Position Statement – 2015
S.5190 (Bonacic) / A.7221 (Weinstein)
Amendment to Section 237 of the Domestic Relations Law
Legal Fees by Pro Se Litigants
The Women’s Bar of the State of New York (WBASNY) supports S.5190 (Bonacic) / A.7221 (Weinstein), which clarifies Domestic Relations Law § 237 to allow pro se litigants to make an application for legal fees without requiring an affidavit detailing fee arrangements with counsel, provided that proof has been submitted of an inability to afford counsel.
The required proof of inability to afford counsel is an affidavit from the pro se litigant, together with his or her statement of net worth and, if available, W-2 statements and income tax returns.
WBASNY supports this Bill because in removing this potential obstacle for pro se litigants, many of whom are poor, it comports with WBASNY’s mission to promote the fair and equal administration of justice.