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    Share this: DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — When court cases shifted from in-person to virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic one of the biggest things lost was the public trail. That is finally going to change as the Civil Courts announced on Monday that it is launching a way for the press and public to access virtual hearings. People will now be able to access a web portal to request to view a public trial in any one of New York State’s Civil Courts throughout the 62 counties, the court announced. The court has found that many in-person appearances are not necessary and can be handled properly over Microsoft Teams instead. While many types of cases have returned in person, it is cheaper and often faster to hold virtual hearings when appropriate. The court’s new web portal will process requests to observe any civil proceedings.
    Legals experts warned law enforcement agencies will have "zero incentive" to ensure that a person being arrested is read their Miranda rights after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed down a ruling the ACLU characterized as a "dangerous" assault on long-established protections. Ruling in the case of Vega vs. Tekoh, the majority decided that people cannot sue an officer under Section 1983, a key federal civil rights enforcement law, for not informing them of their right to remain silent and other protections under the Miranda statute. To protect people's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, officers are required to inform suspects of their rights as soon as they are taken into custody. While those rights are still intact, University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck told CNN, the 6-3 ruling effectively guts the law. "Today's ruling doesn't get rid of the Miranda right," Vladeck said. "But it does make it far harder to enforce. Under this ruling, the only remedy for a violation of Miranda is to suppress statements obtained from a suspect who's not properly advised of his...
    My name is Inga O’Neale and I am running countywide for an open seat in the Kings County Civil Court. I am a long-time Brooklynite, a Caribbean immigrant and the first attorney in my family.  My parents both come from large families and did not have the opportunity to attend college, but they instilled in me and my brother the value of a good education, a strong work ethic and a deep sense of commitment to community and service.   Even as a child, I always knew that I wanted to have a career serving others.  During college, I discovered that my true career path was in the field of law.  I was first inspired to work in the court system, after my first year at Hofstra University School of Law, when I participated in a summer internship program at the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term. I realized then how I could make a difference addressing any inequalities in the justice system by being part of the court’s legal system serving all communities.
    ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — The Maryland Judiciary will enter its fifth phase of reopening on April 26. All courts in the state will be fully operational with resumption of jury trials in criminal and civil cases in circuit courts statewide, consistent with COVID-19 emergency administrative orders. They will continue to follow CDC guidelines in the buildings including routine cleanings, using plexiglass shields and modify gatherings in the jury and courtrooms to minimize the risk of infection. For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.
    Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell said Wednesday that he believes former President Donald Trump will “spend the rest of his years in civil and criminal courts.” “A twice impeached president who incited an attack on our Capitol that led to the killing of a cop as … I believe, has no business being at any gathering of any Americans. I think he’s gonna spend the rest of his years in civil and criminal courts,” Swalwell said on “MSNBC Live With Ayman Mohyeldin.” (RELATED: Former Capitol Police Chief Didn’t See FBI Warning Of Capitol Violence, Regrets Resigning) House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disagreed on Wednesday in a House GOP leadership press conference about whether Trump should address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday. McCarthy said Trump should speak, but Cheney said “that’s up to CPAC.” “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which, following January 6th, I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country,” Cheney...
    A number of public interest attorneys filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to halt in-person traffic and eviction trials held in Los Angeles County, claiming COVID-19 prevention protocols are failing after two court interpreters died of the virus infection in recent weeks. The suit, brought by Public Counsel on behalf of the Inner City Law Center and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, accuses the courts of prioritizing the “continuity of non-essential operations over community safety and human life.” “The court’s facilities are built and administered in a way that makes it impossible to maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more, particularly within crowded and poorly ventilated courtrooms and hallways. Every day, hundreds of Angelenos crowd into the County’s courthouses to enter pleas on traffic tickets or defend against eviction lawsuits,” the suit read. “Public health experts have determined that not only are these conditions unsafe and likely to result in transmission of the virus, they are ripe for a ‘super-spreader’ event.” The recent deaths of two court interpreters — Sergio Cafaro, 56, and Daniel Felix, 66...
