Government, recommended both measures in the state agency’s annual report...

Public interest advocacy groups and newspaper editorial boards advocated for both measures...

The Freedom of Information Law guarantees public access to government documents and records, with certain specific exceptions.

One of the bills the governor vetoed would have required state agencies to pay legal fees and court costs when a court rules that documents have been withheld without a reasonable basis...

The other bill Cuomo vetoed reduced the time public agencies have to appeal a court decision on access to public records — from nine months to two months.

Cuomo on Saturday issued an executive order that requires state agencies to file notice of an appeal, settle the record on the appeal and file a legal brief within 60 days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Notice of Public Hearing: Town of Ovid Proposed Local Law No. E of the Year 2015

The Town Board will hold a public hearing at the Ovid Firehouse, 2136 Brown St Ovid, NY 14521, at 7:00 p.m. on the 9 day of December, 2015 in relation to Proposed Local Law No. E of the Year 2015, Town of Ovid, County of Seneca, State of New York: “A local law Repealing Local Law No. 2 of the year 2015."

The text of the proposed local as introduced is as follows:

Section 1. Local Law No. 2 of the Year 2015, “a local law to override the tax levy limit established in General Municipal Law §3-c,” which local law was duly passed by the Town Board on September 9, 2015, is hereby repealed in its entirety as unnecessary.

Section 2. This local law shall be effective upon its filing with the Secretary of State.

More more on the proposed local law, click here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Michigan: How People Are Prosecuted For Breaking Laws They Don’t Know Exist

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:
Michigan has over 3,000 felonies and misdemeanors on the books — far more than the average resident could possibly remember. Obvious crimes, like murder or theft, make up some of these statutes, but more of them cover actions such as “transporting Christmas trees without a manifest” or burning grass clippings or leaves in certain areas.

These laws are especially dangerous to ordinary people because 26 percent of Michigan’s felonies and 59 percent of its misdemeanors don’t specify criminal intent. This means that people who never intended to break the law may be (and often are) prosecuted for crimes they had no idea they committed.


These reforms would not allow a Michigander to get out of a larceny charge by claiming ignorance of the law, but they would make it less likely for him to do jail time for catching a fish he didn’t realize was protected, or being smacked with hefty fines for failing to properly display a camping license on his tent.

Among the crimes that the average person might not realize exist are the following:
Lisa Snyder’s neighbors had children and early starts at work. She was happy to watch their kids until the school bus arrived in the morning — until she was threatened with penalties for running an unlicensed child care service.

Alan Taylor needed more parking at his growing business and thought he had received all the proper permits to expand the lot on his property. But the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality successfully prosecuted him for jeopardizing a wetland he didn’t know existed.

Kenneth Schumacher got rid of some scrap tires at what turned out to be an unlicensed disposal facility. Though he didn’t intend to break the law, he was sentenced to 270 days in jail and a fine of $10,000.

Michigan is not alone is this area. In 2009, it was estimated that many Americans unknowingly commit three felonies per day:
The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague.

Friday, November 27, 2015

New York passes stricter DWI penalties

New legislation to reduce drunk driving among repeat violators through the use of ignition interlock devices (IID), has been signed into New York law.

The new law allows judges the discretion of extending the use of a mandatory interlock device when an individual has a high probability of repeatedly driving under the influence. Previously, the device could only be ordered for certain convictions of New York’s DWI laws.

An IID is an apparatus that is similar to a breathalyzer and is often attached to the ignition system of a motor vehicle as a condition of probation stemming from traffic-related infractions. The vehicle can only be started if the driver blows into the ignition interlock and his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit of .08 BAC.

The measure was introduced by Republican New York State Senator Michael Nozzolio, and passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly.

For more information on the new law, click here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Federal Court upholds local authority to regulate puppy mills

Municipal laws requiring pet stores in New York to obtain dogs and cats from certain licensed breeders and then sterilize the animals are not trumped by federal and state laws, a judge has decided.

The laws upheld were meant to guard against the sale of animals bred in inhumane conditions and then were sold to unsuspecting consumers. Through their sterilization rules, the laws also sought to address overpopulation of unwanted animals.

