Chauncey Watches Running For Surrogate Court Judge

March 23, 2017

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CANISTEO, NY – Canisteo Attorney/Bath Village Judge, Chauncey Watches, announced that he is running for Steuben County Surrogate Court Judge. “A surrogate court judge here in Steuben County, primarily, is designated to handle the estates and wills, and get those matters through probate,” Watches told WLEA News. “In our county, it’s traditionally been that the surrogate court judge takes a third of the criminal cases, and a third of the family court cases, and they also sit and hear Supreme Court cases.”

Watches told WLEA that being the judge in Bath, was one of the deciding factors in getting him to want to run for a county position. “The thing that made me want to run for surrogate judge is my experience as the Bath Town Court, I’ve been there for 13 years, Watches said. “It’s some place where I can make another contribution, and it’s a logical follow up to working in the village, it’s a little more responsibility, and I can help a few more people.”

Watches graduated from Hornell High School in 1975, and afterwards went to Alfred State for two years, graduated from Clarkson, and went to Vermont Law School.

See The Watches Press Release Below:


Judge Chauncey J. Watches of Bath, is excited to announce that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Steuben County Surrogate Court. The Surrogate Court deals with the processing of estates and trusts through the court system in New York State. Also, in Steuben County the Surrogate Judge carries a third of the Criminal and Family Court cases.

Chauncey is uniquely positioned for this job as he is the only candidate with experience as a judge. He was elected to serve as the Judge in Bath Village and later was also elected in the Bath Town Court, he continues in both of those positions today. Judge Watches has been handling criminal, vehicle and traffic, civil, and small claims court matters in the Village and Town Court, one of the busiest courts in Steuben County for 13 years. He has presided over jury trials, civil trials, evictions and hundreds of vehicle and traffic trials.

Judge Watches started his career in Law as an Assistant District Attorney, in Steuben County in 1985, as the Stop DWI prosecutor and finished in that office as the Target Crimes prosecutor. During his time as an assistant DA he prosecuted several hundred DWI Cases each year and as target crimes prosecutor he prosecuted serious felony offenders and repeat felons.

Chauncey has been in private practice of law for 30 years. His office, in Canisteo serves clients in real estate, estates and wills, family, criminal and municipal law. He began that practice with Stanley P. Doran and took over that practice when Mr. Doran retired. He currently for the past decade plus as the represents the Village of Canisteo as Attorney and has represented in the past the Town of West Union.

Judge Watches has resided in the Village of Bath for 34 years, with his wife Mary, they have been married for 38 years. They have 4 children and three grandchildren. Chauncey is 60 years old and grew up in Hornell, NY. He graduated from Hornell High School, Alfred State College, Clarkson University, with Distinction, and Vermont Law School. He has been an active member of the community. He has coached Kiwanis Soccer and Basketball, Little League Baseball. The judge is Past President and Paul Harris Fellow with the Canisteo Rotary. He is past president of the Hornell High School Alumni Association. He is a member of The Steuben County and New York State Magistrates Association, the New York State Bar Association, former Member of the American Bar Association, the Steuben Council on Alcoholism, and The Steuben County Stop DWI Committee.

Judge Watches invites you to visit his website at watches4judge.com or send an email to watches4judge@gmail.com.