A07570 Summary:

BILL NOA07570A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S06678-A
 
SPONSORJoyner
 
COSPNSRReyes, Gottfried, Septimo, Gallagher, Dinowitz, Seawright, McDonald, Niou
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add Art 7-C 800 - 800-i, amd 701, 711, 713, 741, 745 & 749, RPAP L; add 235-i, RP L
 
Establishes the civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings in New York state; creates the New York state office of civil justice; requires that covered individuals be given notice of such right to counsel.
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A07570 Actions:

BILL NOA07570A
 
05/14/2021referred to judiciary
09/15/2021amend and recommit to judiciary
09/15/2021print number 7570a
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A07570 Committee Votes:

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A07570 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A07570 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7570A
 
SPONSOR: Joyner
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property actions and proceedings law and the real property law, in relation to establishing the civil right to coun- sel in eviction proceedings   PURPOSE: Establishes the civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings in New York State.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Sets forth legislative findings. Section 2: Provides for the addition of Article 7-C, the Civil Right to Counsel in Eviction Proceedings Act, as part of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law. *All covered individuals facing eviction proceedings are to be provided with legal representation at the government's expense. *This will not affect the right to counsel in any other civil or crimi- nal action. And if a court finds any portion of this law to be invalid, such order or judgment cannot affect or invalidate the remainder of this Article. *Provides the relevant definitions for "Coordinator," "Covered individ- ual," "Covered proceeding," "Designated legal organization," "Designated community organization," "Designated statewide languages," "Full legal representation," "Housing accommodation," and "Office." *The civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings is created and establishes that this civil right must apply in covered proceedings. *Establishes the New York State Office of Civil Justice. The position of Civil Justice Coordinator, appointed by the Governor, will lead this new Office. The Coordinator must: *Create a new program to provide individuals with access to legal services in eviction proceedings; *advise and assist the governor in planning and implementing coordi- nation and cooperation among state agencies; *annually apprise the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly of the need for designated legal organ- izations and designated community organizations; *propose an amount of funding for designated legal organizations and designated community organizations; *serve as liaison for the state with designated legal organizations and designated community organizations; *promulgate any necessary rules and regulations; * prepare a list of designated languages; *support outreach and education by designated community organizations; *perform other duties as the governor may assign; *identify at least one designated legal organization or consortium of designated legal organizations capable of providing legal services in covered proceedings in each region of the state; * consult with tenants, unions representing employees of designated legal organizations, bar associations, and representatives of the judiciary; *estimate annual expenditures; *identify one or more designated community organizations capable of providing community education and organization; *conduct a public hearing for each judicial department once a year to receive recommendations and feedback about such program; *provide the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly with an annual financial audit of the program's activities, and a review of the program that contains pertinent informa- tion regarding how many individuals were represented in eviction proceedings, their backgrounds, and certain information about the proceedings themselves. Section 3: A court overseeing an eviction proceeding must notify a respondent that such-a respondent has a right to civil counsel at least fourteen days before trial by mail. Section 4: In situations where a landlord-tenant relationship exists, a proceeding or filing to recover possession of real property or to recover for nonpayment of rent cannot be maintained or accepted by a court unless a petitioner has demonstrated that the respondent has been provided with written notice of the right to counsel in eviction proceedings. Section 5: In situations where a landlord-tenant relationship does not exist, a proceeding or filing to recover possession of real property or to recover for nonpayment of rent cannot be maintained or accepted by a court unless a petitioner has demonstrated that the respondent has been provided with written notice of the right to counsel in eviction proceedings. Section 6: In proceedings to recover possession of real property, a petition must notify the respondent of the civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings, and that all proceedings can be adjourned until the respondent has had time to retain and consult with counsel. Furthermore, any and all predicate notices served upon the respondent must include notice of the civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings, and must provide a phone number, website address and other information to assist the respondent in securing counsel. Section 7: Covered individuals who appear in court without