Public defenders, legal aides rally against reopening of courts, say it puts people at risk

Public defenders and legal aides are rallying as the courts begin to reopen.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2020, 4:05 PM

Updated 1,408 days ago


Public defenders and legal aides are rallying as the courts begin to reopen.
The New York City defenders were outside the Brooklyn Supreme Court saying the opening of the courts still put people at risk.
They say a majority of the people this affects are people of color, with many of the legal workers being Black and Latino, but also a majority of their clients are minorities as well.
The Legal Aid Society and Defender Services in Brooklyn and the Bronx are now suing the New York State Office of Court Administration.
The lawsuit claims the OCA has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
The rally attendees believe it's unlawful to force people to come to the courts exposing themselves to coronavirus not only in the courtrooms, but on their way there via public transit.
They say many of the people who have pending cases are people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
A spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration says their plan to resume operations is legal and "with a focus on personal health and safety, calendaring approximately 10 in person cases a day in each court."
Rally attendees believe the courts have pushed forward after the NYPD cited closed courts as a reason behind the uptick in violence across the city.
Legal workers say they want courts to stay closed until they can be sure that everyone will be safe.

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