The death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department is a tragedy and a travesty, an act of unconscionable violence from people we trust to protect and serve our communities.
What makes his death worse, however, is that his circumstances are not unique. Every day across America, Black communities are terrorized by the police, victims of brutality committed under the color of law. Such heinous acts should be punished as the crimes they are, but all too often, perpetrators of police brutality receive no more than a slap on the wrist.
“Change depends on people knowing the truth. Change depends on people speaking that truth out loud. That’s what movements do. Movements educate people to the truth. They pass along information and ideas that many others do not know, and they cause them to ask questions, to challenge their own long-held beliefs. Movements are the way ordinary people get more freedom and justice. Movements are how we keep a check on power and those who abuse it.”
Unita Blackwell, Politician and Activist.
When you sign a lease to rent an apartment, there are a few basic expectations you probably have about your new residence. One is that you will actually be able to live in the space you’ve rented. While this might seem like a reasonable request, there are many landlords who do not hold up that end of the bargain. Fortunately, the law protects your right to livable conditions, with what is known as the warranty of habitability. Continue reading “The Warranty of Habitability”
Several groups that represent landlords in New York have sued to block new rent-control measures that were recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new laws limit landlords’ ability to raise rent on rent-controlled apartments, even after their current tenants leave. This limits landlords’ ability to make money on those apartments, which they argue is an unconstitutional deprivation of their property rights. Continue reading “Landlord Groups File Lawsuit to Block New Rent Laws”
Chances are that, at some point in your life, you’ve heard of a “guardian” before, especially in the context of children, or older relatives, or people with certain disabilities. However, you might not know what a guardian is, or why someone might have one. Fortunately, the idea is easy to understand, and it’s good to know about just in case you, or someone you know, has a guardian appointed for them. Continue reading “What is a Guardianship?”
After much opposition, the New York State Legislature recently passed new rent laws that offer more protections to tenants located in New York City. The underlying goal of the new laws is to maintain affordability and stability in a city which nearly 65 percent of residents are renters. Continue reading “New York State Passes New Rent Laws”
Questioning an attorney bill is not that uncommon in today’s world. In fact, state and local bar associations both consistently report that fee disputes are some of the most common complaints that they receive against lawyers. This has even led some states to start up certain attorney-client fee dispute programs to resolve the issues. While attorney fees are most certainly not cheap, it is important to remember that in most cases the fees are, indeed, justified.
Continue reading “Negotiating Legal Fees”
In New York State, a will is a written document that must contain a signature at the end witnessed by two people. The purpose of a will is to name beneficiaries who will receive property after your death. A will is revocable and can be destroyed by a physical act such as burning or tearing, by operation of law such as divorce, by presumption (for example, after your death the will cannot be found), or by a subsequent will. Accordingly, a will may be revised many times during one’s life. In a will, an executor for the estate and guardians for children may be named, and instructions for wishes to be carried out may be listed. Upon death, a will goes through the probate process and becomes a public document.
Continue reading “Do I Need to Make a Living Trust, or is my Will Enough?”
Recently, the New York State Attorney General’s Office reached a settlement with a real estate developer protecting tenants’ rights and prohibiting an unfair buy-out agreement. In an effort to convert a historic Manhattan apartment building into a luxury condominium, the landlord illegally induced tenants to leave. Before the developers received approval to put the apartments on the market, they illegally bought out tenants, many of whom had resided at the location for many years.
Continue reading “Tenants Awarded Free Rent for Living in On-going Construction”
According to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Dawn Weaver, a Licensed Practical Nurse, pleaded guilty to endangering a nursing home resident and falsifying business records.
These charges pertain to an incident on February 23, 2014, when a 93-year-old Wayne County Nursing Home resident fell while being transferred to the bathroom by a nurse aide. The supervising aide, Weaver, failed to follow nursing home protocol when she neglected to have the resident examined by a registered nurse before she was moved. Furthermore, Weaver failed to use a mechanical lift to remove the resident off of the ground, and subsequently failed to report the incident in the facility’s medical records.
Weaver then signed a facility report stating that the aforementioned event did not occur. More disturbingly, Weaver added that had the event occurred, she would have addressed it. However, when questioned by the Attorney General’s Office, Weaver admitted that the resident fell and that she and the aide manually picked up the resident without telling anyone about the fall. Continue reading “Attorney General’s Office Unveils Nursing Home Abuse Cover-Up”
New York City rental prices seem to continue to rise without any foreseeable decline. As a result, reasonably priced housing has become a coveted treasure city-wide.
However, through the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE) renters who are 62 or older with yearly incomes below $50,000 may be eligible for exemption from all or some increases in rents, carrying charges, capital assessment or voluntary capital contributions.
Recent changes to the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) has expanded eligibility by increasing the maximum annual income to $50,000 from $29,000.
Lawmakers speculate that in the next ten years, New York City will see a 30% increase in the senior adult population. They further point out that New York City is home to the highest number of foreign-born senior citizens in the nation. As a result, more low-income seniors are seeking an affordable place to retire. Continue reading “Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program”