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Four Town Courts In County To Share Single Justice

FINDLEY LAKE — Starting Jan. 1, there will be just one justice proceeding over four different town courts.

On Tuesday, Denis Cooper was approved by voters to be the town justice for Sherman, Clymer, French Creek and Mina as part of the municipalities’ consolidation efforts. Rebecca Brumagin, Mina supervisor, said each town court is still separate, but each municipality will share one justice.

Earlier this year, each town entered into an inter-municipal agreement allowing the towns of Clymer, French Creek, Mina and Sherman to jointly operate from a single justice court facility with one duly elected justice serving all four towns and to have the court located in the Mina municipal building, also known as the community building in Findley Lake. The consolidation provides cost savings to each town.

In May, each municipality approved Home Rule Legislation that was sent to Albany asking the state Legislature and governor to approve the consolidation of justice services. According to nysenate.gov, the legislation was approved by the state Senate and Assembly on June 10 and signed by the governor on July 1.

Because the Home Rule Legislation was approved and signed into law by Aug. 1, the justice position was up for a vote on Election Day, with Cooper running unopposed.

Now that the agreement has been approved by the state, the four towns will continue to maintain separate finances and case reporting of their court and retain their portion of fines levied as New York state law requires.

At the start of 2021, French Creek and Mina started sharing a town justice after Home Rule Legislation was approved by the state Legislature and signed into law by the governor last year.

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