Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Unemployment Insurance Relief: Volunteer lawyers can help

A new website provides resources for filing an unemployment claim and can match attorneys – free of charge – with persons whose claims are unsuccessful:

On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the CARES act, which provides additional Unemployment Insurance assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This new law provides:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UI recipients; and
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – An additional 13 weeks of UI benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.

Monday, April 27, 2020

New York State Court of Appeals to move to virtual arguments in June

The New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, is following the Appellate Division into virtual arguments in June due to COVID-19.

Currently, the Court is only considering submitted (on papers) appeals during its April and May session, not in-person arguments, according to published reports.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Interim Guidance on Requiring Face Coverings for Employees Interacting with the Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak

New York State Executive Order 202.16, issued on April 12, 2020, provides the following directive:

For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12 -b of the Public Health Law. This requirement shall be effective Wednesday April 15 at 8 pm. 

Under this order, essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee.

For additional information, employers can visit the New York State Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website or  the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

April 19 to 25 Proclaimed National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, 2020

From the White Proclamation on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, 2020:
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to acknowledge the abuse and trauma that victims of crimes often experience, and to recognize the tireless work of dedicated advocates who have taken up the cause of supporting crime victims across our country.

Thanks to the efforts of these individuals, more victims are receiving the care they deserve and accessing tools to empower them as they recover.

This week, we express our appreciation for those who support crime victims, and we reaffirm our strong commitment to reducing the trauma of crime for victims and their loved ones.

Monday, April 13, 2020

US Supreme Court Decides Kansas v Glover

On Monday (April 6) the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 8-1, held that reasonable suspicion for a vehicle stop exists where the officer is informed that the registered owner of the suspect vehicle has a suspended driver's license. 

In its opinion, the Court reaffirmed its decision in United States v. Cortez (1981) holding that for an officer to initiate a brief investigative traffic stop "a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of criminal activity" is required.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Additional protocols and procedures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak

New York State Courts announce additional protocols and procedures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak upon the users, visitors, staff and officers of the Unified Court System.

Monday, April 6, 2020

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

Friday, April 3, 2020

Schuyler County officials warn: Beware phony home repair grant scams from COVID-19 stimulus program.

The Schuyler County Office for the Aging and the Schuyler County Attorney’s Office are warning local seniors to look out for potential scams of homeowners arising from the COVID-19 stimulus program, including a new phony home repair grant offer.

“Earlier this week our office was notified by New York Office for the Aging that other counties have been getting calls from older adults who had received a postcard mailing addressed to ‘resident’ from the National Residential Improvement Association (NRIA) offering to help them get a grant to repair their home,” Schuyler County OFA Director Tamre Waite said.  

“The postcard looks official, but according to New York State, it is not a government program, and the NRIA currently does not have a valid business license. This is a scam.”

According to Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, while there are not yet reports of postcards being sent to Schuyler County residents, the county intends to be proactive, given state and national reports of scams following the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“Government grant scams are on the rise,” Getman said.  “With the recently passed federal stimulus bill, scammers are taking advantage of homeowners of all ages by making bogus offers to secure generous grants for home repairs.”

Waite and Getman are warning residents to look out for:
·       Unsolicited phone calls or emails from someone claiming to be an official from the Federal Grants Administration (which does not exist), or a nonprofit organization like the National Residential Improvement Association offering grants or funding for repairs.
·       Social media messages or posts from people excited to share the thousands of dollars they claim to have received from an organization that secures grants for homeowners.
·       Callers who ask you to pay a fee in order to receive a grant. Federal grants never charge for grant applications.
·       Magazine or newspaper ads that offer “free grants.”
·       Calls or emails that claim you’re eligible for a personal grant that does not restrict how you spend the money.

“The important thing with any scam is to protect yourself,” Waite said.  

“There are simple steps that residents can take to guard against scams,”  Getman noted, offering the following:    
·       Do not answer your telephone if you do not recognize the caller or number.
·       Never share personal information over the telephone, like your Medicare number, Social Security number or banking information.
·       Never pay a fee to a company that says it will help you get a grant.
·       Block or unfriend anyone who offers unsolicited grant information on social media. Even if you are “friends” with that person – they may have been hacked.
·       Only use local contractors with validated references to do work in your home.

According to Waite and Getman, if you have been a victim of a scam, you can contact your local law enforcement agency or any of the following:
·       The New York State Attorney General’s Office: 800-771-7755
·       The National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline: 866-720-5721
·       The AARP Fraud Watch Network: 877-908-3360

The Schuyler County Office for the Aging was established as a result of the Older Americans Act of 1965 with the core function being provision of information, referrals and services for county residents age 60 and over, as well as their caregivers.

The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal advisor for county government, including the Office for Aging, Department of Social Services Adult Protective Unit and other county agencies serving the senior population.