    Matt Gaetz and Jim Jorden are among those Republicans in open rebellion against the United States. On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit in the Supreme Court asking that the outcome of the federal election in four states—states that voted for Joe Biden—be overturned. Not recounted. Not investigated. But overthrown, eliminated, reversed. By any definition, what Texas asked of the court was for an immediate end to democracy in America and its replacement by single party rule. Then seventeen more Republican-controlled states signed on to this overt act of sedition.  On Thursday, 106 Republican members of the U.S. House added their names to this declaration that they’re done with the whole concept of representative government. If politics is war by other means, then Republicans are levying that war against the people, institutions, and foundations of the United States.  This is not a partisan dispute. There is no coming back from this. Certainly it should never be forgotten. Neither should there be any forgiveness. Republicans have launched a second civil war in the courts, and it should be treated no more kindly than...
    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona voters' passage of a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana leaves the state court system with having to work out how some changes will be handled. Proposition 207 legalized sale and use of recreational marijuana for people age 21 or older but it also reclassifies possession of small amounts of marijuana by a person younger than 21 as a civil violation carrying a penalty of up to $100. An administrative order by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel said the new law doesn't spell out how courts should handle those civil violations and Brutinel said it'll take time to complete necessary changes to state laws and court rules. His order directs courts handling young adults' civil violations to use an existing ticket and complaint form for traffic violations. He also said juvenile hearing officers can handle civil marijuana violations. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Arizona, Associated Press
    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Judiciary will further restrict courtroom operations and reduce the types of cases that will be heard virtually or in person due to the surge in coronavirus cases. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued an order Tuesday night to return district and circuit courts in the state to Phase II of the judiciary's reopening plan beginning on Monday. Jury trials, which were suspended two weeks ago, will continue not to be held, The Baltimore Sun reported. District court Judges will still hear criminal, traffic, civil, domestic violence, peace orders, extreme risk protective Orders and landlord-tenant cases. In the circuit courts, civil, criminal, family, child in need of assistance and juvenile matters will move forward. “COVID-19 cases in Maryland are increasing at a rapid pace and with the Thanksgiving Day holiday upon us, it is imperative that the Judiciary respond to the current health situation by restricting court operations further,” Barbera said in the judiciary's news release. The order was issued a day after an attorney called on the judiciary to postpone court...
    AUGUSTA, ME (CBS) — Civil cases are going to take a backseat in Maine’s courts as the state presses to clear a backlog of 8,800 felony criminal cases. The courts had hoped to return to near normal operations this week while limiting the number of people in courthouses and using technology to hold remote hearings whenever possible during the pandemic. But with the delay in civil proceedings, money judgments, disclosures, small claims, land use violations and other civil matters will not be scheduled or heard before 2021, the Bangor Daily News reported. Foreclosures will not be scheduled or heard before Feb. 28, 2021. Those actions will help the state get a handle on a backlog of criminal cases that the state’s acting chief justice called “staggering.” Many defendants in those cases are being held in county jails unable to post bail. Andrew Mead said he did not know how long it would take for the courts to deal with the criminal case backlog as judges continue to deal with emergency matters. “Cases that involve risks of people being hurt or...
    SAN ANTONIO – Read in English here. Por casi 80 años, el complejo Alazán Apache Courts ha radicado en el corazón de la parte oeste de la ciudad de San Antonio. Su origen data de 1937, cuando la administración del entonces Presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt aprobó la Ley de Vivienda de Estados Unidos. En menos de un año, el lugar se convirtió en una de las primeras unidades de vivienda pública en el país bajo la nueva ley, y el cual proporcionó ayuda económica del gobierno a muchas familias viviendo con bajos recursos. La necesidad de vivienda pública era grande para esta parte de la ciudad.(Images provided by Mexican-American Civil Rights Institute.) Los residentes, en su mayoría de descendencia mexicana, no tenían agua potable, calles pavimentadas y tampoco contaban con servicios de drenaje. Mucha gente también había quedado sin hogar en 1921, después de la gran inundación en San Antonio. El agua arrasó con los hogares de los residentes y destruyó todo a su paso. “La gente era muy pobre en el lado oeste de la ciudad. Vivían en tejabanes...
    SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This content was created exclusively for KSAT Explains, a new, weekly streaming show that dives deep into the biggest issues facing San Antonio and South Texas. Watch past episodes here and download the free KSAT-TV app to stay up on the latest. The Alazan Apache Courts have been in the heart of San Antonio’s West Side for nearly 80 years. The origin of the courts can be traced to 1937 when the U.S. Housing Act passed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. Less than a year later, the courts became the first public housing units to be authorized in the country under the new law, which provided for subsidies to be paid from the U.S. government to improve living conditions for low-income families. There was a great need for public housing on the West Side.(Images provided by Mexican-American Civil Rights Institute.) Residents there, mostly of Mexican descent, did not have running water, paved roads or any drainage and sewage systems. And many had been left homeless in 1921, after the great flood of San Antonio...
    It was a question of what would happen first for the Los Angeles hotel owner whose business had been decimated by the coronavirus lockdown: a financial settlement with the angry employees he had fired — or bankruptcy. Across town, a Black man wanted to fight his recent termination contending it was because of racial discrimination not a coronavirus-related business downturn. In another case, a woman suddenly out of work was ready to accuse her boss of using pandemic layoffs to cover up his sexual harassment. Employers were wrangling with workers claiming extended paid sick leave when they hadn’t provided proof that they had contracted COVID-19. And former employees were asserting that bosses were using pandemic business losses as an excuse to settle scores and selectively fire those they considered difficult. All are real examples from the last six months — with names and details removed to protect client privacy — that employment lawyers, mediators and arbitrators cite for why they are more busy than ever since coronavirus protection measures upended workplaces and left California courthouses largely empty. But having...
    During her weekly address to the legal community, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore discussed grand juries returning at length, but she also mentioned a new program happening in the NYC Civil Courts — virtual mediation in small claims cases. The new initiative is an effort to use virtual operations in the courts to avoid as many in-person appearances as possible. “To expedite the resolution of those cases, the court will begin scheduling mediation sessions, by teleconference, and we will start with those matters filed before March 17, and for which no court appearance has been held,” said Chief Judge DiFiore.
    Jake Johnson June 25, 2020 8:00AM (UTC) This article originally appeared at Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely. The Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday confirmed Mississippi Judge Cory Wilson to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, handing President Donald Trump his 200th successful judicial appointment and further cementing the right-wing takeover of America's federal court system. Civil rights groups immediately condemned Wilson's confirmation, pointing to the judge's long record of attacking the Affordable Care Act and defending voter suppression tactics like photo ID laws. : Lena Zwarensteyn, Fair Courts Campaign director at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for ramming through a judge with a "record antithetical to 'equal justice under law.'" "While the people demand policing reform and relief from the Covid-19 pandemic, McConnell is doubling down on stacking our courts," Zwarensteyn said in a statement. "These efforts to dismantle our civil and human rights will reverberate for generations...
    As Maryland’s courts reopen, Attorney General Brian Frosh has formed a COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force to deal with preexisting racial inequities within the health care and justice systems, which are poised to be exacerbated by the ongoing public health crisis. In an online news conference, Frosh said economic hardship caused by business closures and COVID-19 have created conflicts that are handled in the civil justice system, including evictions, disputes over medical or consumer debt, and people being wrongfully denied public benefits. “As courts reopen, we expect to see a huge spike in civil legal court cases, about evictions and consumer debt,” said Reena Shah, executive director of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission and a leader in Frosh’s task force. “We know that Marylanders lose their civil cases and, therefore, get evicted, have their wages garnished, do not receive lifelines like food stamps or unemployment benefits, not because they did anything wrong, but because they did not have the legal information or help they needed,” Shah said. “And this already happened before COVID-19 hit.” More Coronavirus News Sign...
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