Monday, February 24, 2020

Emergency notification system announced for New York courts.

Under the New York Courts Emergency Alert Portal, court users and members of the public can receive emergency related information and notifications regarding the state courts. These notices will include updates on court closings and delayed openings due to weather or other emergency conditions.

All counties of New York State are included in the portal, and users can decide which counties they would like to receive alerts about (information is not available for Town, Village or U.S. Federal courts).

Messages can be received by email, text message and/or a telephone call.

There is no cost to join. However, standard data fees and text messaging rates may apply.

During a brief transition period, the courts will be sending out alerts through both Twitter and the Portal. Effective approximately March 15, 2020, the court system will no longer use Twitter to send out these emergency notices.

For more information, including how to sign up for this service, click here.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Schuyler County supports centralized arraignment plan for local criminal courts

As part of its ongoing effort to improve court efficiency, conserve law enforcement resources and protect the rights of criminal defendants, the Schuyler County legislature has endorsed a process for implementing a centralized arraignment program for after-hours arrests.

The vote took place Monday (February 10, 2020). All legislators in attendance supported the measure.

The plan is supported by a number of county officials involved in the legal system, including Sheriff William Yessman, District Attorney Joe Fazzary, Public Defender Wesley Roe and County Attorney Steven Getman. It was developed with input from town and village justices and the New York State Office of Court Administration.

Under the plan, anyone arrested within the county when courts are no longer in session, and not given an appearance ticket, will be arraigned in the lobby of the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office in Watkins Glen, as opposed to a town’s jurisdiction. Town and village judges, prosecutors and public defenders will be placed on rotating on-call schedules for arrests made at night, on weekends or during holidays. There is state funding for implementing the plan, which will pay for the cost of installing a judge’s bench in the sheriff’s office lobby.

“Arresting officers must currently maintain custody of an arrestee until able to locate a local court and justice able to conduct the arraignment which is a process that often consumes officer time and can result in the arraignment occurring outside of the times when the Schuyler County Public Defender is able to appear as counsel for the defendant,” the resolution noted.

“Those charged with a crime are entitled to the assistance of legal counsel at all important stages of their case including at the initial criminal arraignment,” it continued.

A centralized arraignment part, known as a CAP, is not mandated by the state, but many rural counties have found it to be the most effective way of ensuring compliance with the requirements for counsel at arraignment.

The plan, which will be implemented later this year, is the county’s latest effort to improve court efficiency, conserve law enforcement resources and protect the rights of criminal defendants.

Other efforts have included an intermunicipal agreement with Tompkins County for that county to assist in administering the Schuyler County assigned counsel plan to provide legal representation to indigent criminal defendants and certain family court litigants.

That agreement, prepared by Roe and Getman with input from Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn and representatives of Tompkins County, has been praised as “a model approach and is consistent with statewide efforts to help municipalities identify opportunities for cost savings through inter-municipal cooperation, reorganization, and regionalization,” by the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services.

A copy of the resolution is available below:

Schuyler County supports ce... by Steven Getman on Scribd

Monday, February 10, 2020

Second Amendment Legal Update February, 2020

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.

Second Amendment Legal Update February, 2020 by Steven Getman on Scribd

Monday, February 3, 2020

Fourth National Domestic Violence Prosecution Conference to be held in March

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has announced its Fourth National Domestic Violence Conference for prosecutors and victim advocates on March 18-20.
Nationally- and internationally- renowned faculty members will facilitate discussion and train
participants on practical strategies and model policies in domestic violence prosecution. The Conference will be presented at Brooklyn Law School. A Thursday night reception at Brooklyn Law’s Subotnick Center will feature Poster Sessions amidst stunning views of New York City.

Prosecutors and victim advocates with all levels of experience are encouraged to attend. The conference will focus on the needs of jurisdictions responding to domestic violence cases.

For more information, including how to register, click here.