Appellate Division Will Hear Case At Jackson Center On Oct 25

Oral arguments in Appellate Division, Fourth Department, cases will take place outside of the normal setting in Rochester to be heard at the Robert H. Jackson Center this fall.

Last month, Justice Gerald J. Whalen announced that on Thursday, Oct. 25, the Appellate Division will hear oral arguments in a regular session of court at the Jackson Center, located at 305 E. Fourth St. Oral arguments will start at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a continuing legal education program at 1 p.m.

T. Marion Beckerink, Jackson Center development director, said it will be the first time the Appellate Division will hear case arguments outside of a court or a law school setting.

“To hold a session at a nonprofit is unprecedented. This is pretty remarkable,” she said. “We are proud and looking forward to this opportunity.”

Beckerink said she cannot disclose the cases on the court’s docket that day. However, no court date has been scheduled for the annexation case between the city of Jamestown and the town of Ellicott and village of Falconer dealing with the annexation of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Dow Street substation.

According to David Leathers, BPU general manager, the annexation is not on the docket of cases that will be heard by the court at the Jackson Center. An official with the Appellate Division told The Post-Journal the October calendar of cases will be announced to the public toward the end of the month.

In January 2017, the BPU first approved a resolution asking the Jamestown City Council to initiative annexation proceedings, which they approved in August of last year. The village of Falconer and town of Ellicott voted against the proposal in September 2017, which left the annexation decision up to the state Supreme Court Appellate Division in Rochester.

Falconer and Ellicott officials have publicly stated they are against the annexation proposal because it would cost them tax revenue. Currently, the BPU pays a total around $325,000 in property tax payments to the village of Falconer ($69,000); town of Ellicott ($34,000); Falconer Central Schools ($154,000); and Chautauqua County ($69,000).

If the annexation is approved, the BPU would save around $157,000 in property tax payments and the city and the Jamestown Public School District would each start to receive tax equivalency payments of around $79,000 from the BPU.

As for the continuing legal education program during the court’s visit to the Jackson Center, Beckerink said at least one topic for discussion will be the ethics from the perspective of substance abuse. She said the Hon. Salvatore Martoche, retired state Appellate Division judge, will lead the discussion.