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COVID-19

Although our physical offices are closed in accordance with the Governor’s order, we remain open for business remotely.

If you need assistance from the Criminal Defense Practice or Juvenile Rights Practice continue to call our main number 212-577-3300. Indicate you need legal assistance and your call will be forwarded to an operator who will assist you.

If you need assistance from our Civil Practice call the neighborhood office in your borough:

Bronx: 718-991-4758​
Brooklyn: 718-722-3100
Manhattan: 212-426-3000
Queens: 718-286-2450
Staten Island: 347-422-5333

If you are not able to get through at first, please be patient as we work to improve our ability to assist you while working remotely.

Important Things To Know

New York State Courts are open. Most proceedings are virtual.

Learn More

How to apply for Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

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All eviction proceedings are suspended until further order.

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Terms You Might Hear

The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.

  • Arraignment – A criminal proceeding at which the defendant is called before a court, informed of the offense charged in the complaint, information, indictment, or other charging document, and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or as otherwise permitted by law.
  • Attorney – A person admitted to practice law and authorized to perform criminal and civil legal functions on behalf of clients.
  • Bail – The temporary release of a prisoner in exchange for security given for the prisoner's appearance at a later hearing.
  • Beneficiary – Generally, a beneficiary is a person or entity who receives a profit, advantage, or benefit. For example, a person named to receive something in a will is a beneficiary under such will. Or refers to alien who has as a petitioner formally filing on their behalf to receive immigration benefits.
  • Brief – A written document prepared by the lawyers on each side of a dispute that is submitted to the court in support of each side's argument. It includes the points of law which the lawyer wishes to establish, the arguments the lawyer will use, and the legal authorities on which the lawyer rests their conclusions.
  • Clerk – An official or employee of the court who maintains the files of each case, and issues routine documents.
  • Court Warrant – An order (writ) of a court which directs a law enforcement officer to arrest and bring a person before the judge. This can be a person charged with a crime, convicted of a crime but failed to appear for sentencing, owes a fine, or is in contempt of court.
  • Custody – The care, possession, and control of a thing or person.
  • Delinquency – An offense or misdemeanor; a misdeed; A debt or other financial obligation on which payment is overdue.
  • EOIR – Executive Office of Immigration Review
  • Essential Plan – A new Insurance Affordability Program launched in 2016 that offers qualified individuals and families a choice of plans from high-quality private health insurers through the NY State of Heath.
  • Eviction Proceeding – Any proceeding which could result in the eviction of a respondent, such as a holdover or nonpayment proceeding.
  • Evidence – A form of proof or probative matter legally presented at the trial of an issue by the acts of the parties and through witnesses, records, documents, concrete objects, etc., for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or the jury.
  • Foreclosure – The process by which mortgaged property enters into the possession of the mortgagee without right of redemption by the mortgagor, usually for reason of delinquency in mortgage payments.
  • Interpreter – A person sworn at a judicial proceeding to translate oral or written language.
  • Landlord – A lessor of real property; the owner or possessor of an estate in land or a rental property, who, in an exchange for rent, leases it to another individual known as the tenant.
  • Lawyer – Someone whose job is to give advice to people about the law and speak for them in court.
  • Levy – A seizure; the obtaining of money by legal process through seizure and sale of property.
  • Lien – A claim on specific property for payment of a debt.
  • Maintenance – Repair and upkeep in housing. OR Money or other financial support awarded to a spouse in a divorce action for his or her separate support. Also called spousal support or alimony.
  • Marshal – An officer of the United States, whose duty it is to execute the process of the courts of the United States. His duties are very similar to those of a sheriff.
  • Medicaid – A health insurance program for low-income and individuals with disabilities. Jointly paid for by the federal and state government.
  • Medicare – A federal health insurance program for people over 65, receiving Social Security Disability, or with end-stage renal disease.
  • Minor – A child under 18 years old.
  • Motion – A request to the court, usually in writing, for relief before the trial on the parties' claims, or for different or additional relief after the trial decision.
  • Notarize – To have a notary public attest to the authenticity of a signature on a document by signing the document and affixing his/her own stamp.
  • Overpayment – The action of paying someone too much or an amount paid that is too much.
  • Petition – In special or summary proceedings, a paper like a document filed in court and delivered to the respondents, stating what the petitioner requests from the court and the respondents.
  • Probation – The condition of being allowed freedom if they commit no more crimes and follow certain rules.
  • Proceeding – A type of lawsuit. For example: In Housing Court, a nonpayment proceeding seeks past-due rent; a holdover proceeding seeks possession of the premises.
  • Public Charge – An immigration law that can be basis for denying a non-citizen entry in the U.S., or for denying an application to adjust status if they are applying through a family member.
  • Settlement – A written compromise reached by the parties and approved by a judge.
  • Social Security – A federal program that provides income, health insurance, and other benefits.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – A federal income supplement program designed to assist aged, blind, and disabled people with little to no income and to provide cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
  • TPS – Temporary Protective Status. Offers temporary legal status to certain immigrants in the United States who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary reasons.
  • Tenant – A person who occupies a property owned by another, based upon an agreement between the person and the landlord/owner.
  • Trial – The formal examination of a legal controversy in court so as to determine the issue.
  • USCIS – United States Citizen and Immigration Services
  • Vacate – To cancel or set aside.
  • Warrant – An official document approved by an authority (normally a judge) which gives the police permission to do certain things.
  • Witness – A person who testifies to what they have seen, heard, or otherwise observed.