Brooklyn tenants say housing court is denying their rights in eviction hearings

Protesters say the city's court system has refused tenants' right to counsel and created hardships for thousands facing eviction.

News 12 Staff

Mar 20, 2023, 4:43 PM

Updated 450 days ago

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Members of the Flatbush Tenant Coalition protested at the Brooklyn Housing Court Monday, saying the city's court system refused their right to counsel and created hardships for thousands facing eviction.
Passed back in 2017 under Mayor Bill de administration, the Right to Counsel grants tenants facing eviction free legal services, including representation in housing court. Some tenants received representation, but protesters say others have not received that right.
Tenants say without the representation, court cases can only last several minutes and result in them becoming homeless.
The Brooklyn Housing Court issued a statement to News 12 saying in part, "The court system is not denying litigants counsel in housing court. The inability of the Right to Counsel providers to staff intake calendars is the real reason.”
Protesters claim the housing court's statement is false, suggesting the judges have the power to slow down the cases.
As of now, the Right to Counsel was only passed in the city. Organizers say they're looking to get the legislation passed statewide and fully funded with $172 million in the 2024 fiscal year budget.


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