Monday, January 30, 2017

New York Appellate Court Now Live Broadcasting Oral Arguments.

Arguments at the Appellate Division, Fourth Department are now available to watch via a live feed.

Viewers can access the live feed by visiting here or by going to the Fourth Department's homepage.

Additionally, a digital archive will be available on the Fourth Department website for on-demand viewing, generally within three business days. Oral arguments will be screened for the disclosure of confidential information and may not be included in the digital archive.

The Fourth Department, which covers 22 counties located in Central and Western New York, hears oral arguments at the M. Dolores Denman Courthouse in Rochester, New York.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Seneca and Cayuga Indians lose federal cigarette tax case

From the New York Law Journal:
State laws that tax tobacco sales by Native American vendors to non-Native Americans do not infringe on tribal sovereignty or other constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled.

The Seneca and Cayuga tribes challenged amendments to state law that imposed taxes on wholesale purchases of tobacco products that were ultimately sold to non-Native Americans….

Western District Judge Michael Telesca ruled against the … tribes [holding] that the tax statute does not target tax-exempt Indian sales to other residents of tribal lands, only sales of tobacco "on an Indian reservation to non-members of the Indian nation or tribe."

Telesca rejected arguments from the Indian nations that the tax law amendments violate the Constitution's interstate commerce clause and the Internet Tax Freedom Act. On both counts, Telesca said state law sets up an alternative way for the Seneca and Cayuga vendors to report tax-exempt sales to Native Americans outside of New York.

Local governments have long been seeking to enforce the collection of sales taxes on non-Native Americans, citing lost revenue and unfair competition with other local businesses. In addition, as noted in the above article:

New York state estimated in 2010 it could capture about $110 million a year if sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products from Native American vendors to non-Native Americans were properly taxed. The tax does not apply to sales to qualified Native Americans for their own use on reservations.

The complete decision can be found here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Schuyler County hosts Rabies Clinic February 7

Watkins Glen—Schuyler County officials will be hosting a rabies clinic on February 7 at the Shared Services Building, 910 S. Decatur Street, Watkins Glen, New York. The clinic will run from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the evening.

Vaccination is free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

Rabies is a serious virus of all mammals with no known cure. It causes neurological degeneration that ultimately leads to the death of the infected person or animal. Luckily, Rabies can be prevented with vaccination, and New York State requires by law the compulsory vaccination of all domestic dogs, cats and ferrets for the safety of the public. Compliance with Rabies Vaccination Laws is monitored by the New York State Department Of Health.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Town of Ovid reviews ambulance service contract

Ithaca Times:
(Town Board Member John) Hubbard reported on EMS. A letter was written by the town attorney, Steven Getman, to explain the position of the Town of Ovid Board regarding South Seneca Ambulance Corps.

It included information such as what the town requires of them in order to continue on with them with the EMS contract. They would come to the August Town of Ovid meeting with their budget in hand and go over the budget with Ovid line item by line item.

Also, the town would be allowed to make twice-a-year payments.

Following a discussion, the board felt that a quarterly payment would work out well for both the Ambulance Corps and the Town of Ovid.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Can a nonlawyer judge send you to jail? U.S. Supreme Court is asked to decide

ABA Journal:
A cert petition pending before the U.S. Supreme Court shines a light on the power of some nonlawyer judges in the United States.

The cert petition asks whether a defendant’s due process rights are violated when he is tried by a nonlawyer judge with the power to send him to jail, and there is no opportunity for a new trial before a judge who is a lawyer.

The petition was filed on behalf of defendants Kelly Davis and Shane Sherman. They were tried before a nonlawyer judge in Montana who was previously a prevention specialist in a dependency program, and a cashier and meat wrapper at a grocery store.

A decision by the Supreme Court requiring judges to be lawyers in these cases could have broad fiscal and legal ramifications for New York State. In New York, judges of the town and village justice courts are not required to be attorneys. Such courts "have jurisdiction over a broad range of matters, including vehicle and traffic matters, small claims, evictions, civil matters and criminal offenses."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Family Court judge orders birth control in neglect case

A New York State Judge has ordered a woman not to get pregnant again until after she regains custody of her youngest child.