counsel must be informed orally by the court that the civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings exists, and if such an individual would like coun- sel, the court must adjourn proceedings for at least fourteen days for the individual to retain counsel. Section 8: A court cannot authorize the issuance of a warrant of eviction unless the petitioner has filed an affidavit attesting that the respondent was provided with written notice of the respondent's civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings in the notice of petition and in any predicate notice. Failure to do so will constitute good cause to vacate a warrant of eviction. Section 9: Provides that a lease or contract containing a waiver or limitation of the right to counsel in eviction proceedings is deemed void. Section 10: Sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: During eviction proceedings, the overwhelming majority of landlords are represented during eviction proceedings, while most tenants are not. This is an obvious power imbalance that often leads to unjust outcomes, and many tenants are evicted where they would otherwise would not be if they had competent legal representation. High levels of evictions have a disastrous effect on people's lives and serve to increase New York's already high homeless levels. This has a negative impact on public funds, as the State is forced to expend resources on shelter services, emergency room costs, homelessness services, and more. This Bill seeks to correct these shortcomings by providing that tenants will have a civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings in New York State. It establishes the New York State Office of Civil Justice, with the position of Civil Justice Coordinator to lead this Office, which will contract with both non-profit legal services organizations to provide counsel to tenants, and with non-profit community-based organizations to provide tenants' rights education and tenant organizing. It will hold public hearings and produce annual reports on implementation and finan- cial auditing. Just as significant, tenants must be provided with written notice of their Right to Counsel before any court filing or proceeding can contin- ue, including before an eviction warrant or default judgement is issued. A tenant's Right to Counsel must be included in predicate notices, and this must be served to the tenant before an eviction case can proceed. Tenants are given information (e.g., phone number or website) in order to contact a Right to Counsel lawyer. Cases are adjourned until the tenant is able to retain and consult with their lawyer. Judges must verbally inform tenants of their Right to Counsel if they appear in court without a lawyer. And a failure of the court, the landlord, or landlord's lawyer to comply with the tenant's Right to Counsel will result in vacating any eviction warrants. In 2017, New York City became the first city in the country to pass Right to Counsel, which has not only led to landlords suing tenants less, but 86 percent of tenants who had a right to counsel lawyer won their case and were able to remain in their homes. Furthermore, the seven cities that now have a Right to Counsel have seen up to a 77 percent reduction in evictions.   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: To be determined.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A07570 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         7570--A
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      May 14, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. JOYNER, REYES, GOTTFRIED, SEPTIMO, GALLAGHER,
          DINOWITZ, SEAWRIGHT, McDONALD, NIOU -- read once and referred  to  the
          Committee  on Judiciary -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the real property actions and proceedings  law  and  the
          real  property  law,  in  relation  to establishing the civil right to
          counsel in eviction proceedings
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Legislative  findings.  The legislature hereby finds that
     2  there is a fundamental human right to adequate  housing  accommodations.
     3  Safe,  secure,  and  accessible  housing is essential to achieving equal
     4  access to all other fundamental needs.  Without housing, individuals and
     5  families too often cannot preserve family integrity, gain employment  or
     6  other  income,  or  enjoy  access  to  healthcare, proper nutrition, and
     7  education.
     8    Legal proceedings that can lead to eviction are generally complex  and
     9  are  governed  by  a  large  body of procedural and substantive law that
    10  makes these proceedings extremely  difficult  to  navigate  without  the
    11  assistance  of  counsel. The overwhelming majority of landlords who seek
    12  to evict tenants are represented by legal counsel, while in the areas of
    13  New York State where there is no right to counsel most tenants  are  not
    14  represented  by counsel.  Eviction proceedings, displacement as a result
    15  of eviction proceedings, and executed evictions  all  have  a  disparate
    16  impact  on  people of color, who are respondents in eviction proceedings
    17  in numbers that greatly exceed their proportion of the general New  York
    18  population.    Representation  of persons who face losing their homes in
    19  legal  proceedings  makes  a  determinative  difference  in  outcome  by
    20  preserving  homes  and  ensuring  compliance with laws that, among other
    21  purposes, protect the  right  to  safe  and  secure  living  conditions,
    22  prohibit  discrimination,  regulate  rents and provide rental subsidies.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11311-04-1

