Q. New York Laws and Cases available during a time of COVID-19
Online Legal Research and Legal Assistance for New York litigants
While many public access law libraries remained closed or with reduced hours, access to New York cases and laws are available on trusted websites.
CourtHelp explains court procedures for the issues most often faced by people and provides DIY forms that will help you prepare papers to file in court. CourtHelp and local court websites should always be the starting point for legal research.
AskaLawLibrarian FAQS explain many legal procedures and research topics. Type your question on this page’s query box. For example, type “child custody” in the query box. Eleven FAQS covering Family Law (9), Criminal Law (3), Guardianship (2), and Wills, Trusts and Estates (1) are listed. These FAQS will summarize law and court procedures and refer you to CourtHelp and library resources that you can request through the Law Library Document Delivery Service.
The New York Law Reporting Bureau is an important website for self-represented litigants. The Bureau supports a searchable database of New York cases back to 1956. The database permits word and phrase searching. For instance, on August 19, 2020, searching the phrase “child custody” found 3,728 cases with that phrase. If we search by that phrase “child custody” and limit to Court of Appeals, the service finds 71 cases. Looking at these cases, you can see that the Law Reporter provides research references to sections of books that you can request through the Law Library Document Delivery Service.
Court rules must be followed in litigation. Local court rules are under local court web sites.
New York Laws can be found on the New York State Legislature website. From its navigator bar, click on Laws to get the list of New York laws and court acts.
These websites and the FAQs listed will help you while the NY Courts practice under COVID-19 restrictions to protect the public and staff.