The Legal Aid Society is calling on the New York State Office of Court Administration to limit the calendaring of housing court cases to ensure that low-income New Yorkers facing eviction have legal representation, which they are entitled to under New York City’s Right To Counsel program.
Following the expiration of the State’s eviction moratorium, there are more than 220,000 eviction cases pending in New York City Housing Court, with approximately 7,000 new cases filed each month. Due to overwhelming demand, The Legal Aid Society has been forced to stop accepting new cases in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan for the remainder of April.
New York’s Right To Counsel law, which guarantees the right to counsel in eviction cases, has been highly effective at keeping tenants in their homes. Over the last four years, 84 percent of tenants who received representation under the initiative won their cases and stayed in their homes. The current volume is simply not possible for legal services providers to sustain.
The New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) can end this crisis of non-representation by capping eviction cases at a level that matches the capacity of legal service providers, ensuring all eligible tenants are paired with an attorney.
Tell your legislator to protect tenants’ right to an attorney and demand OCA cap eviction proceedings.
Last Updated: 18 April 2022
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