        A. 7570--A                          2
 
     1  Representation  of  persons  who  face  losing  their  homes  in   legal
     2  proceedings  is  essential to the fair functioning of the justice system
     3  and protects the rights to due process and equal protection of the law.
     4    Evictions  disrupt lives and livelihoods, force tenants to seek alter-
     5  native housing in a market with a severe shortage of affordable  housing
     6  and  significantly  increase  the  risk  of homelessness. The short- and
     7  long-term effects of evictions and homelessness are devastating to indi-
     8  viduals and families and can affect physical and mental health,  employ-
     9  ment,  education,  and  engagement  with  the  criminal  justice system.
    10  Providing legal  assistance  to  tenants  who  face  eviction  not  only
    11  protects  individuals  and  families  from  the  devastating  effects of
    12  eviction and homelessness, it saves public funds that would otherwise be
    13  spent on shelters and services to people  experiencing  homelessness  as
    14  well  as  public  expenses  for addressing the wide range of detrimental
    15  short- and long-term effects of eviction and homelessness.
    16    New York is facing an eviction crisis of unfathomable proportions  due
    17  to  the  COVID-19 pandemic. According to an analysis of July 15th Census
    18  Bureau data, almost half (46 percent) of all renting households  in  the
    19  state  were  not  able to pay rent and are at risk of eviction. In 2017,
    20  New York City adopted legislation that guarantees a right to counsel for
    21  tenants facing eviction.  Even though the right to counsel  in  eviction
    22  proceedings  in  New  York  City is still in the implementation phase, a
    23  study conducted by the New  York  City  Office  of  Civil  Justice  that
    24  analyzed data pertaining to New York City Housing Court proceedings from
    25  2013-2019  found  that  legal  representation in eviction matters has an
    26  enormously beneficial effect as shown by the following data:
    27    1. Evictions dropped 41 percent overall since  2013,  including  a  15
    28  percent drop in 2019 alone;
    29    2.  Eviction  filings  dropped  by  30  percent between 2013 and 2019,
    30  including a 20 percent drop in 2019 alone;
    31    3. Default judgments dropped 34 percent between 2013 and 2019;
    32    4. Requests by tenants to bring their cases back to the Housing  Court
    33  calendar  on  an  emergency basis dropped by 38 percent during that time
    34  period, because tenant  representation  is  ensuring  these  issues  are
    35  addressed at the start of the case; and
    36    5.  Overall,  84  percent  of  tenants who were represented by counsel
    37  remained in their homes.
    38    § 2. The real property actions  and  proceedings  law  is  amended  by
    39  adding a new article 7-C to read as follows:
    40                                 ARTICLE 7-C
    41                           CIVIL RIGHT TO COUNSEL
    42                         IN EVICTION PROCEEDINGS ACT
    43  Section 800.   Short title.
    44          800-a. Legislative purpose.
    45          800-b. Construction; effect of other laws; severability.
    46          800-c. Definitions.
    47          800-d. Civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings created.
    48          800-e. New York state office of civil justice established.
    49          800-f. Provision of legal services.
    50          800-g. Community engagement.
    51          800-h. Public hearings.
    52          800-i. Reporting.
    53    §  800.  Short  title. This article shall be known and may be cited as
    54  the "civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings act".
    55    § 800-a. Legislative purpose. 1. Civil right to counsel.  The  purpose
    56  of  this  article  is  to  create  a  civil right to counsel in eviction

        A. 7570--A                          3
 
     1  proceedings in New York state that guarantees  all  covered  individuals
     2  are  provided high quality legal representation at government expense in
     3  all covered proceedings. The civil right to counsel for people who  face
     4  eviction  is  intended  to  ensure  fair  and  balanced proceedings that
     5  comport  with  the  constitutional  rights  to  due  process  and  equal
     6  protection and, given the devastating consequences of eviction, outweigh
     7  all other considerations in the administration of legal proceedings that
     8  could result in eviction.
     9    2.  New  York  constitutional  source  of the right. The source of the
    10  right exists in section one of article seventeen of the New  York  state
    11  constitution, which provides that the aid, care and support of the needy
    12  are  public  concerns  and shall be provided by the state and by such of
    13  its subdivisions, and in such manner and by such means, as the  legisla-
    14  ture  may from time to time determine. Further, section three of article
    15  seventeen  of  the  New  York  state  constitution  provides  that   the
    16  protection  and  promotion of the health of the inhabitants of the state
    17  are matters of public concern and provisions therefor shall be  made  by
    18  the  state  and  by  such of its subdivisions and in such manner, and by
    19  such means as the legislature shall from time to time determine.
    20    § 800-b. Construction; effect of other laws; severability.  1.    This
    21  article   shall  be  interpreted  broadly  to  effectuate  the  purposes
    22  described in section eight hundred-a of this article.
    23    2. This article shall not be construed to negate, alter, or limit  any
    24  right to counsel in any civil or criminal action or proceeding otherwise
    25  provided  under  the  New  York state constitution or any New York state
    26  statute. In the event of any conflict between  the  provisions  of  this
    27  article and any other provision of law, this article shall govern.
    28    3.  If  any  word,  phrase,  clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision,
    29  section or part of this article or the application thereof to any person
    30  or circumstance shall be adjudged invalid by a court of competent juris-
    31  diction, such order or judgment  shall  not  affect  or  invalidate  the
    32  remainder of this article, and shall be confined in its operation to the
    33  controversy  in  which it was rendered, and to the word, phrase, clause,
    34  sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section  or  part  thereof  directly
    35  involved  in  the  controversy  in  which  such judgment shall have been
    36  rendered.
    37    § 800-c. Definitions. For the purposes of this article, the  following
    38  terms shall have the following meanings:
    39    1.  "Coordinator" means the civil justice coordinator appointed pursu-
    40  ant to section eight hundred-e of this article.
    41    2. "Covered individual" means an individual who resides in  a  housing
    42  accommodation  and  is  at  risk  of  losing their housing or reasonably
    43  anticipated to be at risk of losing their housing.
    44    3. "Covered proceeding" means any proceeding to evict a covered  indi-
    45  vidual,  including  a summary proceeding to seek possession for the non-
    46  payment of rent or a holdover, or any other proceeding  for  termination
    47  of  tenancy, or any proceeding that could result in an individual losing
    48  such individual's  housing  accommodation.  "Covered  proceeding"  shall
    49  include, but not be limited to proceedings:
    50    (a) To evict a covered individual, and such proceedings are covered as
    51  soon as an owner or managing agent serves a predicate notice terminating
    52  a  tenancy,  demanding rent or any other writing indicating an intent to
    53  initiate a covered proceeding;
    54    (b) Initiated by a covered individual to  correct  violations  of  law
    55  relating to hazardous housing standards;

