Brooklyn Heights

Lola Waterman hosts E-Filing for self-represented litigants

November 23, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — If you are representing yourself in court in New York City it is time to get over to the Brooklyn Bar Association’s website to check out a forum designed for self-represented litigants hosted by attorney Lola Waterman.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Waterman moderated a panel titled, “Electronic Filing in New York City Civil and Family Courts for Self-Represented Litigants”. The one-and-a-half-hour lecture was done with the Brooklyn Bar Association Access to Justice Task Force and in partnership with the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association, and District Leaders Henry Butler and Kenesha Trayham-Cooper. Other co-sponsors included the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and other community groups.

Waterman sat down with panelist Jeffrey Carucci, director and statewide coordinator of E-Filing for the NYS Unified Court System.

“Courts are public institutions that should be accessible by all,” Waterman said. “Whether self-represented or not, equity demands that all public users find the judicial system accessible through easy to use electronic filing systems. In New York, that system is known as the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (“NYSCEF”).

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“As many operations have shifted to digital platforms post-COVID, it is even more important that the bar is actively engaged in decreasing barriers to self-represented litigants,” Waterman continued. “Recognizing that some litigants may lack the technical competency or capability to file electronically, the Brooklyn Bar Association Access to Justice Task Force (“BBA”) and Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (“VIDA”) are organizing this forum to educate the public on how to use the electronic filing system, specifically in Civil/Housing/Family Courts, in an effort to further bridge the digital divide.”

The discussion is intended to help self-represented litigants in both Civil and Family courts be able to navigate the court’s E-File system, which was designed so that the court could move away from physical paper files towards a completely digital system. Self-represented litigants are not required to E-File, however, courses like this hosted by the Access to Justice Task Force gives them options when fighting their cases.

Watch Online

The event took place on Zoom on Thursday night, however, it will be made available on the Brooklyn Bar Association’s website by scrolling to “Public Resources” and clicking “Access to Justice Task Force”.

The BBA’s Access to Justice Task Force was created to ensure that all residents of Brooklyn and New York City have equal access to the criminal and civil justice systems. Located on the BBA’s website are links to videos that give information on all sorts of legal rights including Medicaid, essential healthcare directives, bankruptcy, NYC Human Rights Laws, and others.

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