Legal Aid And Weil Gotshal Go To Court To Protect Sandy Victims In City Shelter Placements

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

  • Legal Aid Society

The Legal Aid Society, along with Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, sued New York City to prevent the eviction of 488 Sandy evacuee households who are in City-paid hotels. The City had planned to cut off hotel rental assistance payments beginning today and continuing over the next several weeks despite the fact that remaining Sandy victims have no alternative housing to move into yet.

In the case, Alycia Sapp et al v. City of New York, Justice Margaret Chan in New York State Supreme Court granted an interim order yesterday directing the City to continue to pay the hotels in order to prevent the eviction and homelessness of these Sandy impacted families. Judith Goldiner, the Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society's Civil Law Reform Practice, told the Wall Street Journal that "we were hearing from the hotels that they were going to move people out [today], so we're happy we can give these vulnerable Sandy evacuees more time to find more permanent housing situations." Goldiner told the Daily News that "[t]he City just got hundreds of millions of dollars, part of which is supposed to be for rental assistance for these families. It's premature to be kicking these families out." The City plans to contest the interim order in court today.

In addition to Goldiner, the Legal Aid team in this matter includes Joshua Goldfein and Cristina Schrum-Herrara of the Society's Homeless Rights Project and Young Lee and Tashi Lhewa of the Society's Queens Sandy Unit. The Weil pro bono team is comprised of partner Konrad Cailteux, associates Isabella Lacayo, Jesse Morris and Emily Pincow, law clerk Chris Lewarne, and paralegals Elizabeth McConville and Kacey Carter.

For more information, visit the Legal Aid Society's website.