        A. 7570--A                          4
 
     1    (c)  To terminate an eligible individual from participation in any New
     2  York state, locality, or federal housing subsidy program;
     3    (d) Initiated by a covered individual in response to unlawful landlord
     4  or owner behavior;
     5    (e)  Owner  or  landlord  initiated  appeals or appeals initiated by a
     6  covered individual upon an adverse ruling; and
     7    (f) Any other proceeding commenced against or by an individual that  a
     8  designated  legal  organization determines in its sole discretion can be
     9  reasonably anticipated to lead to loss  of  such  individual's  home  or
    10  housing accommodation.
    11    4. "Designated legal organization" means a not-for-profit organization
    12  or association having non-profit status under section 501 (c) (3) of the
    13  U.S.  internal  revenue code that has the capacity to provide comprehen-
    14  sive and effective legal services and is designated by  the  coordinator
    15  pursuant to this article.
    16    5.  "Designated  community organization" means a not-for-profit organ-
    17  ization or association having non-profit status under  section  501  (c)
    18  (3)  of  the U.S. internal revenue code that provide community education
    19  and organization regarding rights of tenants.
    20    6. "Designated statewide languages" means languages designated by  the
    21  coordinator pursuant to section eight hundred-e of this article.
    22    7.  "Full  legal  representation"  means  ongoing legal representation
    23  provided by a designated legal organization to a covered individual  and
    24  includes all legal advice, advocacy, and assistance associated with such
    25  representation.  "Full  legal  representation" shall include, but not be
    26  limited to: filing a notice of appearance,  filing  and  preparation  of
    27  pleadings  and  motions  on behalf of covered individuals, court appear-
    28  ances on behalf of covered individuals, pre- and  post-trial  settlement
    29  conferences,  and  any  other  activities  needed to provide zealous and
    30  effective representation in a covered proceeding.
    31    8. "Housing accommodation" means that part of any building  or  struc-
    32  ture  or any part thereof, permanent or temporary, occupied or intended,
    33  arranged or designed to be used or occupied, by one or more  individuals
    34  as a residence, home, dwelling unit or apartment, sleeping place, board-
    35  ing  house,  lodging  house or hotel, and all essential services, privi-
    36  leges, furnishings, furniture and facilities supplied in connection with
    37  the occupation thereof.
    38    9. "Office" means the New York state office of  civil  justice  estab-
    39  lished pursuant to section eight hundred-e of this article.
    40    10. "Eviction proceeding" means a covered proceeding.
    41    §  800-d.  Civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings created.  1.
    42  The civil right to full representation by counsel in covered proceedings
    43  for covered individuals is hereby created and shall apply to all pending
    44  covered proceedings at the time of the effective date of  this  section,
    45  and  to all covered proceedings initiated on or after the effective date
    46  of this section.
    47    2. The civil right to counsel in covered proceedings shall apply to  a
    48  covered  individual  upon  the  service  of a predicate notice upon such
    49  individual, upon the commencement of a covered  proceeding,  or  upon  a
    50  determination by a designated legal organization that a covered proceed-
    51  ing is reasonably anticipated, whichever occurs earlier.
    52    § 800-e. New York state office of civil justice established. 1.  There
    53  is  hereby  established  the "New York state office of civil justice" to
    54  conduct planning and implementation of the purposes of this article.

