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News Archive 2010


NOVEMBER

New DIY Form

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has launched a new DIY (Do-It-Yourself)Form Roommate Holdover program to help unrepresented litigants prepare the court forms they need to start a Housing Court case in New York City to evict a roommate from an apartment or house that they share. The program makes either a Notice of Termination or a Notice of Petition and Petition. This free roommate program is available on the Civil Court of the City of New York's Housing Court website.

An option for the litigant to print the filing instructions in Spanish has been added to the Supreme Court Adult Name Change Program, the New York City Civil Court's Tenant Affidavit to Vacate a Default Judgment Program and the Surrogate's Court Small Estate Program. This feature was previously added to Family Court's Support Modification Petition Program and Paternity Petition Program, and the New York City Civil Court's Minor Name Change Petition Program.

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OCTOBER

The Chief Judge's 2010 Hearings on Civil Legal Services

In fall, 2010, The Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York, conducted four public hearings to assess the extent and nature of unmet civil legal services needs in all parts of the State in order to recommend to the Legislature and the Executive the level of public resources necessary to meet those needs. Read Judge Fisher's Testimony at the October 7, 2010 Public Hearing on Civil Legal Services.

Free CLE Pro bono training programs in October and November

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has launched a partnership with the Queens County Bar Association to conduct a series of Free CLE pro bono training programs in October and November for attorneys to provide legal assistance and limited representation to unrepresented litigants in Queens Civil, Supreme and Family Courts. Free CLE programs will be offered in Ethics, Consumer Debt, Uncontested Divorce and Family Law in return for volunteer service in court-sponsored pro bono programs. Training Schedule.

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JULY

DIY Forms, Self-Help Tools for Litigants Without Lawyers

Free, fast and easy. The court system's Access to Justice Program's DIY (Do-It-Yourself) forms are all three. Read more at Focus on the Courts.

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JANUARY

New York Law Graduate Fellows Assist Access to Justice Program City-Wide

Thirty-two New York Law School Graduates will be engaging in a Public Interest Graduate Fellowship with the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program during the first quarter of 2010. The fellowship participants will provide pro bono legal advisory services to litigants in our Consumer Debt, Housing, and Foreclosure Volunteer Lawyer for the Day programs, and in our Uncontested Divorce advice-only program. These volunteers will be trained and supervised, as are all of the volunteer lawyers who participate in the court's pro bono programs. The NYLS graduates who are participating in this program have committed to serving at least 100 hours in service to litigants through court-sponsored programs, but it is anticipated that many of them will continue their service after completion of their initial commitment.

Foreclosure Assistance Program Expands

The Access to Justice Program will be expanding service to New Yorkers facing foreclosure, starting in late January, 2010. Volunteer attorneys will be available to offer advice to litigants in courthouses in Kings, New York, and Bronx Counties, in addition to the Foreclosure Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program already operating in Queens County. The volunteer attorneys in the Foreclosure Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program will be providing information and guidance in a Help Center context, and will also be able to attend foreclosure modification conferences with those litigants who wish to avail themselves of this opportunity. Exact dates and times of the program expansion, by borough, will be posted once confirmed.

Student Practice Orders Approved for First and Second Departments

The Appellate Divisions of the First and Second Departments have approved Student Practice Orders authorizing a program of activities for law students and law graduates awaiting admission to the New York State bar acting under the supervision of New York State Courts Access to Justice Program. Under the auspices of this program, law students and law graduates will provide legal advice and limited scope representation to unrepresented litigants in certain actions and proceedings in New York City's Civil Court, Family Court and Supreme Court. Matters in which legal assistance will be provided will include but not be limited to consumer debt, landlord tenant, uncontested divorce, paternity, child support, and foreclosure. This practice order will facilitate the Court System's ongoing initiatives to increase access to justice, perceptions of fairness and courthouse efficiency.

NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Launches VOLUNTEER LAWYER FOR THE DAY PROGRAM for Consumer Debtors in Civil Court

Volunteer attorneys will provide limited representation for unrepresented consumer debtors in the Civil Courts of Kings and New York Counties. Volunteer attorneys will represent litigants in vacating default judgments and during settlement negotiations. The New York County program is conducted in partnership with New York County Lawyers Association. The Kings County program is conducted in partnership with NY Appleseed and partially funded by a grant from the ACE Group foundation.

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