The New York Civil Liberties Union works in the courts as a public-interest law firm, bringing constitutional test cases in state and federal court. The NYCLU's legal program balances enforcement litigation, or cases that enforce previously established standards, and cutting-edge test case litigation, or cases that seek to set new standards. While litigation alone does not represent a complete strategy to preserve and enhance civil liberties, the lawsuits pursued by the NYCLU are important because of the particular wrongs they right, the individuals and groups they protect, and the constitutional doctrines they establish. Our litigation complements our proactive program of public education and advocacy.



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Thompson v. Annucci

The New York Civil Liberties Union and the Civil Rights Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law filed a federal lawsuit challenging the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s (DOCCS’) blanket censorship of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising and Its L

March 31, 2022 Boycotts and Free Speech Rights of Incarcerated People

Makyyla Holland v. Broome County et al

Makyyla Holland (she/her/hers), a 23-year-old transgender Broome County resident, filed suit against Broome County, the Broome County’s Sheriff and officials at Broome County Jail seeking redress for violence, threats to her safety, denial of medical care, and discrimination inflicted on her because

March 29, 2022 LGBTQ Rights Rights of Incarcerated People

M.C. v. Jefferson County

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit in the Northern District of New York against Jefferson County over its discriminatory and life-endangering policy of denying treatment to people with opioid use disorder.

March 1, 2022 Rights of Incarcerated People

Krull v Annucci et al

The New York Civil Liberties Union, with pro bono counsel from Schulte Roth & Zabel, joined a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and the New York State Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders for practices that compel incarcerated indivi

January 6, 2022 Detention and Due Process Due Process and Justice