Public Defender Project The Public Defender (GAP) project helps seniors at risk of eviction by providing free legal and social services to resolve their housing court cases. To be eligible for the program, seniors must be 60 years of age or older, have an identifiable need for social services, and have ongoing housing court proceedings. Tenants are eligible for a lawyer if their income is at or below 200% of the poverty line, which equates to about $25,000 for a single person and about $53,000 per family of 4. Even if the tenant`s income is over 200%, tenants may still be able to get a lawyer from a legal services program with different eligibility criteria. If you are faced with a request from your landlord to make an eviction order against you, the OCJ can provide you with free legal services through our not-for-profit legal service provider partners under the City`s Right to Counsel Act. All tenants who are currently subject to an eviction order are eligible, regardless of their postal code, immigration status, or whether the tenant has previously refused or was not eligible for legal representation under the universal access program, and regardless of household income under an income exemption from the CJOC. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and may not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer to advise on legal matters relating to housing. For more information, please visit our Find a Lawyer page. Volunteer Attorneys Program The Civil Court of New York City operates a volunteer lawyer program located in the Civil Court Help Centers. Trained volunteer lawyers provide free legal and procedural information and advice.
Volunteer lawyers will review your court records, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your individual case, help you fill out forms, and help you create a plan to defend or pursue your case. Visit the volunteer lawyer program page for the program schedule or contact your nearest help centre to find out if a pro bono lawyer is available. By law, landlords cannot deny prospective tenants housing based on race, color, religion, nationality, sex, sexual preference, age, marital status, disability, immigration status, legal profession, or source of income. In addition, tenants cannot be refused the apartment because their children live or will live with them. Tenants who believe they have experienced discrimination in housing can file a complaint within one year of the incident by calling 311 and joining the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). The justice system can be overwhelming. Familiarize yourself with some legal terms and acronyms you may hear, such as appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, testimony, and affidavit. This page contains information and links to help tenants and landlords on a variety of topics: Under New York City`s Right to Attorneys Act (RTC), the DSS/HRA Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) offers tenants facing eviction as part of a housing court or NYCHA administrative proceeding free access to free legal representation and boards of not-for-profit legal advisory organizations in the five boroughs. Various organizations offer information to help tenants and landlords file an application or prepare for a housing court. For more information, see the links below.
While expanding the right to counseling has significantly increased tenants` ability to get free legal representation in an eviction case, it can still be difficult to get free or low-cost legal aid if you don`t have an ongoing case or if you have legal needs outside of an eviction. If you can`t find a lawyer, make sure you`re best prepared to defend yourself in court. At NYLAG, we fight to preserve housing, prevent homelessness, ensure economic security for families, and promote stability in our communities. If you believe you have been illegally locked out of your home by your landlord, the OCL may offer free legal services through our non-profit legal service providers to assist you in an “illegal lockout case” in housing court. The quickest way to find out if you qualify for free legal aid in a housing case is to call your county Legal Aid Society neighbourhood office: Under the Right to Council Act, the city offers free legal assistance to low-income tenants with eviction cases. In 2021, Right to Counsel expanded to ALL New York zip codes. Any income tenant threatened with eviction has the RIGHT to a free lawyer, regardless of the region in which he or she lives. It is illegal for a landlord to evict you without bringing an eviction action against you in court or before there is a court order authorizing a commissioner to evict you. If you believe you have been illegally locked out, you can take legal action (an “illegal lockout” or “restitution of property”) in the housing court.
Tenants who live in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments and believe their landlords are harassing them can contact the New York State Housing and Community Renewal Division (DHCR) or call 718-739-6400. UNHCR enforces housing laws in relation to these rent-regulated units. Tenants may have a basis to file a harassment lawsuit against the landlord in the housing court. Tenants should consult a lawyer before taking legal action. Tenants who cannot afford representation may be eligible for free or low-cost legal aid from the Legal Aid Society. HPD`s Fair Housing Advisors can also provide tenants with resource information. Dial 311 for more information. This is New York City`s promise to all tenants facing eviction.
This new law protects low-income tenants so they can defend themselves in court with free legal services. The right of access to a lawyer was introduced in August 2017. This bill paved the way for the success of the tenant movement to protect low-income tenants who are being sued in housing court for eviction. Regardless of the type of eviction cases that tenants have, they can get a lawyer to defend their case for free. Even if a tenant is above the eligible income level, they are entitled to legal advice. The OCJ has partnered with Legal Services to provide tenants in New York City with free access to telephone legal advice and information. Many of your rights depend on the type of apartment you live in or your type of rental. You may be subject to different laws and have different rights than neighbours in your own building. Find out what rights and obligations apply to you.
The NYS Attorney General provides information on a variety of tenant-related topics, including deposits, senior housing, small claims court, hiring a moving company, recent changes to NYS Tenancy Act, tenant harassment, fair housing, immigrant rights, illegal lockouts, etc. You may still be able to get a lawyer from a legal services program with different admission requirements, and the New York City Civil Court has jurisdiction over civil cases involving amounts up to $25,000 and other civil cases referred to it by the Supreme Court. It includes a small claims portion for informal decisions on cases up to $5,000 and a landlord and tenant/apartment portion for landlord-tenant matters of unlimited amount and housing law violations.