The ruling reinforces the ability of local governments to crack down on Amish and Mennonite puppy mills in New York State.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Consumer alert issued for Black Friday, Cyber Monday

In advance of the Christmas and holiday shopping season, New York State officials have the following tips for consumers shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
• 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.
• Shop only on secure Internet connections.
• Do not be tricked by confusingly similar website and domain names.
• Protect yourself by using credit cards.
• Be wary of too-good-to-be-true contests and prize promotions.
• Read the fine print.
More on each of these tips can be found at the link above.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New York law expands court access for the hearing impaired.

The new law, which became effective Sept. 25, 2015, gives the courts authority, at the request of a person (party, witness, juror, or prospective juror) who is deaf or hard of hearing, to "provide an assistive listening device, a stenographer who can furnish communication access real-time translation or any other appropriate auxiliary aid or service."

For individuals with disabilities who need accommodations to assure accessibility to the courts, the New York State Court System's Accessibility page offers information about making accommodation requests and a list of Americans with Disabilities Act liaisons for each county. Information about the range of court interpretation services is available on the Court System's Language Access and Court Interpreters page.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Beware of cold weather scams

Government officials in New York State have issued a consumer alert, advising the public, especially seniors, how to avoid potential scams that may occur with the onset of colder weather.

Consumers should protect themselves when hiring contractors to perform winter-related services by considering the following:

• Shop around. Get at least three estimates from reputable contractors that include specific information about the materials and services to be provided for the job. • Get it in writing. Insist on a written contract that includes the price and description of the work needed. • Do not pay unreasonable advance sums. Negotiate a payment schedule tied to the completion of specific stages of the job. Never pay the full price up front. • Get references. Check with the Better Business Bureau, banks, suppliers, and neighbors. Always contact references provided to you. • Know your rights. You have three days to cancel after signing a contract for home improvements. All cancellations must be in writing.
Persons who believe they were the victim of a scam can contact the New York State Consumer Frauds Bureau by calling 1-800-771-7755.

For more information, click here.

Friday, October 30, 2015

New protections for crime victims appear "Women's Equality" bills.

On Oct. 21, New York enacted new laws related to women's rights that deal with a variety of issues, including pay equity and protection of employees from sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination.

Among the new rules, designed to protect crime victims, including victims of sex trafficking, are the following:

The Family Court Act has been amended to allow the Chief Administrator of the Courts to promulgate rules to “establish and implement a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means and for the issuance of such orders ex parte by audio-visual means in order to accommodate litigants for whom attendance at court to file for, and obtain, emergency relief would constitute an undue hardship or to accommodate litigants, for whom traveling to and appearing in the courthouse to obtain emergency relief, creates a risk of harm to such litigant.”

The "Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act," amends and adds many new sections of law. New crimes include aggravated labor trafficking, a class C felony; patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone, a class E felony; and aggravated patronizing a minor for prostitution, a felony.

These new provisions become effective in 2016.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#DVFree: Implementing the Human Right to be Free from Domestic Violence

A panel discussion will be head Tuesday, October 20th at 12:20 p.m. in Saperston Student Lounge, G65 Myron Taylor Hall, Cornell University:
"#DVFree: Implementing the Human Right to be Free from Domestic Violence in Tompkins County, NY."

Panelists will discuss their work in drafting guidelines for employers to protect victims of domestic violence.

The panel will include Heather Campbell, Executive Director, Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, Alexander Gutierrez, J.D. Candidate and member of the Global Gender Justice Clinic, Carolina Morales, J.D. Candidate and member of the Global Gender Justice Clinic, and Amanda Reynoso-Palley, J.D. Candidate and member of the Global Gender Justice Clinic.

The panel is sponsored by Cornell Law School’s Global Gender Justice Clinic and the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice.

