New York State civil courts rank 22nd in access for poor

New York’s civil courts rank 22nd in a survey of how well 50 states, the nation’s capital and Puerto Rico provide access to poor people, said a Manhattan-based center devoted to helping people obtain justice in the legal system.
News Story (New York)

Zachary R. Dowdy
Newsday (NY)
May 11, 2016

Tags: Justice for All

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) at Fordham Law School


The report evaluates how well poor people fare in four areas of the civil court systems in the 52 jurisdictions. They include access to attorneys, resources for self-representation, access for people whose native tongue is not English and for those who have mental disabilities.

An indigent litigant was defined for the purpose of the study as someone earning up to 200 percent above the federal poverty line.

New York scored 39.09 of a possible 100 points in the overall-access category comprising the four areas of study, 26.53 in the area of attorney access, 56.25 on resources for pro se litigants, 50 in access for the disabled and only 23.6 for language access.