New York Cancels Private Prison Care Packages Program | The Marshall Project

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By TAYLOR ELIZABETH ELDRIDGE

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New York corrections officials said Friday they have suspended a program that forced families and friends to send care packages to prisoners only through select private vendors, amid an uproar that the move raised costs and limited choices. 

The switch to private companies had gone into effect earlier this month in a pilot program at three facilities: Greene, Taconic and Green Haven Correctional Facilities. The state planned to expand privatization to the whole system -- the fourth largest in the nation -- by the fall. 

"Concerns have been raised by families of inmates regarding the availability and prices of products under this program, concerns we do not take lightly," Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said in a press release. The program has been suspended until those concerns can be addressed, Mailey said.





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Your iPhone knows where you are, and it remembers where you have been. It keeps a record of your frequent hangouts -- aka "significant locations" -- and uses this data to make location-based suggestions using Siri and to power other features. Don't panic, though: This data is kept on your phone, not collected by Apple.

 Maybe you want to switch it off anyway, though. Perhaps you're having an affair and don't want your suspicious spouse to find out where you and your lover hook up. Or you're an undercover cop and don't want your visits to the police station to show up on your phone. Today we'll see how to access your recent locations data, remove it, and switch it off altogether.

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ICE raids 7-Eleven stores in immigration crackdown

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Federal agents on Wednesday raided nearly 100 7-Eleven stores in 17 states and Washington, D.C., in an immigration crackdown.

The raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement resulted in 21 arrests of workers believed to be in the country illegally, report the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Washington Post and Fox Business.


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The Western District Court of New York is one of the most congested courts in the country, receiving over 3,000 filings annually with individual judges' caseloads at nearly 800. To reduce a long backlog of unresolved lawsuits, Chief Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr., revived a mediation strategy not used by the court since 1995: a settlement week.

Read more.



JANUARY 8, 2018


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a new policy on border searches of electronic devices that's full of loopholes and vague language and that continues to allow agents to violate travelers' constitutional rights. Although the new policy contains a few improvements over rules first published nine years ago, overall it doesn't go nearly far enough to protect the privacy of innocent travelers or to recognize how exceptionally intrusive electronic device searches are.

Nothing announced in the policy changes the fact that these device searches are unconstitutional, and EFF will continue to fight for travelers' rights in our border search lawsuit.

Below is a legal analysis of some of the key features of the new policy.

Read analysis....



Updated: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Motel 6 "for voluntarily providing guest lists to agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement," on a routine basis for at least two years, which led to the detention of at least six people presumed to be in the country illegally, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

The suit, filed in King County Superior Court, states that at least six Motel 6 locations statewide released client information, including names, driver's license numbers, room numbers, dates of birth and license plate numbers, affecting at least 9,000 guests.


Motel 6 leaves the light on for ICE...


Courtesy of:

Harry G. Meyer, Esq.
 Docent and Lecturer
Western New York  History and Architecture




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Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns has come up with a new initiative to combat two of the biggest problems that contribute to "zombie homes" -- homes that have been abandoned by owners during the lengthy foreclosure process but have not been been taken over by banks.

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Kearns' program will enable cities, towns and villages to have direct access to Erie County Clerk's Office databases showing all new foreclosure actions in their communities since the start of January.

The information will not only include property addresses, but the name of the bank foreclosing on the property, and the name of the lawyer handling the legal process. That information will allow communities to take action early to keep properties from turning into "zombies," he said.

"This is not being done anywhere else in New York State," he said.

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Read more...




Following several Executive Orders announcing travel bans and increased immigration enforcement, the legal community has increased its efforts to deliver vital immigration legal services to our communities and thousands of attorneys have volunteered to donate their time and services on a pro bono basis. The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) received many inquiries from its members about how they can help.  In order to best address the rise of attorneys seeking to do pro bono work, while supporting the non-profit and legal service organizations actively serving New York's immigrant communities, NYSBA paired up with the New York Bar Foundation and Legal.io to create a web-based portal through which attorneys can be referred to volunteer opportunities in a tailored and timely fashion. 