Lunch will be served. Interested attendees should RSVP by Monday, October 19 to Christina Price,

Monday, October 12, 2015

South Seneca Schools to Gain Police Officer

From the Ovid Gazette:
At the Ovid town board meeting Sept. 2, a shared services agreement that will allow Interlaken police chief Leon Anderson to patrol the schools and be their resource officer was
approved. Anderson gave his presentation, then left for a meeting with the South Seneca School Board whose meeting also began at 7 p.m.

His presentation was to inform about the required elements needed to complete the paperwork needed for a School Resource Officer position, which will be new to the school district. Anderson said it would also benefit the village and town of Ovid as well as the Village of Interlaken and the Town of Covert.

He further explained that the agreement, which comes at no cost to the villages or the towns, has been reviewed by the town attorney, Steven Getman, and Barry Porsch, District Attorney, to make sure that it meets all of the criteria.

The purpose of the SRO (School Resource Officer) position is “to protect our most vulnerable residents: in our community – our children and our schools. Tonight I am looking to the board to sign the Shared Services Agreement which is before you. If you have questions, I will answer them.”

Friday, October 9, 2015

State Appellate Court to hold session at Cornell

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division will be hearing oral arguments in Cornell Law School’s Moot Court Room from 9:30 am to noon on Thursday, October 22.

Arguments are open to the public.

Following adjournment, the justices attending will hold a short question and answer period regarding the proceedings.

Summaries of the cases to be argued have been provided by the court for informational purposes. They include cases of potential local interest to Finger Lakes residents.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5th National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) in partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) presents the 5th National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference taking place on
November 4-6, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA.

This conference, hosted at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, will bring together prosecutors, investigators, veterinarians and related professionals in the criminal justice and animal welfare field, to enhance their efforts in combating animal cruelty and related violent crimes.

There is no registration fee for this conference.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Results of "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Labor Day Crackdown

New York State Police arrested 769 individuals for driving while intoxicated during the 20-day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on impaired driving.

During this crackdown, State Police and local law enforcement agencies targeted not only drunk or impaired motorists, but also drivers who were distracted, speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and not abiding by the “move over” law.

State Police report that of the 769 DWI arrests between the August 21 to September 7 enforcement period, more than 219 occurred during Labor Day weekend alone. During the same period last year, 663 people were arrested for DWI.

During the campaign, Troopers also issued 47,359 tickets, up from more than 46,500 in 2014: 18,660 for speeding, 1,613 for distracted driving, 2,522 for child restraint and seatbelt violations, and 556 for failing to “move over.” Additionally, state police investigated 2,973 crashes during the 20-day period, compared to 2,940 last year. Of these crashes, 857 people were injured, and 25 people were killed.

For more on this program, click here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

School’s Open, Drive Carefully

AAA’s annual “School’s Open—Drive Carefully” campaign alerts motorists to the special risks to school-age children from motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death for children from five to fourteen years old. This year, the campaign begins September 2, 2015 and runs through October 14.

With our schools reopening, children will be boarding buses and walking to and from school. All motorists should drive carefully and be especially aware of school speed zones, school bus traffic, and children walking. Drivers should be particularly alert for children darting out between parked cars on busy streets.

Motorists will receive an additional reminder each time they see one of the “School’s Open” bumper stickers on official vehicles, school buses and passenger cars.

For more information on AAA's "School's Open, Drive Carefully" program, click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Calling all superheroes to the CASA fun run

The Third Annual CASA Superhero 5K and 1K Fun Run is coming to Watkins Glen High School on Sunday, September 20.

Register by September 5 to save $5 on your entry and guarantee a free T-SHIRT for 12 and over, or a CAPE for all kids under 12. Teams are welcome.

Race Day Schedule of Events:
8:00 am Registration / Number Pick-Up
9:00 am 5K Race Start
9:45 am 1K Fun Run

Awards will follow immediately after the 1K Fun Run

If you are looking for an opportunity to do even more, take the Superhero Challenge: All Superheroes raising $100 or more get free entry. And all Superheroes or Superhero Teams that raise over $500 will be inducted into the CASA of the Southern Tier Justice League Hall of Fame on Race Day. Set up you sponsor page here to get started!

All proceeds from the race stay local for the advocacy of abused and neglected children in Schuyler, Chemung, and Steuben Family Court.

