New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Court Services


Mediation | Interpreters | Court Reporters | Help Centers | Guardian Ad Litem | Assigned Counsel Project | Security | ADA | Volunteer Lawyers Project | Interactive Telephone Service

Mediation

In Kings County (Brooklyn), New York County, and Queens County, if both the landlord and the tenant come to court without a lawyer, their case may be sent to mediation. More mediation programs will be introduced in the Housing County during the next year.

Mediation is a free, voluntary, and confidential service that helps people who have a dispute to reach their own settlement. Instead of asking a judge to make a decision in court, the litigants meet with a trained mediator who helps them make their own decision on how to settle their dispute. If a settlement is reached, it is then put in writing and signed. This written settlement then becomes a legal contract. If the litigants are not able to reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone involved, they are then free to ask a judge to hear their case and make a decision in court.

You may read more about mediation in the publication "Resolving Your Case Through Mediation".

back to top

Interpreters

The Housing Court provides free interpreters in more than 100 languages and in American Sign Language. We are committed to providing equal access to our Court for people who do not feel comfortable communicating in English. If you or someone you know has a case in Housing Court and want an interpreter, tell a court clerk, court attorney, or judge.

For more information visit the Language Access and Court Interpreters page.

back to top

Help Centers

There is a Help Center in every Housing Court building. To learn about the location and hours of our Help Centers, visit the Help Center page. Any Housing Court litigant without a lawyer can go to a Help Center for free information about laws and procedures in Housing Court. Each Help Center has court attorneys and volunteer attorneys trained to give legal and procedural information on Housing, Civil and Small Claims Court procedures; free pamphlets on legal topics; free internet for legal help and to watch videos; and information about legal, rental, and social services help. The Help Centers also offer Do It Yourself (DIY) program. Litigants can create the necessary forms to file answers and restore cases to the calendar.

Learn more about the Help Centersback to top


Guardian Ad Litem

The Civil Court administers a program that provides judges with a pool of Guardians Ad Litem (GALs) to assist litigants who are unable to adequately protect their rights in Housing Court cases. GALs are trained by the Court to safeguard the rights of such litigants. A GAL who serves in Housing Court can be an attorney or a non-attorney. GALs are compensated by the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) if a litigant is also a client of Adult Protective Services (APS). Otherwise the GAL serves on a volunteer basis.

 


Assigned Counsel Project

The Assigned Counsel Project (ACP) helps seniors at risk for eviction.  It is a partnership between the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Civil Court of the City of New York that provides seniors with free legal and social work services to help resolve their Housing Court case.

Seniors are eligible for representation if they live in New York City, are 60 years old or older, have an identifiable social service need, and have been sued for eviction in Housing Court.

Read this brochure on ACP to learn more about the program, including how a senior may be considered for eligibility.back to top

back to top