In Matter of Steven D. (Brandy F.), Monroe County Family Court Judge Patricia E. Gallaher made the order after finding the respondent was "a drug-addicted admitted prostitute, mother of 4 children, none of whom are in her care [and] having removed the fourth child from the mother who does not know who the father is." The judge also discussed the mother's "history of drug usage, her failure to get substance abuse and mental health treatment as previously ordered, by her failure to have suitable housing for herself and the newborn infant, and ...the failure to plan for the baby and have baby supplies."

Noting, "(s)ociety and its problems are changing, especially with the incredible rise in the use of heroin, and this court needs to adjust in response, instead of doing the same tired routine which does not solve the obvious problems in so many cases," Gallaher held:
To that end, this Court is directing DHS to include provisions in the final dispositional order that (1) requires DHS to comply with SSL § 131-e, (2)directs respondent to listen to the birth control counseling the county is required to provide pursuant to Social Services Law, section 131-e, (3) directs respondent to see her ob-gyn doctor for whatever confidential advice that doctor may give her regarding birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and anything else, (4) directs respondent see her regular medical doctor regarding her health generally, including her addiction, and (5) directs respondent to take whatever steps she chooses (at no financial cost to her but at the expense of the Department if there is any expense) to prevent her from conceiving another child, fathered by anyone, until she gets baby Steven safely out of foster care and back in her care.


In the instant case, it is the intent of this Court to require, not that the mother refrain from ever getting pregnant in the future, but to put in place a way for this young woman to get the help she needs before she gets pregnant again, to put in place safeguards and knowledge for the mother to avoid pregnancy, and to enable some measure of compliance, so that if this mother does again become pregnant, any future unborn fetus may get the significant intervention necessary to ensure the positive health and development of the unborn child. There has been ample evidence admitted in this case to show the pattern and history of drug abuse by this mother, the pattern and history of giving birth to drug-addicted infants, and the pattern and history displayed by this mother who essentially leaves the young drug-addicted infants with others who can care for the babies, while never really engaging in services to help herself, despite the repeated and numerous offerings. An intervention in this cycle is needed here, and that is what this Court is doing.

In addition, Gallaher cited the constitutional issues raised by her decision and urged the Appellate Courts to review same.

The complete decision can be found here.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Second Chance for $3 Million in E-Waste Recycling Grants

DEC Announces Second Chance for $3 Million in E-Waste Recycling Grants:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that a second round of grant funding from the Environmental
Protection Fund (EPF) is being made available to help municipalities across the state address costs associated with the collection and recycling of eligible electronic wastes (e-waste). The recently completed application period in October generated $1.2 million in grant requests, leaving almost $1.8 million available for a second chance opportunity that will be held in January 2017 for municipalities that missed the initial application period. DEC will accept applications for second chance opportunity funding from January 2 through January 31, 2017.
Municipalities may receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses incurred for recycling of e-waste between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. Application materials, guidance documents, and important information for Electronic Waste Assistance Grants are available on the DEC's website.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New York's new laws for the New Year

Here’s a round up of some new laws coming to New York in 2017, including:
An increase in minimum wage;
The cost of naloxone, the drug used to treat drug opiate overdoses, will be covered by insurance companies;
Expanded breast cancer screening and treatment for some;
Teens ages 16 and 17 applying for a learner’s permit can now become an organ donor;
Traffic control devices at rail grade crossings will be inspected more often;
A tax credit extension for some parents;
Measuring window tints during vehicle inspections;
Other new laws include:
Starting Jan. 17, funeral homes statewide will be allowed to serve light fare — such as baked goods, sandwiches, snacks and food platters — and nonalcoholic beverages [to] "provide nourishment to sustain the family of the deceased at their time of need."
A measure, taking effect Jan. 7, that will prohibit the sale under any other name of the fish known to marine taxonomy as escolar. The fish, sometimes marketed as "white tuna," has a unique metabolism that makes it difficult for some diners to digest, often leading to what the bill's authors term "purgative effects that are not associated with eating tuna."
A provision that takes effect Feb. 26 that cracks down on the use of so-called "ticket bots" to unscrupulously scoop up event tickets for resale.