For information, click here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign starts

In an attempt to reduce deaths and injuries due to drunk driving, New York State officials have announced an end-of-summer crackdown on impaired driving.

The initiative, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” is a joint effort of the New York State Police and local law enforcement.

The campaign starts today and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 7

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ovid Interviews Comprehensive Plan Consultants

Finger Lakes Community Newspapers:
The June 10, 2015, meeting of the Town of Ovid board was opened by supervisor Walter Prouty...

Councilman Brian Flood inquired about the status of the search for a consultant for the town’s anticipated Comprehensive Plan for land management. Town attorney Steven Getman said he had a couple of responses. When the successful candidates have been chosen there needs to be an interview at which specific questions are asked, as suggested by Councilman John Hubbard.

Getman said, “My recollection is that the Planning Board and the Town Board members were to submit questions to me so I can have a chance to look at them ahead of time and make sure all areas are covered.”

Once he comes up with an approved list of questions, each boards’ members will be assigned questions to be asked of each candidate to put all on the same playing field. It was decided that the candidates will be given up to 10 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes to answer questions.

Getman felt that the sooner he gets the questions from the boards, the easier it will be to get the questions on the short list.

Monday, July 27, 2015

New York Attorney Discipline Commission to Hold Public Hearings

New York State’s Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline is conducting "a comprehensive review of the state's attorney disciplinary system to determine what is working well and what can work better,
and offer recommendations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of New York's attorney discipline process."

The Commission is conducting three public hearings this summer: July 28 in Albany; August 4 in Buffalo; and August 11 in Manhattan.

More information, including how to request an invitation to present oral testimony and the process for submitting written testimony, is available here.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

“Big legal burden” about to hit small businesses

Washington Post:
American consumers are beginning to receive in the mail new credit cards that add a security chip to the traditional magnetic strip that processes their payments. The hope is the new cards cut down on credit card fraud but many small businesses do not appear ready for the change….

Businesses will need to install new card readers (by October 1) to process the information on the chips. Those that do not have the new technology in place by then will be on the hook for any security lapses or fraudulent transactions, instead of payment-processing firms.

[M]ore than 28 percent of small business owners who process payment cards are not even aware of the new technology or how it affects their business.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Grants Available for Local Drinking Water and Wastewater Improvements

The New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act provides $200 million in grant funding over three fiscal years, with $50 million in the first year and $75 million each year for the last two years.

This year, $30 million will be available for wastewater infrastructure projects and $20 million will be available for drinking water projects, which will be administered by the state Environmental Facilities Corporation, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health.

Applicants seeking grant funding for wastewater projects are eligible to receive grants of either 25 percent of eligible project costs or $5 million, whichever is less.

Applications for both wastewater and drinking water projects are now available and due by September 4, 2015. More information on the grant program and applications is available here.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ovid Town Board, Planning Board, to hold special joint meeting

There will be a special joint meeting of the Town Board and the Ovid Town Planning Board on the 29 day of July 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Ovid Firehouse, 2136 Brown Street, Ovid, New York.

The purpose of the special meeting is to interview and submit questions to finalist candidates in response to the town’s “Request for Proposals, for Professional Consulting Services, Establish/Revise the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

More on the town's efforts to develop its comprehensive plan can be found on the town's website.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Robocall Scam Targets New York Seniors

There's a new robocall scam that attempts to lure older New Yorkers into providing their personal information over the phone.

According to New York State officials, a voice on the robocall identifies itself as the New York State Office for the Aging and asks the individual answering the phone to press a button if someone in the home is over 65 and would be interested in receiving a free Medic Alert pin and $3000 in coupons for food or other items.

"This is a scam. The New York State Office for the Aging does not give away items, money or coupons and will never solicit personal information over the phone."

If you receive a similar call, you should hang up immediately.

Reports of financial scams should be reported to the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-771-7755, the NYS Department of Financial Services at 1-800-697-1220 or the NYS Department of State (518) 474-8583.

