Legal tech is opening the system to those who need legal representation the'most
Shannon Farley is co-founder and executive director at Fast Forward.
Jane (whose name changed for privacy purposes) had been living with her elderly mother for more than 20 years in a rent-stabilized apartment in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. But three years ago, Jane's landlord began filing frivolous lawsuits against her and her mother in an effort to evict them from their home.
While Jane was delinquent with rent, her apartment was in a state of disrepair ? with mold, cockroaches, and chipping paint throughout. The abusive and neglectful behavior of her landlord was exhausting. As her landlord continued to her harass her and her mother, Jane watched in frustration as other units in her building were remodeled for new, higher-paying renters. Her home, however, was ignored.
Then Jane discovered a Web application called JustFix.nyc in early April, and began using it to take proactive measures against her landlord. Through JustFix, she documented the conditions through photos and case notes, created and mailed an official letter of complaint (which was automatically generated through her account), and finally filed her case in NYC Housing Court.
As a result, Jane and her mother were able to secure succession rights, and their landlord was ordered by the judge to make repairs. This type of resolution may not have been possible without technology.