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.
The New York Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union and Brooklyn Defender Services filed a federal class action lawsuit on April 5, 2018 challenging the cessation of bond hearings for immigrant detainees and the Trump administration's indefinite detention of immigrants.
The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit against the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for trapping immigrant children in prolonged detention.
The New York Civil Liberties Union challenged the imposition of cash bail when a judge has not considered a person’s ability to pay or alternatives to money bail.