For more information, click here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

US Supreme Court Quotes Stan Lee When Deciding Spider-Man Patent Case

Rich Johnston:
This morning the Supreme Court [of the United States] ruled on a case regarding rights payments to the toy, the Web Blaster, that lets kids create something akin to Spider-Man’s comic book webbing, and licensed out by Marvel Enterprises. Patented by Stephen Kimble in 1990, the court decided against him....

[T]he opinion of the court’s majority, as expressed by Justice Elena Kagen, was rather creative itself. Cutting and pasting from the court’s conclusion, she did a little quoting of her own.

What we can decide, we can undecide. But stare decisis teaches that we should exercise that authority sparingly. Cf. S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: “Spider- Man,” p. 13 (1962) (“[I]n this world, with great power there must also come—great responsibility”). Finding many reasons for staying the stare decisis course and no “special justification” for departing from it, we decline Kimble’s invitation to overrule Brulotte.

She also quoted the line form the famous cartoon theme song when describing the item in question in that it “does whatever a spider can”.

Nice to see a sense of humor from the nation's high court.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Notice of Special Joint Meeting: Ovid Town Board and Ovid Town Planning Board

There will be a special joint meeting of the Ovid Town Board and the Ovid Town Planning Board on the 24 day of June 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Ovid Firehouse, 2136 Brown Street, Ovid, New York.

The purpose of the special meeting is to hear oral presentations from finalist candidates in response to the town’s “Request for Proposals, for Professional Consulting Services, Establish/Revise the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.”

Copies of the proposals received are available on the town's website.

Friday, June 12, 2015

June 15: the Magna Carta turns 800

Scott Rasmussen:
On Monday, June 15, the Magna Carta turns 800, and it is worthy of great celebration by freedom-loving people everywhere. This is the document that brought about a fundamental rethinking of the relationship between a king and his subjects. Up until that point, English Kings were the law. They could decide who lived and who died and take whatever they wanted.

The Magna Carta changed all that. It established the idea that there is a law that even kings and governments must obey. There could be no taxation without representation and no arbitrary taking of personal property by the government. In short, the Magna Carta was the starting point for all the "unalienable" rights that we now enjoy and led directly over time to our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. In many ways, it was the cornerstone for the idea that we now describe as freedom.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Because All Families Matter: Enhancing Parental Defense in New York.

This first of its kind event, offered at the Hilton Albany, will bring together attorneys, social workers, and advocates to exchange information and ideas useful to all providers who represent and assist parents in New York Family Court Article 10 Proceedings.

The three-day event is collaborative partnership between NYSDA, the State Office of Indigent Legal Services, and the New York State Unified Court System Child Welfare Court Improvement Project. It is scheduled to be held November 13-14, 2015.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Seneca County Town Prevails in Tax Assessment Lawsuit

Seneca Daily News:
The Town of Romulus has defeated a lawsuit by a local corporation that sought to reduce from nearly $300,000 total to zero the taxable value of several private properties that the corporation owns.

On Tuesday (May 19), Romulus Town attorney Steven Getman asked the court to dismiss the case. Arguing for dismissal, Getman stated that the law required Lakeshore Landing to submit appraisals or other factual data to show that the assessments were excessive. In this case, Getman said, the association had failed to do so. Furthermore, Getman noted, various legal factors demonstrated that the properties had a value to Lakeshore Landing, including its right to borrow against the properties or sell them outright.

Romulus Town Supervisor David Kaiser said he was pleased with the court’s decision, noting that, if Lakeshore Landing had succeeded, the town’s other taxpayers would have been required to make up the lost revenue.

More here.

Town of Romulus considers local law to appoint highway superintendent

The Town Board of the Town of Romulus will hold a public hearing on the following proposed Local Law at the Town Office Building, 1435 Prospect Street, Willard, New York 14588 at 7:30 p.m. on the 17 day of June, 2015: Proposed Local Law No. A Of The Year 2015: “A local law to eliminate the elected position of Superintendent of Highways and replace it with an appointed position of Superintendent of Highways.”

If passed, this local law shall be subject to mandatory referendum at the next regularly scheduled General Election on November 3, 2015.