        A. 7570--A                          5
 
     1    2. The office shall be headed by a civil justice coordinator who shall
     2  be appointed by the governor. The civil justice coordinator  shall  have
     3  the power and duty to:
     4    (a) create and implement a program to provide access to legal services
     5  pursuant to section eight hundred-f of this article;
     6    (b)  advise and assist the governor in planning and implementing coor-
     7  dination and cooperation among state agencies necessary for  the  imple-
     8  mentation of this article;
     9    (c) prepare and submit to the governor, the temporary president of the
    10  senate, and the speaker of the assembly an annual report of the need for
    11  designated legal organizations and designated community organizations in
    12  the state, and whether current designated legal organizations and desig-
    13  nated  community  organizations  are  able  to meet the needs of covered
    14  individuals;
    15    (d) propose an amount of funding for  designated  legal  organizations
    16  and  designated community organizations that is sufficient to assist all
    17  covered individuals, and to enable such organizations  to  provide  high
    18  quality  assistance and have reasonable workloads, decent working condi-
    19  tions, and adequate compensation for their staff;
    20    (e) serve as liaison for the state with designated legal organizations
    21  and designated community organizations;
    22    (f) promulgate any rules and regulations necessary for the implementa-
    23  tion of the provisions of this article;
    24    (g) prepare a list of  designated  languages  that  shall  consist  of
    25  languages spoken by a large enough population of New York residents that
    26  preparation  of  materials  and  conduct  of education and engagement by
    27  designated community organizations in such languages is appropriate;
    28    (h) support outreach and education by designated  community  organiza-
    29  tions,  to  spread  awareness  of  the  availability of designated legal
    30  organizations; and
    31    (i) perform such other duties as the governor may assign.
    32    § 800-f. Provision of legal services. 1. The coordinator shall  estab-
    33  lish  a program to provide access to legal services for covered individ-
    34  uals in covered proceedings and shall, no later than ninety days follow-
    35  ing the effective date of this article:
    36    (a) Ensure that a system is in place to provide all  covered  individ-
    37  uals  in  the  state  with counsel for covered proceedings, and that any
    38  notice of petition for  summary  eviction  proceedings  commenced  under
    39  article  seven of this chapter provides notice to covered individuals of
    40  their right to counsel and how they may secure such counsel;
    41    (b) Ensure that all covered individuals receive access to  full  legal
    42  representation  as  provided  under  subdivision  two  of  section eight
    43  hundred-d of this article; and
    44    (c) Identify at least one designated legal organization or  consortium
    45  of designated legal organizations capable of providing legal services in
    46  covered  proceedings  in each region of the state. In identifying desig-
    47  nated legal organizations, the coordinator shall only consider providers
    48  that have the capacity to provide high quality legal assistance and,  at
    49  minimum, meet the following qualifications:
    50    (i)  have  non-profit  status  under  section  501 (c) (3) of the U.S.
    51  internal revenue code;
    52    (ii) maintain a practice of furnishing free legal services to individ-
    53  uals who cannot afford the services of a licensed legal professional;
    54    (iii) possess  expertise  in  housing  law,  landlord-tenant  law,  or
    55  related  experience  in  representing  covered  individuals  in  covered
    56  proceedings;

        A. 7570--A                          6
 
     1    (iv) demonstrate expertise in recognizing and responding to the  legal
     2  issues facing low-income residents of the state of New York;
     3    (v)  possess adequate infrastructure and expertise to provide consist-
     4  ent, high quality  supervision,  oversight,  training,  evaluation,  and
     5  strategic responses to emerging or changing needs in the client communi-
     6  ties served; and
     7    (vi) with sufficient funding, have the capacity to maintain reasonable
     8  caseloads  and  working  conditions for their attorneys, paralegals, and
     9  other staff.
    10    2. The coordinator shall require each designated legal organization to
    11  identify the geographic areas for which such organization shall  provide
    12  legal  services.  For  each  such geographic area, the coordinator shall
    13  maintain a list of designated legal service organizations.
    14    3. In developing the program under subdivision one  of  this  section,
    15  the coordinator shall consult with:
    16    (a) Tenants, representatives for tenants, and community groups;
    17    (b)  Representatives  of  designated  legal  organizations  and unions
    18  engaged in representing employees of designated legal organizations;
    19    (c) Representatives of the New York state  bar  association,  the  New
    20  York  city  bar association, the network of bar leaders, and other local
    21  bar associations in New York state; and
    22    (d) Representatives of the judiciary.
    23    4. The coordinator shall estimate annually the  expenditures  required
    24  for  each  year  of  implementation  of  the  program  described in this
    25  section. The estimate of required expenditures shall  be  sufficient  to
    26  enable designated legal organizations to provide high quality assistance
    27  and  maintain  the qualifications set forth in paragraph (c) of subdivi-
    28  sion one of this section. Beginning January first, two thousand  twenty-
    29  three,  and  no  later  than  January first of each year thereafter, the
    30  coordinator shall publish a summary of any changes to such estimates for
    31  expenditures.
    32    5. The coordinator shall annually review the performance of designated
    33  legal organizations.
    34    § 800-g. Community engagement. 1. The coordinator shall  identify  one
    35  or more designated community organizations capable of providing communi-
    36  ty  education  and  organization.  In  identifying  designated community
    37  organizations, the coordinator shall only  consider  organizations  that
    38  have the capacity to provide high quality assistance and shall, at mini-
    39  mum, meet the following qualifications:
    40    (a)  have  non-profit  status  under  section  501 (c) (3) of the U.S.
    41  internal revenue code;
    42    (b) maintain a practice of furnishing free services;
    43    (c) possess expertise and experience in community education and organ-
    44  ization, and ties to the communities they serve;
    45    (d) demonstrate expertise in recognizing and responding to the housing
    46  issues facing low-income residents of the state of New York;
    47    (e) possess adequate expertise to  provide  consistent,  high  quality
    48  supervision,  oversight, training, evaluation, and strategic response to
    49  emerging or changing needs in the communities served; and
    50    (f) maintain reasonable workloads and  working  conditions  for  their
    51  staff.
    52    2.  With  the  support of the coordinator and adequate funding, desig-
    53  nated community organizations shall  be  responsible  for  engaging  and
    54  educating tenants of their rights in eviction proceedings, including but
    55  not  limited  to:  hosting  trainings  and  other workshops for tenants;
    56  distributing written information to tenants; assisting tenants in  form-

