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News


DECEMBER

Seal Up to Two Criminal Convictions in New York

As of October 2017, it is now possible to file a motion asking the court to seal criminal convictions in New York under CPL 160.59. Up to two convictions can be sealed, only one of which may be a felony, if the person has been crime-free for ten years since the date of the conviction, or from the date of release from custody, whichever is later. Certain violent felonies and sex crimes are not eligible for sealing. Learn more information and find free court forms and instructions on CourtHelp.

New Simplified Court Forms for NYC Housing Court

By Administrative Order dated November 8, 2017, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks promulgated a new example of a plain language Notice of Petition to be used in nonpayment cases in NYC (22 NYCRR § 208.42 (d). Along with the Notice of Petition, petitioners must also serve the respondents with a copy of Information on Answering a Nonpayment Petition (Civ. LT 92). Judge Marks also issued an Administrative Order dated November 8, 2017, amending the language of the postcards that landlords are required to submit to the NYC Housing Court when commencing a nonpayment or holdover proceeding (22 NYCRR § 208.42(i)(1)). The new form and postcards contain information about ADA accommodations and a phone number to call for eviction information in nine languages in addition to English. The new form and postcards go into effect January 1, 2018.
NYC Notice of Nonpayment Petition
NYC Nonpayment Petition and Holdover Postcards




NOVEMBER

Judge Mendelson Interviewed on the NY Courts Amici Podcast

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives Edwina G. Mendelson sat down with John Caher to discuss her new position heading the Office for Justice Initiatives (OJI). In the interview, Judge Mendelson talks about her goals for the OJI, and her new responsibilities which include leading child welfare and juvenile and adolescent justice initiatives, and implementing the important legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York to 18 years of age. The podcast covers Judge Mendelson’s plans to continue and expand the work of the Access to Justice Program throughout the state and various justice initiatives including community outreach, the CourtHelp website for unrepresented litigants, non-lawyer assistance Court Navigator programs, DIY Form document assembly programs, Court Help Centers, and volunteer attorney programs. When asked how she feels about her leadership role in the court system, Judge Mendelson quoted Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, stating that she similarly feels “unimaginable good fortune” over her responsibilities. Judge Mendelson is tasked with directing multiple court programs, narrowing the justice gap and increasing access to justice.

The “Amici” (Latin translation: “friend of the court”) podcasts are a series of interviews with individuals on topics of interest to the legal community at large. Listen to Judge Mendelson’s podcast, as well as past amici podcasts, by visiting the court system’s website or the iTunes podcast library. Or read a transcript of Judge Mendelson’s podcast.




OCTOBER

Pro Bono Awards Night

Foreclosure volunteers
Judge Edwina Mendelson & Judge Sam Walker with attorneys from Pepper Hamilton LLP, Regeneron Corporate Law Dept. and Law Office of Peter Spino who volunteered in 9th JD’s Foreclosure Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program

In recognition of National Pro Bono Celebration Week, the NYS Court System’s Office for Justice Initiatives, along with the NYS Bar Association and New York County Lawyers’ Association, hosted a standing-room only awards ceremony and reception honoring attorneys for their volunteer efforts at NYCLA on October 26, 2017. Special recognition was given to innovative pro bono programs in the Eighth (Buffalo and surrounding counties) and Ninth (Westchester and surrounding counties) Judicial Districts. Speakers included Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives; Edwina Martin, Co-chair, New York State Bar Association President’s Committee on Access to Justice; and Michael J. McNamara, President, New York County Lawyers’ Association. A list of those recognized can be found in the Pro Bono Awards Program. View the photo gallery from the event.




JULY

Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson Will Direct the Access to Justice Program

On July 1, 2017, the Honorable Edwina G. Mendelson was appointed Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York State Unified Court System's Office for Justice Initiatives. Judge Mendelson is charged with directing the New York State Courts' Access to Justice Program, as well as leading Child Welfare, and Juvenile and Adolescent Justice initiatives, including implementation of recent legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York. Judge Mendelson and the Office for Justice Initiatives (OJI) will work closely with the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, as well as with the Advisory Committee on Access for People with Disabilities, the Center for Court Innovation (CCI), the Division of Technology, the Forms Committees, the Grants Office, the Office of Language Access, and law schools.