At a City Council hearing last week focused on The Legal Aid Society's budget for the July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014 fiscal year, Steven Banks, the Society's Attorney-in-Chief, warned that proposed City budget cuts for The Legal Aid Society's civil legal services in the FY14 Executive Budget will hurt vulnerable New Yorkers seeking assistance because Legal Aid will have to turn away more families and individuals who desperately need legal help, including increasing numbers of New Yorkers seeking our civil legal aid in all five boroughs due to the impact of Superstorm Sandy.
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A proposed settlement agreement has been reached in Richard C. v. Proud, a federal SNAP statewide class action against the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
In the wake of revelations involving the misconduct of a Brooklyn homicide detective, Steven Banks, the Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, has renewed The Legal Aid Society's call for independent oversight of all prosecutors.
New York County Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan yesterday ruled that the City may not end the hotel program for hundreds of Sandy evacuees and pointed out that a new federal program to provide $9 million in rental assistance for Sandy victims could be used to help the families. The Legal Aid Society and the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represented the plaintiffs. The Legal Aid Society has urged the City to find permanent housing for the Sandy victims.
The Prisoners’ Rights Project has won two important victories on behalf of Lucy Tasama (formerly Amador), a woman who was repeatedly sexually abused while in State prison. This month, Magistrate Judge Feldman of the federal court for the Western District of New York ruled that a correction officer’s forcibly kissing her, groping her breast and buttocks, and exposing himself can be serious enough in the coercive environment of a prison to violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. In one of the first decisions of its kind in New York State, Judge Feldman acknowledged that contemporary standards of decency have evolved in recent years and such conduct is no longer permissible. This decision is an important step in vindicating the rights of our clients who are sexually abused while in prison. This decision clears the way for the case to go to trial this summer.
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