Legal Aid Society

COVID-19

Important Things To Know

The Legal Aid Society is committed to continuing to serving our clients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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New York State Courts are open, some have resumed in-person hearings.

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New York State's eviction moratorium has expired.

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Terms You Might Hear

The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.

  • Adjournment – A temporary postponement of a case until a specified future time.
  • Arraignment – A criminal proceeding at which the defendant is called before a court, informed of the offense charged in the complaint, information, indictment, or other charging document, and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or as otherwise permitted by law.
  • Attorney – A person admitted to practice law and authorized to perform criminal and civil legal functions on behalf of clients.
  • Clerk – An official or employee of the court who maintains the files of each case, and issues routine documents.
  • Custody – The care, possession, and control of a thing or person.
  • Delinquency – An offense or misdemeanor; a misdeed; A debt or other financial obligation on which payment is overdue.
  • EOIR – Executive Office of Immigration Review
  • Essential Plan – A new Insurance Affordability Program launched in 2016 that offers qualified individuals and families a choice of plans from high-quality private health insurers through the NY State of Heath.
  • Eviction Proceeding – Any proceeding which could result in the eviction of a respondent, such as a holdover or nonpayment proceeding.
  • Evidence – A form of proof or probative matter legally presented at the trial of an issue by the acts of the parties and through witnesses, records, documents, concrete objects, etc., for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or the jury.
  • Landlord – A lessor of real property; the owner or possessor of an estate in land or a rental property, who, in an exchange for rent, leases it to another individual known as the tenant.
  • Lien – A claim on specific property for payment of a debt.
  • Medicaid – A health insurance program for low-income and individuals with disabilities. Jointly paid for by the federal and state government.
  • Minor – A child under 18 years old.
  • Motion – A request to the court, usually in writing, for relief before the trial on the parties' claims, or for different or additional relief after the trial decision.
  • Overpayment – The action of paying someone too much or an amount paid that is too much.
  • Party – Person having a direct interest in a legal matter, transaction or proceeding.
  • Plaintiff – The person suing. This party is called the "petitioner" in summary proceedings.
  • Proceeding – A type of lawsuit. For example: In Housing Court, a nonpayment proceeding seeks past-due rent; a holdover proceeding seeks possession of the premises.
  • Public Charge – An immigration law that can be basis for denying a non-citizen entry in the U.S., or for denying an application to adjust status if they are applying through a family member.
  • Settlement – A written compromise reached by the parties and approved by a judge.
  • TPS – Temporary Protective Status. Offers temporary legal status to certain immigrants in the United States who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary reasons.
  • Tenant – A person who occupies a property owned by another, based upon an agreement between the person and the landlord/owner.
  • USCIS – United States Citizen and Immigration Services
  • Warrant – An official document approved by an authority (normally a judge) which gives the police permission to do certain things.