Legal aid society dismisses housing cases

NEW YORK (PIX11) – For the remainder of April, the Legal Aid Society will not be able to take on new cases in Queens Housing Court as their lawyers do not have the capacity.

“The people who appear there will hopefully have more time to find a lawyer,” said Judith Goldiner. “But in the worst case scenario, they will have to go ahead without a lawyer.”

Goldiner is the attorney in charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Civil Law Reform Unit.

In 2017, New York became the first city in the nation to guarantee legal services to low-income tenants facing eviction. However, Lauren Springer, a tenant organizer with Catholic Migration Services, said “legal service providers are at capacity.”

In the Bronx, Legal Services NYC had to turn away clients last month. The Office of Courts Administration told PIX11 News in a statement, “The LSNYC has declined more than 475 cases in the Bronx. The cases were sent to the resolution parties for both parties to enter into settlement negotiations.

The OCA also told PIX11 News that the organization has “repeatedly argued that the failure of right-to-advocate providers, such as LSNYC and Legal Aid, to meet their contractual obligations and be in able to manage their operations will not adversely affect the operation of the Housing Court.”

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