Newark City Officials Offer Free Legal Assistance for Tenants Facing Eviction

Newark City elected officials and Coordinator of Office of Tenant Legal Services Khabirah Myers, Esq. announced today that the City’s Office of Tenant Legal Services (OTLS) will officially begin providing pro bono legal representation to low income tenants facing eviction on Wednesday, June 6. Ms. Myers has met with and provided assistance to a number of residents since her hire in April.

According to a statement released by officials, single tenants or families of rental units are eligible. The Office is based in Room 111, City Hall, located at 920 Kenneth A. Gibson Boulevard (Broad Street) and the hours of operation are: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Officials say the office’s purpose is to protect the legal rights of low income Newark tenants facing unwarranted, potentially illegal, evictions by their landlords. City oficials say they are proud to announce that they have hired Ms. Khabirah Myers to serve as the Coordinator of the office. Ms. Myers is a Newark native and former city Assistant Corporation Counsel who co-wrote the city's Access to Free Legal Representation Ordinance.

Residents will receive services from a number of volunteer pro bono and Newark-based lawyers that have committed their resources to this initiative.

“In creating this office, we are working to strengthen our commitment to providing all Newark residents with quality affordable housing. We will not let abusive landlords have free reign to hound and harass tenants. The law mandates that corporations that own property have legal representation. This is an opportunity to even the playing field and stop them from taking advantage of Newark residents with limited resources.” Mayor Baraka said.

Officials say Newark is only the third municipality in the nation to create this program.

According to officials from the Essex County Trial Court Administrators Office (TCA), there are approximately 38,000 eviction actions filed annually in Essex County, and Newark’s share is the highest at 20,000.

All residents interested should visit the office in person for a consultation.

For more information, please contact the Office of Tenant Legal Services at: 973-733-3675 or via email: otls@ci.newark.nj.us.