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Events


Court Navigator Training

The Court Navigator Program trains non-lawyer volunteers to provide in-court assistance to unrepresented tenants and landlords who are parties to nonpayment proceedings in New York City Housing Court. See flyer for details.

Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Registration: 9:30 a.m.
Training Time: 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Location: 111 Centre Street, 8th Floor Boardroom, New York, NY 10013
***Please use the entrance on White Street


News


JUNE

Launch of Pro Bono Partnership Project with the City Bar Justice Center at June 14th Training

Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson, Deputy Chief Judge for Justice Initiatives, welcomed volunteer attorneys at a training program on June 14th developed jointly by the court system’s Office for Justice Initiatives and the City Bar Justice Center. Volunteer attorneys were trained to provide brief legal information and advice to assist unrepresented litigants in the New York City Civil Court’s Help Centers with small claims, consumer debt, name change and other civil matters. New York City Civil Court and City Bar Justice Center staff attorneys conducted the orientation and training. Volunteers earn free CLE credits in return for their pro bono service. “This project will leverage the pro bono resources of the private bar to help us increase access to justice to those in need in our state courts. We are delighted to partner with the City Bar Justice Center on this important initiative!” said Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Edwina G. Mendelson. Volunteer opportunities begin in late June at Civil Court in Brooklyn and Manhattan. All volunteers are asked to commit to 20 hours of pro bono service in the program within six-months of training.




MAY

New DIY Form Combined Support Modification, Enforcement/Violation Petition Program

The Office for Justice Initiatives is proud to announce a brand-new DIY Form Program for unrepresented litigants who have child support and/or spousal support orders. This combined Support Modification, Enforcement/Violation Petition Program allows unrepresented litigants to input their information once and ask the court for one or both forms of relief. This decreases the amount of time spent preparing papers for court and enhances their overall experience with the program and the court.

New Version of Family Court DIY Form Programs Launched

All Family Court DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form computer programs have been updated to improve the unrepresented litigant’s experience. Program users no longer require Adobe Flash or Microsoft Word or Word Viewer to prepare their court papers. Instead the papers generated by the programs open in a PDF document. The computer program graphics have a sleek new design and are available on mobile devices. The DIY Forms FAQ page has been updated to reflect the changes to the program. Stay tuned for improved DIY Form Programs for Surrogate’s, Supreme, County, District, City, Civil, Housing and Justice Courts. For more information about DIY Form Programs visit CourtHelp.




APRIL

Poverty Simulation

Hofstra University Poverty Sim 2018

On April 4, 2018, the Office for Justice Initiatives facilitated a Poverty Simulation for students enrolled in the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. The Poverty Simulation is designed to provide participants with the experience of living in poverty for one month. Each month is lived in fifteen-minute increments, during which the participants are tasked with making decisions to support and care for themselves and their families. Faculty and staff from the school, volunteered to play the role of various governmental agencies, community organizations, and private companies typically found in communities. The participants had two goals: to connect with their colleagues and strengthen their ability to work collaboratively; and to challenge assumptions they had about poverty. At the conclusion, of the simulation, student participants, volunteer faculty and staff, gathered to debrief. Based upon the comments shared, it was clear that many participants felt the constraints and difficulties people living in poverty face each day. Visit the Litigants with Diverse Needs page to learn more about Poverty Simulations.




MARCH

NYC Housing Court Guardians Ad Litem (GALs) trained on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

On March 2, 2018, the Office for Justice Initiatives' (OJI) Access to Justice Program in collaboration with the Advisory Committe on Access for People with Disabilities conducted an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) training for NYC Housing Court Guardians ad Litem.

Led by OJI Special Counsel for Court-Based Interdisciplinary Programs, Denise-Colon Greenaway, Esq. MSW, the purpose of the training was to promote awareness regarding the challenges people with physical and mental disabilities face when attempting to meaningfully participate in the court process and to educate GALs on how to help them do so. The panel provided tools for GALs to use to determine what specific needs should be addressed in order to promote meaningful participation for their appointees in the court process as well as which accommodations our courts are able to provide.

The well attended training, which was held in the midst of a Nor’easter, was so widely successful that it will be developed into an additional training for Housing Court Judges and Court Attorneys.




FEBRUARY

Bronx Clergy Day

Bronx Clergy Day
Judge Edwina Mendelson, Office for Justice Initiatives Staff and Members of the Bronx Clergy

On February 28, 2018, the Office for Justice Initiatives (OJI), led by Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, Hon. Edwina Mendelson, hosted a Clergy Roundtable discussion in the Bronx County Civil Courthouse. This was the first in a series of conversations being planned throughout the city and state. Attendees were welcomed by Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Courts, George Silver and Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director of the Interfaith Center. A panel discussion followed which covered the following topics: Clergy as First Responders, Immigration, Court Programs, Housing Court Issues and the New Raise the Age Law.

The exceptionally engaged audience posed several questions to the court leaders and provided helpful feedback about their congregants' interactions with the court system. Interpreters were on hand to provide translation services for Spanish speaking participants. Judge Mendelson, who is co-leading the Courts' implementation of the new Raise the Age law, explained how the law would impact the community and the courts.

Housing Court Judge, Hon. Howard Baum, gave a detailed explanation of what litigants can expect when they enter the courts in addition a concise description of services available both inside and outside of the court. Attorneys from the OJI, Lisa Zayas and Laurie Milder, were also on hand to share information on various court sponsored programs. Terry Lawson, of Bronx Legal Services was on hand to discuss the current changes in Immigration law and how they affect families. View the photo gallery from the event.