NEW YORK (PIX11) — For the rest of April, The Legal Aid Society will not be able to take on any new cases in Queens Housing Court because their lawyers don’t have the capacity.
“People who appear there are going to either hopefully get more time to find an attorney,” Judith Goldiner explained. “But in the worst case scenario, are going to have to go forward without an attorney.”
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 for low-income tenants facing eviction. However, Lauren Springer, a tenant organizer with Catholic Migration services, said “legal services providers are at capacity.”
In the Bronx, Legal Services NYC had to turn away clients last month. The Office of Court Administration told PIX11 News in a statement, “LSNYC declined more than 475 cases in the Bronx. The cases were sent to resolution parts for both parties to begin settlement negotiations.”
OCA also told PIX11 News the organization has “repeatedly maintained that the inability of Right to Counsel providers, such as LSNYC and Legal Aid, to meet their contractual obligations and to be able to manage their operations will not adversely affect the functioning of Housing Court.”