The complete text of the proposed local law is available from the Office of the Town Clerk, Town of Romulus, 1435 Prospect Street, Willard, New York 14588, during normal business hours and at the town’s website.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Romulus adopts revised zoning law

Following a public hearing, the Town Board of the Town of Romulus, at the Town Office Building, 1435 Prospect Street, Willard, New York 14588 AT 7:30 p.m. on the 20 day of May, 2015, did duly adopt: Local Law 1 of the Year 2015, “A local law to amend the Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Romulus, Seneca County, New York.”
1. The purpose of this local law is to amend the Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Romulus, Seneca County, New York, to better reflect existing and proposed uses of land upon the portions of the former Seneca Army Depot that are located within the Town of Romulus.

2. Zoning text and map changes: Portions of the existing Energy Development district (3,186 acres) proposed to be rezoned to a new Warehouse, Industrial, Transportation, Energy (WITE) district; 342 acres proposed to be rezoned to Agricultural, which permits residences and other uses. Zoning text changes include new and modified definitions and special use permit criteria for uses permitted in the new WITE zoning district and in the existing zoning districts within the Depot (IW [Industrial Warehouse] and IG [Institutional Governmental].) An Environmental Restrictions Overlay District delineates a portion of the former Depot where land uses are restricted as a condition of completed environmental remediation. The Environmental Restrictions Overlay District coincides with the boundaries of the existing Industrial/ Warehouse District.

3. This Local Law shall become effective upon filing with the Secretary of State of the State of New York, as required by the Municipal Home Rule Law. This law supersedes the Town of Romulus Land Use Ordinance, adopted 12/20/06 as amended from time to time.

The complete text of the adopted local law is available from the Office of the Town Clerk, Town of Romulus, 1435 Prospect Street, Willard, New York 14588, during normal business hours and at the town’s website.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New York releases final fracking review, plans ban

Gannett News Service:
The state Department of Environmental Conservation released a final version of the roughly 2,000-page document, known as the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement or SGEIS, just after 4 p.m.

Now, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens must wait at least 10 days before issuing a legally binding "findings statement," which he has said will formally put the state's fracking ban into place.

The complete report can be found here.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1: Law Day in America celebrates the rule of law

Every year, our nation sets aside Law Day, May 1, to remind us of our of our great heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under law.

This year, Law Day commemorates the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the “Great Charter of Liberties,” and calls upon upon each of us to "rededicate ourselves to advancing the principle of rule of law here and abroad."

Recently, I had the great honor to attend the 2014 National Lawyers Convention and hear United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia discuss the importance of Magna Carta.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Public Hearing: Romulus Town Rezoning

A public hearing will be held before the Town Board of the Town of Romulus, New York, at the Town Office Building, 1435 Prospect Street, Willard, New York 14588 at 7:30 p.m. on the 20 day of May, 2015, concerning the following proposed local law: Proposed Local Law No. B of the Year 2015, “A local law to amend the Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Romulus, Seneca County, New York.”

The purpose of this local law is to amend the Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Romulus, Seneca County, New York, to better reflect existing and proposed uses of land upon the portions of the former Seneca Army Depot that are located within the Town of Romulus.

The complete text of the proposed local law is available from the Office of the Town Clerk, Town of Romulus, 1435 Prospect Street, Willard, New York 14588, during normal business hours and at the town’s website.

At the public hearing, all interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Public Hearing On Proposed Local Law No. 1 of the year 2015 Town of Ovid, New York.

The Ovid Town Board will hold a public hearing on the following proposed Local Law at the Ovid Firehouse, 2136 Brown St Ovid, NY 14521, at 7:00 p.m. on the 10 day of May, 2015: Proposed Local Law No. 1 of the year 2015, Town of Ovid, New York, “A local law enacting the Town of Ovid Building, Structure, Property Emergency Numbering Ordinance.”

The purpose of this ordinance is to promote public safety through the provision of a uniform system of road signage for residences and other buildings in the Town of Ovid, outside the Village of Ovid, in order to increase the speed in which firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency medical services are able to effectively and efficiently locate properties.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Courts Must Consider Firearm Use or Possession and Certain Protection Order Violations When Making Bail Decisions in Domestic Cases.

