Appeals, Opinions and Legislation
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The Appeals, Opinions and Legislation Bureau is the smallest bureau in the County Attorney’s Office. Notwithstanding its size, it handles many of the most complex and diverse legal issues confronting the County of Westchester.

Appeals
The Appeals, Opinions and Legislation Bureau defends and prosecutes all civil appellate litigation on behalf of the county, its departments, boards, commissions, agencies, officers and employees, acting their official capacities. The appeals are heard in state and federal courts.

Opinions
The Bureau provides legal advisory opinions to county officers and officials. The County Attorney also decides appeals under the Freedom of Information Law Appeals from decisions of other county departments and agencies, regarding access to their records.

Legislation
Pursuant to the Laws of Westchester County, the County Board of Legislators has the power to act by Local Law, Act or Resolution. In addition, the County Board of Legislators may request that the New York State Legislature pass state legislation granting the county certain specific powers that it would not otherwise possess under New York State law.

The Appeals Bureau is responsible for reviewing and drafting certain pieces of local and New York State legislation for the County Executive and the County Board of Legislators as may be appropriate under the circumstances. Each request for legislation is initially reviewed for legality, including such issues as whether such legislation would be preempted by state or federal law, whether such legislation requires a mandatory or permissive referendum prior to becoming effective and whether such legislation is subject to SEQRA review. Moreover, assuming legislation is legally appropriate, a committee report including the intent of the law or act, a transmittal letter and a resolution for a public hearing, accompanying all local laws, is also prepared.

James Castro-Blanco
Assistant Chief Deputy County Attorney
Westchester County Attorney's Office
148 Martine Avenue
White Plains, N.Y. 10601
(914) 995-2660