Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) Update

MELS is here to help members

DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services is here to help members with their income maintenance and housing issues.

MELS attorneys are here to help if you have received a legal notice, are in need of rental assistance or have a question about a lease renewal, rent increase, repair dispute, rent subsidy, income recertification, SCRIE or other landlord-tenant matters. Call the Screening Unit at (212) 815-1111 or email: [email protected].


MELS, the Municipal Employees Legal Services, will hold a family law webinar for union members Wednesday Oct. 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on ZOOM. MELS lawyers will discuss child support, custody, visitation, adoption and guardianship, neglect, abuse and foster care, and more. Register at: and you will get a meeting ID 24 hours before the event. For more information call MELS at 212.815.1111, or email: [email protected].


New York City courts are in the process of re-opening but evictions remain on hold pursuant to the following Orders, Memoranda and Directives which state:

1. Eviction cases filed on or after March 17, 2020 continue to be suspended;

2. Eviction cases filed before March 17, may proceed and must be presented to a judge before any action is taken; no residential evictions can take place before October 1.

For more information, please visit the DC 37 blog at For help with an eviction notice or other legal matters, call the MELS professional staff of attorneys and paralegals at (212) 815-1111 or email: [email protected]


MELS invites you to participate in a ZOOM Housing Seminar on Tuesday, September 29, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Join us for an update on tenant rights, the eviction moratorium, re-opening of NYC Housing Court, COVID-19 defenses to non-payment, rent overcharges, preferential rents and the movement to strengthen tenant protection laws in New York State.

To register and get the Zoom link call the MELS Screening Unit at (212) 815-1111 or email: [email protected].

MELS Workshop on End of Life Documents Now on Video

MELS, DC 37’s Municipal Employees Legal Services, is making available a video recording of the August 5th workshop on Wills and End of Life documents.

Almost 600 union members registered for this Zoom workshop but due to power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias, some were unable to log on. DC 37 is offering members a chance to see a video if the seminar at their convenience– just click the link below.

By viewing this video, members can learn from Stephen Shepard, Supervising Attorney of the Wills Unit at Municipal Employees Legal Services, and Peter Kempner, an attorney at Volunteers of Legal Services, about how to prepare documents such as a will, advance medical directive, and power of attorney.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of end-of-life planning. Over 23,500 NYC residents have died so far, many of whom were elderly or frontline and essential workers. Yet the vast majority did not have a will or health care proxy. Many other New Yorkers were incapacitated or hospitalized and had not designated someone to tend to their affairs through a power of attorney.

Learn how you can create these documents and give yourself and your family some peace of mind. Click the following link to view the recorded MELS End of Life Planning Workshop:

If you are a frontline or essential worker, you may apply online for free expedited legal services to draft these important documents by clicking the following link:

If you don’t qualify for expedited frontline and essential worker services, contact the MELS Screening Unit at (212) 815-1111  or email [email protected] to access your free legal service benefit.