LawHelpNY and the New York State Office of Court Administration now make available a number of free online interactive self-help programs that make it easier to submit legal papers in court if you don’t have an attorney.
The interviews are designed to ask “leading questions” to help ensure that what you submit in court is legally correct. Did you know that most people who have to answer an eviction lawsuit in court do so without an attorney? But did you also know that if the eviction case wasn’t served on you according to the law, the court should dismiss (throw out) the case!
Most people don’t know what the law is about service of legal papers, but if you use the automated answer interview for New York City residents, your answers to the questions will help the court determine if the landlord served the papers correctly. Similarly, if the landlord didn’t name all the legal tenants in the apartment, (and serve them correctly) the case can be thrown out. You will also be asked about bad conditions in the apartment and if, after you complained about them to the landlord, they weren’t fixed and/or you paid for the repairs yourself. Throughout New York State, if you’re a renter, you deserve to live in a safe and livable apartment; it’s called a “Warranty of Habitability.”
There are interactive self-help forms for Family Court as well. Do you need to modify a child support order because you recently lost your job? Are you a mother and you are not married to the other parent? Are you a man who believes you are the father of a child, and you’re not married to the other parent? You can use this free program to establish paternity. If paternity is found, the court will issue an order that states who is a child’s legal biological father.
To see all the interactive legal forms currently available on LawHelpNY, click on this page: Free Online Forms Library.