NYSBA's Immigration Pro Bono Portal provides volunteer attorneys with tailored referrals to current and relevant volunteer opportunities at legal services organizations where the attorneys' specific skills and experience are needed. As a result, attorneys are connected with appropriate volunteer opportunities in a timely manner while legal services organizations are able to provide more services and save valuable resources.

Since July, we have referred over fifty attorneys to more than twenty organizations across the state. In the long run, we seek to assist New York's civil legal service community in achieving 100% legal immigration representation (currently the nationwide average is about 30%), where representation in deportation and detention contexts is the norm, not an exception.

We encourage attorneys who are interested in volunteering to visit www.nysbaprobono.org and register as a volunteer attorney so that we may provide them with tailored referrals to volunteer opportunities for which they may be well suited. We also encourage organizations across the state that both serve New York's immigrant population, and have a need for pro bono volunteers, to visit the site and create a listing, indicating their volunteer needs, so we may refer suitable volunteers to them. If you have any questions about NYSBA's Pro Bono Immigration Portal, please email me at probonoportal@nysba.org or call me at 518-487-5642.

Best Regards,

Yuriy Pereyaslavskiy,

Immigration Pro Bono Fellow





FREE CLE from the IRS

Topic: The Office of Professional Responsibility: What you need to Know about Practicing before the IRS (rebroadcast) 

Date: Wednesday January 17, 2018
Times: 2:00 p.m. Eastern; 1:00 p.m. Central; Noon Mountain; 11:00 a.m. Pacific 
Duration: Two hours 

Webinar featuring OPR Director Stephen Whitlock with live Q&A at the end of the presentation 

Topics include:

  • Regulations governing tax practice before the IRS (Circular 230, Rev. 6/2014)
  • Due diligence obligations of tax professionals
  • Overview of other key Circular 230 provisions
  • Practitioner responsibilities to their clients and to the tax administration system
  • Best practices for all tax professionals
  • Office of Professional Responsibility policies and procedures

Register for the webinar

Earn two CE credits in ethics

To receive a certificate of completion and CE credit, you must:

  • View the live presentation on 1/17/18 for at least 100 minutes from the start of the program.
  • To confirm your attendance and receive your certificate of completion, view the presentation while signed-in using the same email address used to register; you will not receive credit by watching this webinar on someone else's computer.
  • Groups cannot register with one email address and receive separate certificates; each person must register separately.
  • Look for your Certificate of Completion by email approximately three weeks after the broadcast.
  • If you have met all requirements, you will automatically receive your certificate of completion by email about three weeks after the event.

Enrolled Agents or other tax return preparers attending for education on a voluntary basis must register using your 8-digit PTIN and name as shown on your PTIN card or letter. If you don't have a PTIN, you will receive a certificate; however, your credit will not be reported to the IRS. Other tax professionals will receive a certificate and may receive credit if the broadcast meets their organizations' or states' CPE requirements. 

Stay in-the-know on the go! View IRS webinars on smartphones and tablets.

Find this event archived on the IRS Video Portal about three weeks after it airs.

Read more...



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IR-2017-210, Dec. 27, 2017

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service advised tax professionals and taxpayers today that pre-paying 2018 state and local real property taxes in 2017 may be tax deductible under certain circumstances.
 
The IRS has received a number of questions from the tax community concerning the deductibility of prepaid real property taxes. In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018.  A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017.  State or local law determines whether and when a property tax is assessed, which is generally when the taxpayer becomes liable for the property tax imposed.
 
The following examples illustrate these points.


Cash Might Be King, but They Don't Care - The New York Times

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By 

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The other day at Dig Inn, a just-opened lunch spot on Broadway and 38th Street in Midtown Manhattan, Shania Bryant committed a consumer faux pas. She placed her order for chicken and brown rice and yams, and when she got to the register, she held out a $50 bill.

