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News Archive 2011


DECEMBER

New French Pop-up Program

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program is proud to present the first ever trilingual A2J module! With the creation of new French pop-ups, the Tenant Affidavit to Vacate a Default Judgment Program is accessible for French speaking unrepresented litigants, as well as being available in English and Spanish. This is a free program that helps unrepresented tenants make an Order to Show Cause to vacate a default judgment for failure to appear or answer a nonpayment or holdover case in New York City Housing Court. The program is available on the NYC Housing Court website.

New Spanish Feature Added to Support Modification DIY Form Program

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has added a new Spanish language feature to the Family Court Support Modification Petition Program for Spanish speaking unrepresented litigants. Every screen of the Support Modification Program has an "Español" link which opens a pop-up window with the Spanish translation of the screen. The program can be accessed through CourtHelp. The program generates instructions and pleadings in English, with a Spanish copy of the instructions for the litigant.

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NOVEMBER

New videos for New York City landlords and tenants have been posted on the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program's YouTube page. There is a "how-to" video for landlord/owners to learn how to collect rent in the NYC Housing Court. There is also a two-part "how-to" video for tenants to learn how to get repairs and services in the NYC Housing Court. Check them out!

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has published a Nonpayment Eviction Guide for tenants outside New York City, entitled: Tenant Questions & Answers: Nonpayment Eviction Cases in New York State. This guide is part of a series of landlord and tenant guides for unrepresented litigants in New York State.

In recognition of National Pro Bono Celebration Week, on November 1, 2011, the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, along with the New York County Lawyers' Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York held a pro bono awards ceremony to honor our outstanding dedicated volunteer attorneys for their pro bono service. See pictures of the event on the NYS Courts Access to Justice - Volunteer Lawyer's Program's Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/NYCourtsVLP.

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OCTOBER

New York County Civil Court Civil Clerk's Office wins the DIY Star Award

On October 4, 2011, The NYC Civil Court's Civil Clerk's Office DIY Staff was awarded the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program's prestigious DIY Star Award. The award is presented from time to time to courts and individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the successful development and implementation of the DIY Form programs. The Civil Clerk's Office staff received the award because of their outstanding customer service, their impressive usage statistics of the civil DIY Forms by litigants in the Clerk's Office, and their changes in procedures that led to greater access to justice for unrepresented litigants. Read about the Clerk's Office Staff.

The Chief Judge's 2011 Hearings on Civil Legal Services

The Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York, is conducting 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 Fern Fisher's Testimony at the September 26, 2011 Public Hearing on Civil Legal Services.

New Nonpayment Petition DIY Form Program

This free and easy do-it-yourself program helps unrepresented owners with less than 3 rental units prepare the court forms they need to bring a nonpayment proceeding in the District, City, Town and Village courts outside New York City. The program is available on CourtHelp

New Tenant Vacate Default Judgment DIY Form Program

This free and easy do-it-yourself program helps unrepresented tenants make an Order to Show Cause to vacate a default judgment for failure to appear in a District, City, Town and Village courts outside New York City. The program is available on CourtHelp.

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SEPTEMBER

NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Launches Facebook Page

The NYS Court Access to Justice Program - Volunteer Lawyers Program has launched a Facebook page for attorneys who are interested in learning about free CLE trainings, volunteer opportunities in the courts, recognition events and pro bono celebrations. Interested attorneys are invited to "Like" us on Facebook.

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APRIL

Article 17-A Guardianship Petition DIY Form Program Launched

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has made a new Article 17-A Guardianship Petition DIY program. This is a free program that helps unrepresented litigants prepare the petition to appoint a guardian for a mentally retarded/developmentally disabled person. The program is available on CourtHelp.

New Support Enforcement/Violation Petition DIY Form Program

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has launched a new DIY Form Support Enforcement/Violation Petition program. This free program helps unrepresented litigants prepare the enforcement/violation petition to file in Family Court if the support order is not being followed. The program is available on CourtHelp.

Document Assembly Programs Best Practice Guide

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has published a Document Assembly Programs Best Practices Guidefor Court System Development and Implementation Using A2J Author. The Guide is a tool for other court systems interested in producing self-help document assembly programs that generate court forms for low-income unrepresented litigants. New York's document assembly programs are called DIY Forms and can be used on CourtHelp: www.nycourthelp.gov.

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MARCH

New Spanish DIY Form Program

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program has created a new Spanish version of the Family Court Paternity Petition Program for Spanish speaking unrepresented litigants. The Spanish Paternity Petition can be accessed throughCourtHelp. The program generates instructions and pleadings in English, with a Spanish copy for the litigant.

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JANUARY

On January 14, 2011, the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program issued its 2010 report. The report is available athttp://www.nycourts.gov/ip/nya2j/pdfs/NYA2J_2010report.pdf. Highlights of the report include the following news: DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form usage sextupled since 2008; eight DIY form programs were developed/modified; a DIY Star Award was established; poverty simulations were held for Family Court personnel; a public librarians training program was established; a mobile help center was launched; social media sites were established; and court-based volunteer-lawyer and limited assistance programs were expanded.

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