        A. 7570--A                          7
 
     1  ing and maintaining tenant associations; referring tenants to designated
     2  legal  organizations; and other activities to engage, educate, or inform
     3  tenants of their rights in eviction proceedings. Engagement  and  educa-
     4  tion shall be provided in designated statewide languages.
     5    §  800-h.  Public  hearings.  1.  Following  the  establishment of the
     6  program established pursuant to section eight hundred-f of this article,
     7  once each year the coordinator shall hold  a  public  hearing  for  each
     8  judicial  department  to receive recommendations and feedback about such
     9  program.
    10    2. Such hearing shall be open to the public, and the coordinator shall
    11  provide notice of such hearing, no less than  thirty  days  before  such
    12  hearing, by:
    13    (a)  posting  in  the  designated  statewide  languages in the housing
    14  courts and other forums in which eviction proceedings are held;
    15    (b) posting in the designated statewide languages in public offices of
    16  county social services/human resources departments; and
    17    (c) publicizing through local  media  and  to  each  designated  legal
    18  organization,  each  designated  community  organization,  local elected
    19  officials, the supervising judges of the housing courts, other forums in
    20  which eviction proceedings are held, and community-based organizations.
    21    3. At such hearings, written and oral testimony may be provided.
    22    4. The coordinator shall cause a transcript of  such  hearings  to  be
    23  produced  and shall post such transcript online no later than forty-five
    24  days after a hearing.
    25    § 800-i. Reporting. 1. The coordinator shall provide the governor, the
    26  temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly  with
    27  an  annual  financial  audit  of the program's activities, prepared by a
    28  certified public accountant licensed  in  the  state  of  New  York  and
    29  carried out in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.
    30    2.  No later than January first, two thousand twenty-three and January
    31  first of every other year thereafter, the coordinator  shall  submit  to
    32  the  governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of
    33  the assembly, and post online,  a  review  of  the  program  established
    34  pursuant  to  section  eight  hundred-f  of this article and information
    35  regarding such program's implementation, to the extent such  information
    36  is available, including, but not limited to:
    37    (a) The estimated number of covered individuals in the state;
    38    (b)  The  number  of  covered  individuals  who  have  received  legal
    39  services, disaggregated by the following characteristics of  such  indi-
    40  viduals:
    41    (i) gender, race, ethnicity, and age;
    42    (ii) county and postal code of residence;
    43    (iii) household size;
    44    (iv) estimated length of tenancy;
    45    (v) approximate household income;
    46    (vi)  receipt  of  ongoing  public  assistance  at the time such legal
    47  services were initiated;
    48    (vii) tenancy in rent-regulated housing; and
    49    (viii) tenancy in housing operated by or subsidized through a federal,
    50  state or local rental subsidy program;
    51    (c) Legal services provided by type of legal issue;
    52    (d) A list of designated legal organizations, the geographic region in
    53  which such organizations provide services, and  the  amount  of  funding
    54  provided to each;