"Sorry," the cashier told her. "We don't take cash." Not, "We don't take $50s." No cash. Period.


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Read more...


By Andrew Denney 


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A federal judge has tossed out a suit against President Donald Trump alleging that his vast network of businesses are creating conflicts prohibited by the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution, finding that the plaintiffs lack standing.

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Read more...

- Dec. 15th 2017 11:18 am PT



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Then Killian, who wears his Apple Watch to bed three to four nights a week for sleep tracking, says his Apple Watch woke him up around 1 am with an alert from a third-party app called HeartWatch saying his resting heart rate was elevated while sleeping (Apple recently introduced a built-in feature that can do this with Apple Watch Series 1 and later). Killian experienced mild indigestion which can be a sign of a heart attack, but says he generally didn't feel sick.

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

A former president of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia bar associations has sued sheriff's deputies who tackled him at the courthouse last summer, causing him to fracture his shoulder.

Clifford Haines, 72, claims "extraordinary misconduct" by the officers whose actions were "unprovoked, unjustified, and clearly excessive and abusive," report Philly.comand the Legal Intelligencer.

video of the incident shows Haines pointing his finger at an officer, then spreading his arms. The officer appears to slightly push Haines' chest, and Haines moves his arm as if to deflect the officer's hand. At that point four officers shove Haines onto the conveyor belt on the metal scanner, and a fifth officer joins in to push Haines off the machine and onto the ground.


Read more...


Cop Stop Coach

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Cop Stop Coach is a social justice site and mobile application that provides awareness, visibility, information, and community involvement to help improve relations between citizens and law enforcement. The app gives citizens who have been detained by the police in any capacity to quickly inform others of their stop, record the situation and review the officer, among other in app options.

Whether it's a routine traffic stop or an on-foot detainment, a person, in an instant has the control to inform their family, record the situation, and/or review their interaction with the police officer.

CSC makes it very easy and fool proof for someone to use. As soon as a person is stopped by a law enforcement officer they can open the app and by the click of one button send a preset text message to their designated list of people informing them where and when they have been stopped. The person can also begin recording their interaction with the cop and directly upload it to the community. Lastly once their situation has subsided the person can then review their entire stop and rate their cop


Watch the Video



An appeals court in New York has affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit that claimed Donald Trump defamed a guest television commentator in his tweets during the presidential campaign.

The Appellate Division, First Department, upheld dismissal of the suit filed by public relations consultant Cheryl Jacobus in a short order on Tuesday, report Bloomberg News and the Hollywood ReporterHow Appealing links to the decisionand additional coverage.

Read more...


No Waiting for This: Here Come the 'Net Neutrality' Lawsuits | Law.com

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By C. Ryan Barber

Democratic state attorneys general and advocacy groups Thursday said they were gearing up to fight the Federal Communications Commission over its move to scrap the Obama-era net neutrality rules that were adopted to ensure equal access to the web. As protestors outside the FCC pronounced the death of an open internet, the FCC, led by Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, voted on party lines Thursday to repeal so-called net neutrality rules.


By Keith L. Alexander

The D.C. Superior Court judge overseeing the trial of six people charged in Inauguration Day protests that turned violent has dismissed one of the most serious charges of inciting a riot.

After hearing the cases presented by prosecutors and defense attorneys during the past three weeks, Judge Lynn Leibovitz on Wednesday said there was not enough evidence against the four women and two men to prove they urged others to riot and destroy property along 16 downtown Washington blocks.

"None of them engaged in conduct that amounted to urging other persons to destroy property," the judge said.

Read more...


By Andrew Denney


(Free subscriptions limited to 5 articles per month)
By Colby Hamilton 


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and remanded a suit dismissed by U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein of the Eastern District of New York, finding the failure of the plaintiffs' attorney to show for a pretrial hearing wasn't sufficient grounds for the "extreme sanction of dismissal with prejudice," according to the panel.

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