Monday, November 26, 2018

How to protect yourself from Cyber Monday scammers

A new report says Cyber Monday provides the perfect environment for cyber criminals: “They offer up distracted shoppers and ample opportunity. An estimated 164 million people are planning to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, and online sales alone are expected to reach up to $143 billion.” Here are some tips from to protect yourself online:
• Shop only on secure Internet connections. 
• Do not be tricked by confusingly similar website and domain names.  
• Protect yourself by using credit or debit cards.  
• 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.  
• Be wary of too-good-to-be-true contests and prize promotions.  
• Read the fine print. 
For more information on how to protect yourself from Cyber Monday scams, click here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Committee on Women in the Courts to survey attorneys on gender fairness

The New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts is conducting a poll of lawyers, judges and court personnel to examine gender fairness and steps necessary to eliminate gender disparities in the courts:

The Committee has been working with experts to develop and distribute the survey, which will be emailed to a large, random sample of attorneys who have been admitted to practice law in New York State. Those attorneys selected will be able to complete the survey online. Their responses will be confidential and aggregated with others who respond. The Committee is also working with the State’s various bar associations to raise awareness about the survey and encourage attorneys, if selected, to participate.

The survey will address the experiences of attorneys and other court users. Some survey sections cover a broad range of experiences that may be encountered in the court system regardless of the survey participant’s practice area. Other sections ask about specific areas of practice and substantive law, such as family law, matrimonial law and criminal law.

Among the more general questions, the survey will query participants on whether and how gender affects courtroom interactions, the courthouse environment (sexual harassment) and fee-generating appointments and assignments. The survey also contains questions regarding the availability and impact of courthouse children’s centers ̶where litigants and other court users can safely leave their children while they attend to court matters ̶baby-changing tables in public restrooms and lactation facilities.

Survey participants will be instructed to select the responses that best reflect their opinions based upon their own recent experiences or direct knowledge while handling matters in the New York State courts. At the end of each section, respondents will be given the opportunity to offer comments and suggestions.

For more on the survey, click here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Town of Ovid Postpones Public Hearing for Comprehensive Plan

The Public Hearing for the recently completed Town of Ovid Comprehensive Plan, originally scheduled for Wednesday, November 14, is being adjourned to a later date, to ensure proper legal notification and to allow more time for public review of the draft document.

Upon consultation with the Town Board, Attorney Steven Getman recommended that the hearing take place in December, to allow the Town Clerk time to file a legal written notice, keeping the procedure within the requirements of NY State Law. 

Postponement will also provide more time for residents to review recommended revisions to a small section of the plan.  Those revisions involve minor “corrections” to three paragraphs, which were requested by the Steering Committee but inadvertently omitted from the version that was published for public review.  The page impacted has been posted online, with copies made available at the Town Clerks office and at the Library in Ovid.  While the corrections cannot be made prior to the public hearing, the Town Board wanted the Steering Committee’s intended language to be part of the review process.

The Town Board is expected to formalize and announce the new date/time of the Public Hearing at its meeting on Wednesday.  It is anticipated that the Public Hearing will be rescheduled for 7 pm, during the Town Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on December 12.

“This adjournment will ensure that extraordinary measures have been taken to inform all stakeholders of the Public Hearing,” said Town Attorney Steven Getman.  “From its very beginning, this planning process has been guided by the Town Board’s strong encouragement for all residents to get involved,” Getman stated.

“We hope residents take this opportunity to read the proposed plan, and attend the meeting,” he concluded.

Information about the plan and its process can be found online at or at the Town’s website, .

Monday, November 12, 2018

Schuyler County Budget Public Hearing: Tuesday November 13

There will be a Public Hearing held in regard to the 2019 County Budget in Room 120 of the Human Services Complex, 323 Owego Street, Montour Falls, NY, 14865 on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., to be followed by a Regular Meeting of the Legislature.

The tentative budget is available online.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Schuyler County youth placed in detention following “school shooter” comments

A twelve-year-old Schuyler County boy who made online threats he was going to be a “professional school shooter” at Odessa Montour Hanlon School was placed in the custody of social service officials on Monday (November 5) by the Schuyler County Family Court.

The boy, whose name was  not released because of his age, was found to be a “Person in Need of Supervision” in June of this year, based on allegations that he made statements constituting “a terroristic threat,” in text messages and in person, a felony if committed by an adult.  Sheriff’s deputies charged the boy after being contacted by school staff who discovered the comments.  County officials took immediate action to ensure that the boy had no access to firearms and that the threats were false.

The case was prosecuted for the county by Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman’s office.    At Monday’s sentencing hearing, the prosecution recommended that the boy be placed in detention, due to the underlying charges as well as the boy’s failures to behave in school and cooperate with probation supervision since the June court date.