        A. 7570--A                          8
 
     1    (e)  Outcomes immediately following the provision of full legal repre-
     2  sentation, as applicable and available, including, but not  limited  to,
     3  the number of:
     4    (i) judgments allowing individuals to remain in their residence;
     5    (ii)  judgments requiring individuals to be displaced from their resi-
     6  dence; and
     7    (iii) instances where an attorney representing  a  covered  individual
     8  was discharged or withdrew;
     9    (f) A list of landlords involved in eviction proceedings;
    10    (g)  Residential  evictions  conducted  by  sheriffs or city marshals,
    11  disaggregated by county;
    12    (h) A list  of  designated  community  organizations,  the  geographic
    13  region  in  which such organizations provide services, and the amount of
    14  funding provided to each;
    15    (i) The number of buildings  in  which  outreach  was  conducted,  the
    16  number  of workshops offered, the number of attendees at such workshops,
    17  the number of people referred to non-profits having status under section
    18  501 (c) (3) of the U.S.  internal revenue code, and the number of train-
    19  ings offered; and
    20    (j) An evaluation of implementation challenges and recommendations for
    21  any future programmatic improvements.
    22    § 3. Section 701 of the real property actions and proceedings  law  is
    23  amended by adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
    24    3.  Any  court maintaining a covered proceeding, as defined by section
    25  eight hundred-c of this chapter, shall notify all  respondents  by  mail
    26  upon  filing of a petition, not less than fourteen days before trial, of
    27  such respondent's civil right to counsel in an eviction proceeding under
    28  article seven-C of this chapter.
    29    § 4. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 711 of the real property  actions
    30  and proceedings law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 305 of the laws
    31  of  1963 and subdivision 2 as amended by section 12 of part M of chapter
    32  36 of the laws of 2019, are amended to read as follows:
    33    1. The tenant continues in possession of any portion of  the  premises
    34  after the expiration of his term, without the permission of the landlord
    35  or,  in a case where a new lessee is entitled to possession, without the
    36  permission of the new lessee. Acceptance of rent after  commencement  of
    37  the  special  proceeding  upon  this  ground  shall  not  terminate such
    38  proceeding nor effect any award of possession to the landlord or to  the
    39  new  lessee,  as  the  case  may  be.  A  proceeding  seeking to recover
    40  possession of real property by reason of the  termination  of  the  term
    41  fixed  in the lease pursuant to a provision contained therein giving the
    42  landlord the right to terminate the time fixed for occupancy under  such
    43  agreement if he deem the tenant objectionable, shall not be maintainable
    44  unless  the landlord shall by competent evidence establish to the satis-
    45  faction of the court that the tenant is objectionable.    No  proceeding
    46  shall  be maintained, and no court shall accept for filing, any petition
    47  to recover possession of real property unless the petitioner or an agent
    48  of the petitioner has filed an affidavit attesting that  the  petitioner
    49  or  the  petitioner's  agent  has  provided  the respondent with written
    50  notice, in the notice of petition and any required predicate notice,  of
    51  such respondent's right to counsel in eviction proceedings under article
    52  seven-C of this chapter.
    53    2.  The  tenant  has defaulted in the payment of rent, pursuant to the
    54  agreement under which the premises are held, and a written demand of the
    55  rent has been made with at least fourteen days' notice requiring, in the
    56  alternative, the payment of the rent, or the possession of the premises,

