Councilmember Rafael Espinal, Jr.and officials from the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings announced on Wednesday that OATH’s Neighborhood Pop-Up Court for City-issued summonses will come to East New York on Wednesday, April 24.
“Everyone deserves their day in court,” said Espinal, who represents the 37th District including Bushwick, Brownsville and East New York. “But we know that all too often, people of color living in low-income communities have trouble taking advantage of resources and services, whether it’s due to an inflexible work schedule, limited access to transit, or lack of outreach. Thankfully, OATH’s Neighborhood Pop-Up Court will make it easier for East New York residents to fight certain summonses, right here in my district office.”
OATH will be conducting hearings at Espinal’s district office, located at 1945 Broadway, from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
The Pop-Up Court allows New Yorkers to fight civil summonses issued by the Sanitation, Parks and Health Departments, as well as non-criminal offenses, at a hearing with an OATH hearing officer without having to travel outside of their neighborhood. However, parking tickets, traffic or speeding tickets, red light camera tickets or MTA turnstile violation summonses are not eligible for a hearing at the Pop-Up Court, officials explained.
“OATH’s top priority is to make it as easy as possible for those who have been issued summonses from City enforcement agencies to have their day in court,” said Marisa Senigo, OATH’s deputy commissioner for Public Affairs. “Our Neighborhood Pop-Up Courts program brings the court to where you work and live so that fighting City summonses and accessing justice at OATH is more convenient and less time-consuming.”
The Pop-Up Court travels to neighborhoods across the five boroughs to conduct hearings directly in the community at libraries, offices of elected officials and other civic organizations to increase response rates to City-issued summonses by making it more convenient for residents.
To notify local residents that the court is coming to their neighborhood, OATH sends out letters to all respondents with eligible summonses. On average, 370 letters are sent for each Pop-Up Court; for the East New York court, OATH sent out 1,295 letters to eligible respondents who received summonses and live in zip codes immediately around Espinal’s district office.