After reviewing the evidence, Schuyler County Family Court Judge Dennis Morris determined that the boy should be removed from the home for his own good.  Therefore, Morris ordered the boy placed in the custody of the Schuyler County Department of Social Services for up to six months.  

Assisting in the investigation and prosecution of this matter were the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department, Odessa Montour Hanlon School officials, the school resource officer, the Schuyler County Probation Department and caseworkers with the Department of Social Services.

Finger Lakes Election Results Available Online

Typically, many of the local boards of election will post their unofficial results online.

The websites for some local boards of election can be found below:
Cayuga County
Chemung County
Ontario County
Seneca County
Schuyler County
Steuben County
Tompkins County
Wayne County
Yates County

Results usually start coming in shortly after the polls close at 9:00 pm and they are updated as new totals are calculated.

These sites are often a good way to keep track of local election results (village, town, county) that otherwise might not be available in the media until the next day.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Please take notice that on the 1st day of November 2018, the Treasurer of the County of Schuyler, 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]

1. Effect of Filing: All persons having or claiming to have an interest in the real property described in such petition are hereby notified that the filing of such petition constitutes the commencement by the Tax District of a proceeding in the court specified in the caption above to foreclose each of the tax liens therein described by a foreclosure proceeding in rem.

2. Nature of Proceeding: Such proceeding is brought against the real property only and is to foreclose the tax liens described in such petition. No personal judgment will be entered herein for such taxes or other legal charges or any part thereof.

3. Persons Affected: This notice is directed to all persons owning or having or claiming to have an interest in the real property described in such petition. Such persons are hereby notified further that a duplicate of such petition has been filed in the office of the Enforcing Officer of the Tax District and will remain open for public inspection up to and including the date specified below as the last day for redemption.

4. Right of Redemption: Any person having or claiming to have an interest in any such real property and the legal right thereto may on or before said date redeem the same by paying the amount of all such unpaid tax liens thereon, including all interest and penalties and other legal charges which are included in the lien against such real property, computed to and including the date of redemption. Such payments shall be made to: Harriett E. Vickio, Treasurer, County of Schuyler, 105 Ninth St, Unit 17, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.  In the event that such taxes are paid by a person other than the record owner of such real property, the person so paying shall be entitled to have the tax liens affected thereby satisfied of record.

5. Last Day for Redemption: The last day for redemption is hereby fixed as February 20, 2019. 

 6. Service of Answer: 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.

7. Failure to Redeem or Answer: 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.


The above-captioned proceeding is hereby commenced to enforce the payment of delinquent taxes or other lawful charges which have accumulated and become liens against certain property.

Annexed hereto is a certified copy of a list of delinquent taxes recorded pursuant to section eleven hundred twenty-two of this title, as the same shall have been annotated from time to time by the county clerk pursuant to law, as of the date this petition was executed.

The parcels to which this proceeding applies are those set forth in such list, excluding only those parcels which have been marked “redeemed,” “withdrawn” or “canceled” on such list by the county clerk pursuant to law. In the case of parcels marked “partially redeemed” but not marked “redeemed,” the proceeding applies only to the unredeemed portion of the parcel. All parcels on the list which are unmarked or which are marked with any other notation are subject to this proceeding.

This document serves as both a Petition of Foreclosure and Notice of Foreclosure for purposes of this proceeding.

DATED: 11/01/18

Enforcing Officer:                                                          
Harriett E. Vickio Treasurer, 
County of Schuyler
S/BY: Holley Sokolowski, Deputy Treasurer
105 Ninth St, Unit 17
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Tel: 607.535.8181

Attorney for the tax district:                                            
Steven J. Getman, Schuyler County Attorney
105 Ninth Street, Unit 5
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Tel: 607.535.8121

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Steuben County Man Jailed on Schuyler County Family Court Warrant

Watkins Glen --An Addison man was jailed on $200.00 bail by the Schuyler County Family Court on Thursday (November 1, 2018) on allegations he violated a prior court order.

According to papers filed with the court, Todd G. Jones, age 38, was found to be in contempt of court in July of this year and failed to appear for sentencing on September 11.   The contempt stemmed from his willful failure to obey an existing family court order from 2012.

At Thursday’s court appearance, Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, asked that Jones be sentenced to thirty days in jail, due to his history of non-compliance with court orders. In the alternative, Getman said, the court should set an appropriate bail, to ensure Jones appear for sentencing at a later date.

Jones, through his attorney, asked to be released, pending further proceedings.

After oral argument, Family Court Judge Dennis Morris ordered Jones held on $200.00 bail and set the matter down for further proceedings on November 13.  Jones was then returned to the Schuyler County Jail.

Under New York State law, willful failure to obey a valid Family Court order may subject a party to up to six months’ incarceration for contempt of court.

The County Attorney is the legal advisor to county government and serves as the prosecuting agency for various family court matters, including cases filed by the county’s social services and probation departments.

The charges against family court respondents are allegations and respondents are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.