Keeping Our Eyes on the Court! November RTC Court Watch Newsletter

Every day, hundreds of tenants across New York City are being denied Right to Counsel. Since the lifting of the eviction moratorium in January 2022, more than 41,000 households facing eviction have been forced to represent themselves in housing court, even though the vast majority of them have the right to an attorney under NYC law. This is outrageous! This is why we are doing COURT WATCH! 

In November: We spoke to more than 1,100 tenants through Court Watch. Most tenants we spoke to did not know that they had a right to an attorney and that they were being denied their rights!

Thank you to Comptroller Brad Lander’s Staff for joining us in Bronx Housing Court this November!

Thank you to Comptroller Brad Lander’s Staff for joining us in Bronx Housing Court this November!

Spotlight: Court Solidarity Actions

On November 27th, Met Council on Housing members stood in solidarity with their neighbor Coreena in Bronx Housing Court. Coreena found herself facing eviction after her landlord took her to court for rental arrears, despite refusing to make repairs to dangerous conditions in her apartment. Tenants sat behind her in solidarity in court as she asked the judge for an adjournment that would give her more time to retain a Right to Counsel lawyer who could help her in defending her home. Fortunately she was granted a few more weeks, but there is no guarantee that she will be able to get another adjournment for her case if she needs it. This is why we are demanding that Chief Judge Wilson issue an administrative order mandating adjournments until eligible tenants receive their Right to Counsel. He has the power to fix this TODAY and tenants like Coreena can’t wait. To get involved, you can call Met Council's Tenants' Rights Telephone Hotline at 212-979-0611.

“It's important to do court watch because people have a lot of questions when they're alone at court. People are completely lost.” 

-Mercedes Escort, Tenant Leader with Community Action for Safe Apartments


Thank you to New York City Council for passing our resolutions in support of our Statewide Right to Counsel and DEFEND Right to Counsel bills. These resolutions send a message to our state legislators: New York City housing courts are in crisis and they have the power to fix it! We can pass Right to Counsel statewide with the funding and support that it needs to be successful. And we can require the courts to give tenants the time they need to get Right to Counsel.


CALL CHIEF JUDGE WILSON TODAY to demand that he issue an administrative order pausing cases until eligible tenants have Right to Counsel. As Chief Judge of New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals, Judge Wilson has the power to address this crisis today. We can't allow one more tenant to be denied their rights in housing court. Judge Wilson must act NOW!

JOIN US on Tuesday, December 12th, for an all day virtual phone bank in support of our Statewide Right to Counsel bill. Use this simple tool to make phone calls to your state legislators before and after our phone zap day (para espanol).

SIGN UP FOR COURT WATCH to talk to tenants in housing court and let them know they have rights, that they can demand an adjournment, and share how they can get involved in the work to DEFEND Right to Counsel and stop evictions. 

Reach out to Brianna with the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition for more information or questions at ‪(646) 727-0597‬ or email us at [email protected]