Court Watch

Why are we doing Court Watch?

Hundreds of New York City tenants are being DENIED RIGHT TO COUNSEL every day. Since the expiration of the eviction moratorium in January 2022, more than 44,000 households have been forced to represent themselves in housing court alone, even though most of them are entitled to Right to Counsel under NYC law. This is outrageous! And this is why we’re doing Court Watch!

Every week, RTC organizers, tenant leaders, and our Court Watch Outreach volunteers are at housing courts in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens talking to tenants about their rights. We make sure tenants know they have the Right to Counsel and that they can ask the judge for an adjournment to ensure that they have the time they need to connect with an RTC attorney. We also let tenants know they are not alone – That there are thousands of tenants across NYC fighting for tenants’ rights and that they too can join the fight to DEFEND RTC and stop evictions. This year, we've talked to more than 7,000 tenants in NYC housing court. 

SIGN UP TO DO COURT WATCH!

Court Watch happens from 9:30am to 12:00pm on weekday mornings. Sign up below to volunteer! With more Court Watch Outreach volunteers, we can reach more tenants!

Many tenants who are facing eviction in housing court don't know they're being denied RTC and are therefore negotiating directly with the landlord's attorney, defending themselves alone, or agreeing to things they don't want to agree to. Court Watch Outreach volunteers talk to tenants as they stand in line waiting to enter the courthouse and in the hallways of the courts, letting them know about their rights and how to get involved. Doing Court Watch is essential for the tenants facing eviction alone AND it also helps build the political power and pressure we need to win our administrative, budget, and legislative demands that would force the courts to uphold the law, so we don't have to fight to DEFEND RTC.

Court Watch Newsletters

Check out our monthly Court Watch newsletters to learn more about the organizing and outreach we’re doing in NYC housing court.

December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

September 2023

August 2023

July 2023

Resources