**STARTING NOVEMBER 27, 2023-PLEASE NOTE THAT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THE PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE WILL NOT BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS WE UNDERGO CONSTRUCTION OF OUR NEW OFFICES. WE WILL BE MOVED TO TEMPORARY OFFICES THAT HAVE NO ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC.**
The Public Defender is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to provide legal representation for cases in Livingston County. She is responsible for defending indigent people who are unable to afford private counsel. Individuals seeking representation must complete an application and provide financial information to prove financial need.
The Public Defender’s Office provides representation in criminal court handling felonies, misdemeanors, and family or surrogate court. The Public Defender has the authority to appoint Assistant Public Defenders, paralegal assistants, secretarial, and clerical assistants.
Applications can still be dropped in the office window slot, but we encourage submissions to be made via our online application, found by clicking "Public Defender Application" below. For the safety of our clients and staff, please call the office with any questions as the door will not be opened. Current clients must be in prompt contact with our office for changes in phone numbers and/or addresses. For questions regarding the status of your application, how to apply, or if you have not yet been assigned to an attorney, please call 585-243-7028 and press option 9.
The following tasks are up to the Public Defender:
- Review all applications for eligibility determination
- Appear in court for preliminary hearings, court appearances, and trials.
- Initiate appeal proceedings when necessary.
- Participate, when appropriate, with prosecution and law enforcement officials in alternative sentencing programs which divert defendants from incarceration, such as treatment court.
- Provide legal representation at criminal courts and family court.
- Review evidence and meet with clients.
- Try cases when a trial is demanded.
You can now complete and submit the application for Public Defender online. Please click the link above to do so.
If you would rather receive an application by mail or fax, please call us at 585-243-7028. You may also print a hard copy, which you will find here Version OptionsPublic DefenderHeadline. You must provide proof of income, including paycheck stubs, Public Assistance or Unemployment award letters, and all court documents for your application to be processed properly. If you are emailing supporting documentation to our office, photos of documents will not be accepted.
If your case is not a Livingston County case, please visit the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) website.
- Kelly J. Donohue, Esq.
- Daniel L. Romano, Esq.
- Ann E. Connor, Esq.
- Matthew M. Tantillo, Esq.
- Matthew S. Waite, Esq.
- Michael S. Garrett, Esq.
- James Kemnitz, Esq.
- Christian A. Catalano, Esq.
- Rachel Hayton, JD
- Jamie VandeVelde, JD
- Courtney McKay, Mitigation Specialist
- Lisa P. Dugan, Confidential Secretary/Paralegal
- Heidi Bermudez, Legal Administrative Assistant
- Sandra Sanderson, Senior Legal Typist