Faga Savino Prevails in Appeal of Voter Registration Case that Reshapes Election Law in New York

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New York law firm prevails in Appellate Court, decision negates 22 years of precedent related to inter-county transfer of voter registration and effect of incomplete information on voter registration cards

We're gratified by this decision because we believe it opens the doors for a more reasonable standard by which voters may participate in democratic elections in our state.

Attorneys from the White Plains, New York law firm of Faga Savino, LLP, recently prevailed in a landmark decision by the Appellate Division in New York that effectively redefines the election law in New York.

The case, Coopersmith v. Ortutay (Index No. 100034/2010), was originally tried in the Supreme Court for State of New York in Westchester County. It involved Debra Ortutay, a candidate for the New York Independence Party State Committee, and whether she was required to wait until after the November general election in order to register to vote and enroll in a new party.

The Supreme Court, relying on precedent, held when a voter relocates from one county to another, a change in party enrollment will not take effect until after the next general election. Joseph J. Savino, partner in Faga Savino, represented Ms. Ortutay and appealed the Supreme Court decision to the Appellate Division, setting the grounds for a judgment that would drastically change party enrollment procedures.

In a unanimous decision (5-0), the Appellate Court agreed with Savino's argument in the case and reversed the Supreme Court, ruling that voters are permitted to register and enroll with a new party upon moving to a new county, without delay. In addition, the Court reshaped New York State election law with respect to voter registration cards.

"Negating 22 years of precedent, the Court held that voter registration cards need not be entirely completed to be valid, as long as the most pertinent information is included," said Savino. "We're gratified by this decision because we believe it opens the doors for a more reasonable standard by which voters may participate in democratic elections in our state."

This is the second time in three years that Mr. Savino and lawyers from Faga Savino have redefined New York State law. In May 2007, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gesmer decided the case of Penny D. Taylor v. Joseph Rosa (Case # 76026-04), a landmark ruling that materially affects the application of the legal doctrine known as Paternity by Estoppel.

Faga Savino, LLP is a general practice law firm located in White Plains, New York, that represents clients in a wide range of practice areas, from drafting wills and handling personal injury cases to defending clients in criminal courts. The firm's attorneys possess a unique background of legal skill and experience, enabling the firm to serve the needs of individuals, businesses and government on a wide range of legal matters as counselors and advocates. Faga Savino's main areas of practice include: Civil Litigation; Personal Injury; Matrimonial and Family Law; General Business; Criminal Defense; Real Estate; Wills, Trusts, and Estates; and Election Law. For more information, please call 914.592.0601 or go to http://www.fagasavino.com.

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Kevin Faga
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