Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Public defenders denied in bid to halt non-emergency in-person court proceedings amid COVID-19

“Put plainly: OCA’s plan puts our clients — mostly low-income New Yorkers of color — at enormous risk for no compelling reason,” said the statement. “We are disappointed that the Southern District of New York allowed OCA to continue down this reckless road.”

The six legal aid groups involved in the lawsuit were The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Bronx Defenders, New York County Defender Services, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and the Queens Defenders.

The complaint argued that resuming non-emergency and non-essential court proceedings violates the ADA by forcing defendants and attorneys with preexisting medical conditions to visit courthouses for arraignments and conferences. They also complain that OCA “rushed” the reopening plan.”

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