Monday, December 31, 2018

New laws for the New Year

New laws for New York in 2019:
Drug Take Back Act: A law that takes effect Jan. 6 requires drug stores and mail-order pharmacies to give consumers the ability to return unused prescription drugs through free drop boxes, pre-paid envelopes and other secure options.
Diaper changing tables in public bathrooms: Beginning Jan. 1, all new bathrooms that are publicly accessible must have diaper changing tables.
Body scanners in prisons: A new law that takes effect Jan. 30 will allow body scanners to be used on inmates in prisons across New York to detect hidden weapons.
Disability benefits for volunteer firefighters with cancer: Volunteer firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer will be eligible for state disability coverage beginning Jan. 1.
Minimum wage increase: In Upstate New York and areas outside of New York City and its suburbs, the minimum wage will increase from $10.40 per hour to $11.10 per hour.
Newborn testing: Beginning Jan. 30, newborns in New York state who are identified or suspected of having a hearing impairment will be required to be tested for cytomegalovirus, unless a parent objects.
Prostate screenings at no cost: A law effective Jan. 1 requires health insurers to provide men with access to prostate cancer screening without any co-pays or deductibles.
Property tax relief credit: Property tax rebate checks for STAR eligible homeowners with incomes of $275,000 or less who live in property tax compliant school districts.
For more on these new laws, click here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New York enacts Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Survivors

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman wants all survivors of rape and sexual assault to know about New York State’s new “sexual assault survivors' bill of rights.”

“This new law will require state government to establish a bill of rights for purposes of informing survivors of their rights under the law,” Getman said.

According to Getman, the bill of rights will include the victims’ right to:

• Consult with a rape crisis or victim assistance organization;
• Appropriate health care services at no cost;
• Receive updates on their sexual offense evidence kit and the status of their case; and
• Be notified before sexual assault evidence kits are destroyed
Under the law, Getman explained, all law enforcement agencies must adopt policies to help communicate with survivors and enable a survivor to request information on their sexual offense evidence kit from the police agency or prosecutorial agency with jurisdiction over the crime.

“Advising victims of their legal rights will help ensure they can navigate complicated medical and criminal justice systems and receive necessary assistance and treatment,” Getman said.

The measure was signed into law Friday (December 21) and is scheduled to take effect in June 2019.

The complete text of the new law can be found here.

The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal advisor to the county legislature and other county officers, including the Sheriff, the District Attorney and the Department of Social Services. The County Attorney prosecutes and defends civil actions and serves as the primary prosecutorial agency for cases presented in Schuyler County Family Court.

Monday, December 17, 2018

New York State Bar Criminal Justice Section Annual Meeting Program Announced

The New York State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York City.

The MCLE Program will cover “Implicit Bias and the Criminal Justice System.” Topics include:

• Understanding Implicit Bias
• Implicit Bias: A Law Enforcement Perspective
• Confronting and Addressing Implicit Bias During Litigation

For more information, or to register, click here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Public Hearing on Access to Juvenile Justice Mental Health Services

On Tuesday, December 11 the New York State Assembly committees on Children and Families and Mental Health will examine mental health services provided to youth in the juvenile justice system and identify other supports and services that may be utilized to address unmet mental health needs of these youth:
With the recent implementation of Raise the Age, youth that would have potentially entered the adult criminal justice system, may
now be directed to the juvenile justice system, where there are more robust and age appropriate services available. In light of these additional youth, it is even more important to understand the scope of mental health services currently available, as well as additional services that may be necessary to adequately care for youth in the juvenile justice system. This hearing will examine funding and other resources the State utilizes to treat youth with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system and other supports and services that could be used to address unmet mental health needs of such youth in the future.
For more information, click here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Authorities investigating online predator who’s blackmailing students at Penn Yan, possibly Dundee schools
New York State Police are investigating reports of an online predator, and now letters have gone home to parents — warning them about the threat. 
Officials with Penn Yan and Dundee Central Schools say they’re investigating reports of an individual blackmailing area students over social media. 
Penn Yan Superintendent Howard Dennis says the investigation began a few days ago when students in Penn Yan confided in trusted adults at the school. They then notified law enforcement. Dennis says the predator has victimized more than a handful of students, and he has heard reports there may be as many as 15 young people who have been blackmailed, according to Dennis. 
Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck says she is not aware of any students in Dundee who have been directly involved.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Schuyler County officials warn homeowners: beware of property deed “scams”

Schuyler County Clerk Theresa Philbin and County Attorney Steven Getman are warning homeowners to be aware of a property deed "scam" that may be taking place in Schuyler County.

“Reports have surfaced recently of a company soliciting homeowners in the area who recently have completed real estate transactions, asking them to pay $89.00 for records which contain public information about their own property,” Getman said.

However, according to Philbin, deeds for every parcel of land in Schuyler County are already recorded and kept on permanent record at the Schuyler County Clerk's Office.

“After a real estate closing the original deed is returned to the property owner or their attorney at no additional charge and if you ever need another copy, you can request one from the county clerk for as little 65 cents per page and often less than five dollars,” Philbin explained.

“All public records can be searched in the county clerk’s office through its indexes Monday- Friday 8:30 AM- 4:30 PM.”

Philbin and Getman also warned that the assessment profile the company is trying to sell includes information that the homeowner does not need, and that could be obtained for free from the County’s Real Property Tax Division or other municipalities.

Currently there is no law against companies selling you your own information, or a limit on what they can charge.

Getman says the best way to protect yourself is to stay vigilant and informed.

"We want the residents of Schuyler County to be aware that the entities marketing such requests are not related to the County Clerk's Office or any other department inside Schuyler County government," Getman said.

If you receive anything in the mail about your property records that seems questionable, Philbin and Getman said that you can contact the county clerk or, in the event of possible criminal activity, local law enforcement.

The Schuyler County Clerk is responsible for all books, files and other necessary equipment for the filing, recording and depositing of documents, maps, papers in actions and special proceedings of both civil and criminal nature, judgment and lien dockets and books for the indexing of the same as directed or authorized by law

The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal advisor for county government and its various officials.  The County Attorney prosecutes and defends civil actions on behalf of the county and county employees acting pursuant to their official duties..