From the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives:
CPL 510.30 was revised to require criminal courts to consider an arrested individual’s history of use or possession of firearms, and any violation of an order of protection issued by any court for the protection of a member or members of the same family or household as such term is defined in CPL 530.11(1), whether or not the order is currently in effect, when considering release on recognizance or setting bail requirements for those charged with a crime or crimes against a family or household member.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Watkins Glen man arrested on child support warrant

Copyright © 2015 Finger Lakes Daily News
On Friday, March 27, Richard A. Franklin, age 39, appeared before Family Court Judge Dennis Morris on the outstanding warrant.

The warrant was issued when Franklin failed to appear for court in February on a petition charging him with contempt of court, due to his failure to make child support payments.

At Friday’s court appearance, assistant County Attorney Steven Getman asked the court to incarcerate Franklin, due to a history of non-compliance.

More at the link above.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

New York State Grant Money Awarded to Fight Tax and Public Benefit Fraud.

New York State officials have announced that $14.7 million in grant money has been awarded to 28 district attorneys' offices to target tax and public benefits fraud.

The grants fund personnel, including forensic accountants, investigators and assistant district attorneys, who work to build cases for prosecution.

These funds are in addition to the $860,700 in Crimes Against Revenue Program (CARP) funds awarded to district attorneys' offices six months ago.

All taxes, such as sales, excise and income, are subject to these investigations.

For more on the state’s program, click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Beware of Fraudulent NYS Attorney General’s Office Debt Collection Notices

New York State officials have issued an alert based on complaints received from consumers who were recently contacted by scam artists posing as an attorney from the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

The consumers received a notice, written on doctored New York State Attorney General letterhead, that claimed to be a “District Court Final Warning” letter. The notice reportedly gives the impression that the Attorney General is investigating the consumer for the failure to pay a past due debt. The letters also threaten criminal action and arrest if the debts are not paid.

The fake notices are reportedly coming as either a paper letter or an email.

The state’s alert comes just one week after consumers reported receiving unsolicited phone calls from a someone posing as an attorney from the New York State Attorney General's Office.

More information, and tips on how to avoid government imposter debt collection scams can be found here.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Seneca Falls Referendum Appeal Dismissed

Regional News Network:
Seneca Falls—The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has thrown out an appeal seeking to reinstate a petition for a voter referendum on the proposed Seneca Falls town hall.

Ruling on a motion from attorney Steven Getman, the court held on Tuesday (December 30) that the appeal should be dismissed on the ground that the appellant, former town board member Sue Sauvageau, had failed to perfect her appeal in a timely manner.

Getman represented Seneca Falls town board member Chad Sanderson. In papers filed with the appeals court Getman argued that Sauvageau’s attorneys were required to complete the filing and other requirements for the appeal no later than September 22.

Sauvageau’s notice of appeal was filed in July by Geneva attorney Mario Fratto. Neither Sauvageau nor her attorney sought an extension of the time to perfect the appeal or submitted an answer to the motion to dismiss.

In April, Sauvageau and Joyce Brady had circulated a petition to force a vote on the town board’s March 18 decision to transfer $2.55 million from the capital reserve fund to the general fund for the construction of the new town hall. The town has been leasing space in the former St. Patrick’s School.

In response, Sanderson, through Getman, filed objections to the referendum petition, alleging that the form and content was not in compliance with various legal requirements. These included a failure of the petition to require signers to affirm that their correct residence was next to their names and the failure of the witnesses to the petition to attest that each person who signed it had properly identified themselves to the witness.

Acting on Sanderson’s objections, Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Patrick Falvey held in May that certain requirements cited by Sanderson were “essential” under the New York State law, to insure that only qualified voters of the Town had signed the petition. These requirements were not met, Falvey held, and the petition for a referendum was “fatally flawed.”

In July, Sauvageau appealed Falvey’s decision. That triggered the September deadline to perfect the appeal.