Message to Legal Aid Staff - Operations on Wednesday, October 31

Our thoughts are with all in our area who have suffered losses as a result of the storm. Our citywide computer and e-mail system was not damaged because we powered it down last night before service was interrupted due to the storm. Although our system is now operable in our offices that have electrical power, we have no external e-mail service or other remote access services because a circuit is out near our data center that has cut off our internet service.

We have been advised that repairs are being expedited to address our client service needs and the needs of a large number of affected private businesses. As soon as internet service is restored and our citywide computer system can be restored to full service, we will advise all staff and the public. At the same time, as a result of flooding in Lower Manhattan, there is no electrical power at our headquaters at 199 Water Street. Our offices at 49 Thomas Street, 60 Lafayette Street, and 350 Broadway in Manhattan and 60 Bay Street in Staten Island are all without electrical power.

Notwithstanding these challenges for our organization and for the City as a whole, on Wednesday, October 31, during court hours from 9 AM to 5 PM, Legal Aid Society managers and staff are representing clients in arraignments and emergency matters in the Criminal Courts in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, and in certain criminal matters in Supreme Court in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island; in parole matters at the Riker's Island Judicial Center; in juvenile arraignments in Manhattan; and in Civil and Family Court cases in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. In view of the operational challenges in the City, matters in other court parts are not proceeding on Wednesday and there are no night arraignments on Wednesday night. Various administrative proceedings scheduled for Wednesday are either being postponed or being adjourned by Society managers. Other than these services, our offices will continue to be closed on Wednesday, October 31, because of the current operational conditions that we are facing.

For staff who receive paychecks by direct deposit, we understand that the October 31 paycheck should be received as scheduled. For the limited number of staff who receive paper checks, because of the emergency conditions in New Jersey where ADP (our payroll company) is located and the closure of our Water Street Headquarters, we are attempting to make arrangements with ADP to messenger hard copy paychecks to us tomorrow and we can then make them available to staff for pick-up on October 31 at our Brooklyn Office at 111 Livingston Street.

Again, we are very grateful to and proud of the managers and staff who are continuing to provide client services under these circumstances and to our MIS staff members who are working to restore our full computer services. Please continue to check our Website and follow us on Twitter at @LegalAidNYC for further updates.