What: Join as we call on the Mayor and NYPD to better address mental health crisis in the community
When: Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Noon
Where: Manhattan Steps of City Hall
Advocates and individuals with mental health concerns request:
• New non-police alternatives to responding to crisis calls
• Reforms to NYPD process for responding to individuals experiencing distress
• Reinstatement of Mayoral Task Force related to intersection of mental health and criminal justice
Hear from those impacted by police shootings, including family members and NYC residents with mental health concerns.
Contact: Carla Rabinowitz, 212-780-1400 x7726
County jails continue to fail to provide medical care to people whom ICE confines while they await immigration proceedings. NYLPI’s February 2017 report detailing the deplorable conditions and lack of medical attention at the jails was mentioned in NY1 report profiling a recent individual’s experience. His medical needs went untreated for so long that an Immigration Judge released him in order to receive medical treatment. NYLPI continues to advocate for better medical care for people confined to immigration detention and hold the jails and ICE accountable.
NYLPI’s Environmental Justice Program authored an amicus brief to the New York Court of Appeals on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, New York Chapters 2 & 3; WE ACT for Environmental Justice; and Healthy Schools Network in the case Friends of P.S. 163 v. Jewish Home Lifecare. This case involves a challenge to the environmental review of a construction project next to an elementary school, on the grounds that the lead agency failed to consider or require adequate mitigation of the impacts of lead dust and construction noise on young children in the school. NYLPI’s brief, on behalf of experts and advocates on children’s lead exposure, argues that the Court of Appeals should require agencies to explicitly consider the more severe environmental impacts from proposed projects on sensitive populations such as children being exposed to lead and noise at school by using more tailored standards and thresholds for exposure levels and by implementing more extensive protection and mitigation measures.
Read the final motion and amicus brief here.
The firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) in the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, in the case of Davison v. State of New York. The case challenges the State’s practice of charging only those patients who file damages lawsuits against the State, for the patients’ stay at State psychiatric hospitals – with charges ranging from several hundred thousand dollars into the millions. Allowing the State to single out such patients insulates the State from virtually all civil liability and violates the State Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of expression as well as public policy. The Sheppard, Mullin team was led by partner and NYLPI board member Daniel L. Brown, an attorney with a long history of fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Read the brief here.
The Committee will be led by Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, and is comprised of judges, clerks and administrators, legal services providers, and advocacy groups from across New York State. NYLPI is excited to be a part of this Committee. Access to justice is a fundamental right, and it cannot be achieved unless people with disabilities have equal access to courts.
Read the New York State Unified Court System Press Release here.
NYLPI’s advocacy regarding Courthouse Accessibility also includes the Disability Justice Program’s 2015 Accessible Justice report and ongoing representation of individual clients in a Structured Negotiations process with the City of New York.
Read NYLPI’s Accessible Justice Report here.
Read more about NYLPI’s Structured Negotiations here.
Mayor De Blasio publicly stated yesterday that his administration is supporting a bill to reduce the amount of garbage permitted at private waste transfer stations in the city’s most overburdened neighborhoods – the South Bronx, North Brooklyn, and Southeast Queens. NYLPI, along with partners New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Teamsters, and community groups in the affected neighborhoods, has been advocating for years to reduce the amount of garbage sent to these neighborhoods. The bill, Intro. 495-B, is an important step in toward waste equity in New York City, along with the opening of public marine transfer stations more equitably distributed throughout the city. “It’s an unbelievable fact how unfair the history is in terms of garbage coming into this district,” said de Blasio. “That is not acceptable and that has to change.”
Read the coverage in Politico and Waste Dive.
NYLPI’s Environmental Justice Program, partnering with pro bono co-counsel Schindler Cohen & Hochman LLP, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of community group Cleanup North Brooklyn and neighborhood residents against a private waste transfer station that has operated for years without regard for the law or the local community, plaguing the neighborhood with noxious smells, rats, air pollution and noise. Defendants, a private equity firm known as GBP Waste NY LLC and its parent company GPB Capital Holdings LLC, as well as the prior owners Brooklyn Transfer LLC and Nino and Anthony Tristani, have contributed to ongoing pollution and hazards that afflict families living in the surrounding neighborhood. Cleanup North Brooklyn has been organizing for several years to bring attention to the garbage facility’s adverse effects on this environmentally burdened community. The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the defendants to stop creating harmful conditions at their garbage facility.
Read the press release. En Espanol.
Read the full summons and complaint.
Read the coverage in on NBC New York, ABC 7, and in DNA Info, Waste 360, News12 Brooklyn, City Limits, Gotham Gazette, BKLYNER, and the Greenpoint Star.
The new administration is causing some lawyers to rethink their career goals, whether it means redoubling their pro bono efforts or considering moves to public interest.
For now, many lawyers are motivated, and nonprofits with a vital cause can benefit. “I think that for lawyers who are paying a certain kind of attention to what’s gone on post-election,” Marnie Berk, NYLPI’s Director of Pro Bono Programs said, “they’re quite alarmed with some of the very early things that came out of the administration that are real challenges to rule of law.”
Read the full article in New York Nonprofit Media.
NYLPI, with co-counsel Mayer Brown, announces today that it settled a federal court lawsuit against the City of New York to provide accessible police transportation for people who use wheelchairs at the time of their arrest.
NYLPI filed an Amended Complaint in May 2016 on behalf of Robert Filer. This lawsuit alleged that for many years the New York City Police Department repeatedly arrested people who use wheelchairs in a dangerous and discriminatory manner, by failing to use accessible vehicles when transporting them. Individuals who have mobility disabilities have repeatedly sued the New York City Police Department over the past decade, alleging that they were transported in an inaccessible way or forcibly removed from their wheelchairs at the time of arrest.
Mr. Filer filed this action to compel the New York City Police Department to provide safe and accessible vehicles and services for all individuals who use wheelchairs. He has succeeded in his goal.
Read the Amended Complaint here.
Read the NY Daily News coverage here.
Read the Amsterdam News coverage here.
For over 40 years, NYLPI has worked to meet the legal needs of underserved, underrepresented New Yorkers and their communities. Through its Disability Justice Program, NYLPI has lead the fight for disability rights in New York City, making the City a more welcome place for those persons with disabilities who call it home, as well as its thousands of visitors. Every day, NYLPI fights to ensure that the 140,000 students with special needs in New York City, including those with learning disabilities, can access appropriate programs and services.
A.8262/S.6581, which was passed unanimously by the New York State Legislature and is consistent with federal special education law, would direct the commissioner of education to issue a guidance memorandum to school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), to a) inform them of the unique educational needs of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, and b) inform them that they may include the names of specific learning disorders, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia, in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
A.8262 / S.6581 will lead to improved understanding of dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia because it will provide accurate guidance to school districts and assist schools in targeting language-based interventions, helping more children learn to read and become successful students. For far too long, there has been inadequate attention paid to dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. When children’s learning needs are properly identified, educators will be in a better position to teach them.