New York State Courts and ICE Arrests in Courthouses

Under New York State law and federal court order, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot make a civil arrest in or on the property where a New York State courthouse is located. ICE also cannot make a civil arrest while a person is going to, remaining at, or returning from court unless ICE has a warrant signed by a Judge.

If you receive papers telling you that a case has been started against you or that you must appear in court, it is important that you read the paperwork carefully and respond by the deadline given. If you have an immigration case, you are not required to speak with an immigration attorney before visiting a New York State courthouse however you may want to. There is information on this page that will help you find free or paid lawyer help.

Free Information
If you need information about a specific law or court procedure for a New York State case, visit the Help Center directory page to see if there is a Help Center available for your court. Help Centers provide free information about the law and court procedure for people without an attorney. Some Help Centers offer virtual help online and by telephone.

You can also contact the court where your case is being heard directly. The court locater box on this page can help you find the court’s contact information.

Free Lawyer Help

To speak with a lawyer who may be able to help you for free, visit the Immigration Advocates Network or visit LawHelp and type in your zip code or the county you live in. Next, choose your legal problem and then choose the sub-category. Then click on “go” to find a list of legal services organizations that may be able to help if you qualify. Many are only for low-income families.

Paid Lawyer Help

The American Immigration Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association can help you find a lawyer. There might be a fee to speak with the lawyer and explain what you need help with. This is called a consultation. You do not have to hire the lawyer. The lawyer does not have to take your case. If the lawyer agrees to take your case, the lawyer will charge you at their regular rate.

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