NYC Administrative Justice Coordinator
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Initiatives: Access to Justice

The Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator is committed to providing an administrative justice system that is accessible to all New Yorkers, whether or not they are represented by an attorney. This office's efforts to increase Access to Justice are described below.

Public Information:

One of the best ways for people to familiarize themselves with what to expect at City tribunals is by accessing the public information provided by the tribunals themselves. Public information can be obtained through communicating directly with an agency, Web site access, printed publications, or waiting room videos. The Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator is focusing on each of these information resources to ensure that New Yorkers have access to clear, accurate, and useful information.

Plain Language:

An important component of the Access to Justice initiative is ensuring that agencies provide all public information in a plain language format. Often the instructions and procedures associated with administrative tribunals can be confusing, and it is important that everyone appearing at a tribunal be given the full opportunity to understand the information provided to them. Working with City tribunals, the Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator is in the process of training judges, editing Web sites, and revising printed materials so that communications will be in plain language, and that parties will be able to function without representation.

Interpreter Services:

Several City tribunals provide language interpreter services to parties who do not speak fluent English. The Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator has helped coordinate the provision of phone-in language interpreter services at the Environmental Control Board, and is in the process of working to identify resources to offer the same service at other City tribunals. Providing language assistance to respondents who are not proficient in English is part of the Office's ongoing commitment to ensuring that everyone is able to understand and participate meaningfully in the hearing process.

Web Sites:

Tribunal Web sites can be an excellent public resource for anyone seeking information on a tribunal or a hearing process. The Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator has been working with City tribunals to develop and refine Web sites to be user-friendly, and helpful to the reader. The Office is committed to providing New Yorkers with accessible, relevant information, and recognizes the importance of developing and maintaining Web sites that meet this standard.