Group Proposes Changes for How NY Courts Deal with ICE Arrests | New York Law Journal

By Josefa Velasquez and Colby Hamilton

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As arrests at courthouses by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers continue, a report released Tuesday by the Fund for Modern Courts suggests New York’s courts should limit their cooperation and assistance with civil immigration law enforcement.

So far this year ICE agents have arrested 52 people while they were in court in New York state, the majority in New York City, Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, told the New York Law Journal Tuesday. This is the first year the state’s court system has tracked ICE activities and arrests in courthouses. Expanded immigration enforcement actions under the Trump administration have resulted in increased arrests at courthouses nationally since the beginning of 2017, the report states.

The 24-page report issued by the justice system reform organization examined the impact of ICE arrests on New Yorkers’ access to state courthouses. It suggested actions that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore should take to mitigate the “negative impact on individuals and the courts resulting from ICE’s actions in courthouses.”

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New Bankruptcy Form, Rules Take Effect | United States Courts

Individuals filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 must use a new form that presents their payment plan in a more uniform and transparent manner, and creditors will have less time to submit a proof of claim, under new bankruptcy rules and form amendments that took effect Dec. 1.

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Regulation and the Local Food Movement | The Regulatory Review

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The local food movement has been booming over the last several years. The number of farmers’ markets across the country has nearly doubled in the last decade, and a recent Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of people in the United States had bought locally grown produce in the previous month. The enormous interest in eating locally has even led to the coinage of a new word: locavore.

Local food production and consumption offer a variety of benefits, which two legal scholars, Patricia Salkin and Amy Lavine, discuss in a recent paper. Because of these purported benefits, Salkin and Lavine argue that local and state governments should follow the example of some of their peers and update their zoning and land use regulations to encourage more local food production.

Salkin and Lavine tout the advantages of “foodsheds”–geographic areas surrounding urban areas that can provide some of the food that city-dwellers consume. For instance, Salkin and Lavine point to potential environmental benefits: Small farms may use fewer chemicals and produce less waste than large industrial farms. And it requires much less fuel to transport produce to a nearby city than it does to transport produce across the country.

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Illinois and New York Pass First Statewide Bans on the Use of Elephants in Entertainment | Animal Legal Defense Fund

Posted by Nicole Pallotta, Academic Outreach Manager on November 17, 2017

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Soon after, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed New York’s SB 2098B, also known as the “Elephant Protection Act,” into law on October 19, 2017. It amends the state’s Agriculture and Markets Law and its Environmental Conservation Law to prohibit the use of elephants in entertainment acts. The New York law does not specifying “traveling” acts but expressly exempts accredited zoos and aquariums. It takes effect in two years.  In contrast to the Illinois law, which makes violation a Class A misdemeanor, the New York law provides a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation because offenses against animals are not part of New York’s Penal Code.

The legislation was drafted by undergraduate students in Pace University’s Environmental Policy Clinic, who also lobbied for its passage and collected student signatures in support of the bill. Several New York chapters of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted letters in support of the bill to Governor Cuomo over the summer.

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New York Courts Say: Hand It Over | The Marshall Project

By BETH SCHWARTZAPFEL

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The link between wrongful convictions and Brady violations prompted the New York court system to release a new rule this week. Beginning in January, judges will issue an order reminding prosecutors of their obligation to turn over “information favorable to the defense.” Some judges already routinely issue such orders, but this will require all judges to do so in every criminal case.
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House GOP Tax Bill Would End Electric-Car Tax Credits – Bloomberg

The push by Tesla Inc.General Motors Co. and other carmakers to boost sales of electric vehicles was dealt a blow by House Republicans who on Thursday proposed eliminating a $7,500 per vehicle tax credit that has helped stoke early demand.

“That will stop any electric vehicle market in the U.S., apart from sales of the highly expensive Tesla Model S,” said Xavier Mosquet, senior partner at consultant Boston Consulting Group, who authored a study on the growth of battery powered vehicles. “There’s no Tesla 3, no Bolt, no Leaf in a market without incentives.”

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Toolkit: SNAP October 1 Eligibility/Budgeting Changes | Hunger Solutions New York

Each October 1 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) adjusts the standards and deductions used to determine the amount of monthly benefits an eligible family will receive. This toolkit provides tools and resources to help community organizations when working with SNAP applicants.

Due to the decrease in the maximum SNAP benefit allotments and the minimum benefit amount, some families may see a small decrease in their SNAP benefit on October 1. This will be especially true for any family receiving the maximum benefit allotment for their household size and for elderly/disabled households who are currently receiving the minimum benefit. This change in benefits may be confusing to SNAP recipients because many will experience a small reduction in their monthly SNAP benefit even though they have not had any changes in their income or expenses. Our toolkit provides community organizations with updated tools and resources and information on how to help SNAP recipients maximize their SNAP benefits.

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