Attorneys Take City to Court Again Over Cameras at SI Courthouse

A group of attorneys is taking a city agency to court over what they call a “brazen” breach of privacy at the Richmond County Courthouse.

The Legal Aid Society and law firm White and Case filed a petition for contempt Monday against the NYC Department of Correction (DOC). Attorneys say the agency violated a court order to stop recording inside attorney-client interview booths at the courthouse in Saint George.

Lawyers first spotted cameras in the building's pre-arraignment area when it opened in 2015. Both groups successfully filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, but they say the DOC continued to record attorney-client sessions less than 10 days after the ruling.

“The cameras have to be physically removed,” said attorney Colin West of White & Case. “We think that's the only way to ensure these important interviews are not being filmed and recorded.”

“The people of our community have the right to be able to speak freely with their attorney so their attorney can do their best job to advocate on their behalf before the courts,” added Christopher Pisciotta of the Legal Aid Society. “Putting a camera in place destroys the ability to have this free and open conversation.”

We reached out the city's Law Department and are still awaiting comment. 

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