Committee Reports

Testimony before the City Council in relation to the Creation of an Office for Civil Justice


The Association presented testimony at the City Council regarding legislation that would create an office of civil justice to advise and assist the mayor with respect to the delivery of civil legal services to those New Yorkers most in need. The testimony, delivered by Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee Chair Brenna DeVaney on behalf of President Debra Raskin, supported the creation of this office but urged that the Council also enact legislation to establish a right to counsel for low-income defendants facing eviction, foreclosure or ejectment. In this City of growing income inequality, shrinking affordable housing stock and increasing homelessness, a clear consensus has emerged that this Housing Court representation program is needed now. Moreover, getting such a program up and running can provide important lessons which then can be studied by the office of civil justice. The testimony stressed that providing this representation would aid individuals who otherwise would have great difficulty navigating the court system. It also would reduce expenditures on City services, such as for sheltering the homeless, and would generate collateral economic benefits.


Int. 0736-2015 – creating an Office of Civil Justice. | Hearing details


Signed by the Mayor (2015/061) – June 16, 2015