News Story (New York)
Gotham Gazette (NYC)
May 26, 2015
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel, Delivery Systems, Funding: State & Local, Legal Needs
The bill, Intro. 736, has Council Member Mark Levine and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito as its lead sponsors and is expected to sail through the full City Council Wednesday and be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio in the coming weeks. It is a significant step in work being done by both sides of City Hall to reform the city’s justice system – whether criminal or civil – with focus on equity and consistency.
The office will be headed by a civil justice coordinator appointed by the mayor, and will assess the efficacy and capacity of existing civil legal provider programs. The city currently allocates tens of millions of dollars to provide civil legal services for those who cannot afford counsel. The civil justice office would also develop a five-year plan to ensure low-income New Yorkers have the access to the civil legal services they need.