No order issued in clerk case

by Carol Thompson

The plaintiff and his lawyer in a case against the Oswego County Clerk have yet to receive the judge’s decision and order.

Aaron Smith of APS Information Services, the plaintiff, said his lawyer Scott Chatfield has received the transcript of the hearing held last month, however, the order is pending as of press time.

Chatfield said the Article 78 proceeding filed against Oswego County Clerk George Williams has been dismissed by Oswego County Supreme Court Judge Norman Seiter.

Smith said he intends to appeal Seiter’s decision, however, cannot do so until the order has been received.

The lawsuit was filed to challenge Williams’ charging of a fee for criminal record searches. The lawsuit contended that criminal records are public records and should be made available for public searches free of charge.

At issue, Chatfield said, is whether Williams, when charging the fee, is acting as the clerk of the court or the county clerk.

“The judge said he didn’t think it was appropriate for him to tell Mr. Williams how to run his office,” Chatfield said.

“The county clerk never contested the fact that the public is entitled to the information that is otherwise not protected by law,” he added, noting that the county attorney also has never taken the position that the public is not entitled to see the information.

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