Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Civil Action

BxD Applauds City Announcement of Right to Counsel in Housing Court

New York – The Bronx Defenders released the following statement in response to the Mayor and Council Speaker’s announcement they have agreed to create a universal right to counsel for low-income New Yorkers facing eviction. “We applaud Mayor de Blasio and the City Council for taking this historic step toward making NYC a more equitable…

How Segregation Enables Over-Policing of Communities of Color

“An hour ride on most NYC subway lines should be enough to see how New York City, for all its diversity, is an economically and racially segregated city. A few stops along that same ride can also illustrate how policing in communities varies depending on the neighborhood. Take the D train from 59th-Columbus Circle to…

When the NYPD Keeps Your Property: Frequently Asked Questions About Civil Forfeiture

The NYPD regularly seizes cash, cellphones, cars, and other property during arrests. Property that is not contraband should be returned to its rightful owner when the case is dismissed or terminated unless the district attorney’s office can establish that the valuables are still needed as evidence for an appeal or another proceeding. In practice, something…

Bronx Defenders Lawsuit Challenges Lack of Transparency in NYPD Property Seizures

Contact: media@bronxdefenders.org August 4, 2016, New York – Today, The Bronx Defenders filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the New York Police Department, arguing the department has violated New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) by refusing to provide relevant information pertaining to its policies and procedures…

The Bronx Defenders v. NYPD

  Filed on August 4, 2016, this New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) suit asks the Supreme Court of the State of New York to order the NYPD to comply with its legal obligation to disclose information pertaining to its policies and procedures regarding, and accounting for, millions of dollars in cash and…

Lawsuit Challenges NYPD’s Policy of Unlawfully Keeping People’s Cash and Property

Contact: media@bronxdefenders.org The Bronx Defenders Seeks Class Cert. in Property Retrieval Suit June 3rd, 2016, New York – The Bronx Defenders filed an amended complaint today in Encarnacion v. City of New York, and will ask a federal judge to grant class certification in their lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s unconstitutional practice of retaining people’s property…

NYPD: Stop Evicting Families

Christa Douaihy, supervising attorney in our Civil Action Practice, published the following piece in The Huffington Post about the NYPD’s use of obscure laws to facilitate the eviction of families from their homes without basic fairness or due process.  The Movement for Black Lives has, among many things, created a renewed sense of urgency for policy makers to address our…

The New Yorker: Sonia from the Bronx

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, says that she prefers to be called Sonia from the Bronx. Chances are nobody who meets her ever dreams of calling her anything so informal. When she came back to her native borough last week for an Evening of Conversation at the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit…

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor Speaks at The Bronx Defenders

On Monday, January 25th, The Bronx Defenders hosted U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor for an evening of conversation at its justice campus in the South Bronx. Local community members, staff members and supporters of The Bronx Defenders were present. The conversation between Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders, and Justice Sotomayor…

WNYC: Stop and Seize: When the NYPD Takes Your Cash

Last February, Harold Stanley was on his block one evening, in the Morrissania section of the Bronx. He decided to drive to McDonalds, and when he came back, sat in his parked car to eat. “Next thing I know somebody’s tapping on my window, telling me get out the car,” he said. “And I said…

NY Daily News: When cops just take your cash and car

An arcane 134-year-old process few New Yorkers have even heard of means the NYPD can take the possessions — cars, cash, computers — of anyone who gets stopped, even if it’s for jaywalking and even if that person never gets convicted or even charged. And because those so-called civil forfeiture proceedings are civil, New Yorkers…

Jodi Morales and Sarah Deri Oshiro Presented Testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing

Criminal Defense Attorney Jodi Morales and Immigration Supervising Attorney Sarah Deri Oshiro presented testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing: Evaluating Attorney Compliance with Padilla V. Kentucky and Court Obstacles for Immigrants in Criminal and Summons Court. Written Comments of The Bronx Defenders New York City Council Committee on Immigration Jointly with the Committee on Courts…

Where Criminal Defense Meets Civil Action: an Interview with Runa Rajagopal

This is the third in a series of interviews with attorneys who are pursuing social change through their work. This conversation is between Social Change editor Meghna Philip and Runa Rajagopal, a Team Leader and Supervising Attorney with the Bronx Defenders’ Civil Action Practice. Meghna Philip: You are the Supervising Attorney of the Civil Action…

Bronx Defenders statement on NYC Council passing of the Fair Chance Act

The Bronx Defenders applauds the New York City Council for passing the Fair Chance Act, a bill that will give New Yorkers with criminal records a fair chance to compete for jobs. The Fair Chance Act will prohibit all public and private employers in New York City from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until…

The Bronx Defenders wraps up its 2015 Defenders’ Academy Spring Training Program!

The Bronx Defenders wrapped up another session of our nationally renowned Defenders’ Academy Spring Training yesterday. Over six days, 74 participants from over a dozen different organizations – ranging from public defender offices to private firms to the U.S. military – came together at The Bronx Defenders Justice Campus to partake in an intensive trial skills program…