        A. 7570--A                          9

     1  has been served upon him as prescribed in section seven hundred  thirty-
     2  five  of  this  article. No proceeding shall be maintained, and no court
     3  shall accept filing for any petition for non-payment of rent unless  the
     4  written  demand  for  rent required by this section contains a notice of
     5  the respondent's civil right to  counsel  in  eviction  proceedings,  as
     6  required  by  subdivision six of section seven hundred forty-one of this
     7  article. Any person succeeding to the landlord's interest in  the  prem-
     8  ises  may proceed under this subdivision for rent due his predecessor in
     9  interest if he has a right thereto. Where a tenant dies during the  term
    10  of  the  lease and rent due has not been paid and the apartment is occu-
    11  pied by a person with  a  claim  to  possession,  a  proceeding  may  be
    12  commenced  naming  the  occupants  of the apartment seeking a possessory
    13  judgment only as against the estate. Entry of such a judgment  shall  be
    14  without  prejudice  to  the  possessory claims of the occupants, and any
    15  warrant issued shall not be effective as against the occupants.
    16    § 5. Section 713 of the real property actions and proceedings  law  is
    17  amended by adding a new subdivision 12 to read as follows:
    18    12.  No  proceeding shall be maintained, and no court shall accept for
    19  filing, any petition to recover possession of real property  unless  the
    20  petitioner  or an agent of the petitioner has filed an affidavit attest-
    21  ing that the petitioner or  the  petitioner's  agent  has  provided  the
    22  respondent  with  written  notice,  in  the  notice  of petition and any
    23  required predicate notice, of such  respondent's  right  to  counsel  in
    24  eviction proceedings under article seven-C of this chapter.
    25    §  6.  Section 741 of the real property actions and proceedings law is
    26  amended by adding three new subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 to read as follows:
    27    6. Notify the respondent of the existence of the civil right to  coun-
    28  sel  in  eviction proceedings under article seven-C of this chapter, and
    29  shall provide a phone number, website address and other  information  to
    30  assist the respondent in securing counsel.
    31    7.  State  the  right  to  an  adjournment  of the proceedings until a
    32  covered individual, as defined in section eight hundred-c of this  chap-
    33  ter, is able to retain and consult with counsel.
    34    8. State that any and all predicate notices served upon the respondent
    35  included  notice  of  the civil right to counsel in eviction proceedings
    36  under article seven-C of this chapter,  and  provided  a  phone  number,
    37  website address and other information to assist the respondent in secur-
    38  ing counsel.
    39    §  7.  Section 745 of the real property actions and proceedings law is
    40  amended by adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
    41    3. Where a respondent  who  is  a  covered  individual  under  article
    42  seven-C  of  this  chapter  appears  in court without counsel, the court
    43  shall notify such respondent orally of the civil  right  to  counsel  in
    44  eviction proceedings established by article seven-C of this chapter, and
    45  if such respondent would like counsel, the court shall adjourn the trial
    46  and  provide  sufficient  time,  not  less  than fourteen days, for such
    47  respondent to retain and consult counsel and shall  grant  such  further
    48  adjournments as the court deems necessary for such covered individual to
    49  obtain counsel.
    50    §  8. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 749 of the real property actions
    51  and proceedings law, as amended by section 19 of part M of chapter 36 of
    52  the laws of 2019, are amended to read as follows:
    53    1. Upon rendering a final judgment for  petitioner,  the  court  shall
    54  issue  a warrant directed to the sheriff of the county or to any consta-
    55  ble or marshal of the city in which the property, or a portion  thereof,
    56  is  situated,  or,  if it is not situated in a city, to any constable of

        A. 7570--A                         10
 
     1  any town in the county, describing the property,  stating  the  earliest
     2  date  upon which execution may occur pursuant to the order of the court,
     3  and commanding the officer to remove all persons named in  the  proceed-
     4  ing,  provided  upon a showing of good cause, the court may issue a stay
     5  of re-letting or renovation of the premises for a reasonable  period  of
     6  time.  However, no court shall issue a judgment authorizing the issuance
     7  of a warrant of eviction against a  respondent  who  has  defaulted,  or
     8  authorize  the  execution of an eviction pursuant to a default judgment,
     9  unless the petitioner or an agent of the petitioner has filed an affida-
    10  vit attesting that the petitioner or the petitioner's agent has provided
    11  the respondent with written notice of the respondent's  civil  right  to
    12  counsel  in  eviction  proceedings  in the notice of petition and in any
    13  predicate notice as required by sections  seven  hundred  eleven,  seven
    14  hundred forty-one and seven hundred forty-five of this article.
    15    3.  Nothing  contained  herein shall deprive the court of the power to
    16  stay or vacate such warrant for good cause shown prior to the  execution
    17  thereof,  or to restore the tenant to possession subsequent to execution
    18  of the warrant. The failure of the court or  the  petitioner  to  comply
    19  with  the  civil  right  to  counsel in eviction proceedings pursuant to
    20  article seven-C of this chapter shall constitute good  cause  to  vacate
    21  such  warrant.  In  a  judgment for non-payment of rent, the court shall
    22  vacate a warrant upon tender or deposit with the court of the full  rent
    23  due  at  any  time  prior to its execution, unless the petitioner estab-
    24  lishes that the tenant withheld the rent due in bad faith.    Petitioner
    25  may  recover  by  action  any sum of money which was payable at the time
    26  when the special proceeding was commenced and the  reasonable  value  of
    27  the  use and occupation to the time when the warrant was issued, for any
    28  period of time with respect to which the agreement  does  not  make  any
    29  provision for payment of rent.
    30    § 9. The real property law is amended by adding a new section 235-i to
    31  read as follows:
    32    §  235-i.  Lease  provisions  waiving  right  to  counsel  void.   Any
    33  provision of a lease or contract waiving or limiting the right to  coun-
    34  sel  in  eviction proceedings under article seven-C of the real property
    35  actions and proceedings law shall be void.
    36    § 10. This act shall take effect immediately.
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