MFY Staff Attorney Nahid Sarooshyari commented in an article in AM New York on recommendations in changes to Access-A-Ride to make service easier and more efficient. MFY recently settled a class action lawsuit with New York City Transit requiring the agency to provide the reasons for denying services and to continue services during the appeals […]
MFY is representing a group of tenants at 80 New York Avenue in Brooklyn who are suing their landlord for renting out individual rooms in apartments, alleging illegal deregulation and rent overcharges. In a scheme proliferating in many gentrifying neighborhoods, landlords convince single adults desperate for an affordable place to live to co-sign a lease. […]
In this video from BRIC-TV, Elizabeth Lynch, Supervising Attorney at MFY Legal Services, and David Quart, Deputy Commission of Strategy, Research and Communications at NYC’s Depaertment of Housing Preservation & Development speak on how homeowners with mortgages in private hands are more likely to be foreclosed, and why the homeowners most affected by HUD’s mortgage […]
A federal judge approved the settlement of a class action lawsuit filed by five New Yorkers with disabilities against New York City Transit (NYCT) yesterday. The suit challenged NYCT’s unconstitutional policies of Access-A-Ride, the City’s paratransit service for people with disabilities. Plaintiffs were represented by MFY Legal Services and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Under […]
MFY Legal Services Endorses
The Joint Statement from NLADA and the Shriver Center
Members of the legal aid and public defender community were horrified and outraged by the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Two more Black lives taken by those who ostensibly serve and protect. We must find a better path toward justice for our society and for people of color. A first step for our community is to state firmly that we stand in solidarity with the Black community and against the racial inequality that still plagues our nation.
We affirm what should be undeniable—Black Lives Matter. The recurring violence against Black people is but an extreme manifestation of our society’s persistent racism, which denies the Black community, and other communities of color, the right and opportunity to be safe and healthy, to work and live with dignity, and to flourish.
We live in a country where those tasked with protecting our communities too often possess unfounded biases, whether implicit or explicit, that Black people pose a constant danger. This has led to situations where having a broken taillight or selling cigarettes or CDs is punishable by death; where reaching for a wallet is an act of aggression warranting a lethal response.
Our country has always been plagued by these beliefs—that Black communities and other communities of color are criminal and untrustworthy. This is not limited to one part of the country; it is a systemic national problem stretching from New York to Minnesota, California to Florida, and beyond. Our solutions must also be national and systemic. We must address the significant role that race plays in policing practices. Members of the legal aid and public defender community must form genuine and sustainable, community-led partnerships aimed at bridging the racial divide in our country.
Honoring this commitment will take hard work and honest self-criticism. “We’ve always done it this way” is not enough. We commit to a hard look at our work and to ensuring our efforts are driven by the experiences of people of color and an explicit commitment to combating racism. We commit to a hard look at ourselves and our organizations to consciously challenge our own biases and ways we unintentionally contribute to systems of racial disadvantage. We commit to building enduring alliances with communities who struggle against racism every day. Our work must support community leadership.
As we honor the pain and suffering of the communities that have lost loved ones, including the five officers killed in Dallas, we must be guided by justice and love. For us, that path starts with a commitment to be steadfast allies in the pursuit of racial justice. We must work together with all stakeholders, including law enforcement, to develop solutions to these very pressing problems.
As an immediate next step, we will work with our partners to develop an Action Plan for Racial Justice that can guide our organizations in effectuating our commitment.
If you have applied or tried to recertify for New York City Transit Authority's Access-A-Ride program, or if you will do so in the future, please read these important documents regarding a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit: Proposed Settlement and Class Notice.
Tens of thousands of low-income New Yorkers who were victims of abusive debt collectors won an unprecedented victory on November 12, 2015 when a settlement was reached, ending a six-year battle to achieve justice for low-income New Yorkers whose bank accounts were restrained or wages garnished after default judgments based on “sewer service” were entered against them.
“Thousands of low-income people across the state suffered severe financial consequences as a result of the callous and illegal actions of the three sets of defendants,” said MFY Supervising Attorney Carolyn Coffey, who co-counseled the case with Senior Staff Attorney Ariana Lindermeyer, and with the New Economy Project and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady. “We expect this settlement will have far-reaching consequences across the debt-collection chain and will help to put an end to predatory practices by debt buyers and the law firms and process serving companies that work with them.”
MFY envisions a society in which there is equal justice for all.
MFY’s mission is to achieve social justice, prioritizing the needs of people who are low-income, disenfranchised or have disabilities. We do this through providing the highest quality direct civil legal assistance, providing community education, entering into partnerships, engaging in policy advocacy, and bringing impact litigation.
Our practice areas include:
Mental Health Consumers
Adult Home Residents
Public Benefits Recipients
Nursing Home Residents
Illegal Boarding House
Three-Quarter House Residents