Yates begins new arraignment process like other area counties

Earlier this year, Ontario and Seneca counties began centralized arraignments at their county jails.

Yates County followed suit earlier this month.

However, while Ontario and Seneca counties were able to devote court space in fairly modern sheriff’s offices and jails, Yates didn’t have that luxury.

“We are kind of space challenged here,” Sheriff Ron Spike said of the public safety building, which dates back to the 1970s. “The space we are using is an old training office, but it has worked so far.”

Despite the modest space, Spike said Yates County has done close to 20 centralized arraignments since Oct. 1. Yates is the fourth county in the eight-county 7th Judicial District to do the arraignments, and the eighth in the state.

“We’ve had a few rough spots, but it is working well,” Spike said. “We are just glad we can be a part of it.”

Spike was joined by state Supreme Court Justice Craig Doran, administrative judge for the 7th District, during a ceremony to make the start of centralized arraignments in the county. Also on hand were officials from the local and state levels.

The off-hours arraignments ensure that every defendant is represented by an attorney at arraignment. Town judges are doing the arraignments, at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., on a rotating basis and a member of the district attorney’s office is also present.

Doran credited Spike, Yates County Undersheriff Howard Davis and Lt. Jared Bailey — the county jail administrator — for helping make the central arraignments happen.

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