Lawsuit against Oswego County clerk hits snag

by Carol Thompson

There was a hearing held Wednesday in the matter of a case against Oswego County Clerk George Williams but the plaintiff’s attorney said he had no idea a hearing had been scheduled.

Attorney Scott Chatfield, who represents APS Information Systems in a case against Williams, said late Wednesday that he had no idea a hearing had been scheduled until he received a telephone call from Oswego County Supreme Court Judge Norman Seiter asking why he wasn’t in court.

APS is suing Williams for his policy of charging fees to research criminal court records. State law allows a $5 fee to be charged for each name searched for every two years provided the search is certified. APS alleges that Williams has been charging for all searches, including those that are not certified.

Other counties, the lawsuit contends, do not charge the fee for non-certified searches and have criminal records available for public inspection.

Chatfield said he traced the chain of events that led him to the lack of notification.

The judge in Oneida County who was handling the case sent it back to Oswego County.

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