DA Vance, NYPD, OCA, Legal Aid, and Grand Street Settlement Announce Second “Clean Slate” Summons Warrant Forgiveness Event

April 25, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the New York Police Department, the Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society, and Grand Street Settlement today announced the second “Clean Slate” event, an upcoming warrant forgiveness opportunity where New Yorkers with open summons warrants for qualifying crimes can have them cleared from their record, without fear of arrest. More than 700 New Yorkers from all five boroughs came to the first Clean Slate event in November 2015 in Harlem, at which 409 summons warrants dating back almost 20 years were vacated. Clean Slate will take place this Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Grand Street Settlement on 80 Pitt Street, near Rivington Street. 

District Attorney Vance was joined at this morning’s announcement by Supervising Judge Tamiko A. Amaker, Attorney-in-Charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Manhattan office Irwin Shaw, Chief Program Officer of Youth & Community Development for Grand Street Settlement Thanh Bui, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, and New York City Council Member Margaret Chin.

“Along with our partners in the NYPD, the Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society and Grand Street Settlement, I’m so proud to announce Manhattan’s second Clean Slate warrant forgiveness event,” said District Attorney Vance. “Clean Slate offers New Yorkers an opportunity to clear outstanding summons warrants for minor offenses from their records – and their lives. I urge anyone with an open summons warrant to join us at Clean Slate this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Grand Street Settlement on the Lower East Side. Please help us spread the word by telling your community members, your family and friends, and your colleagues and classmates, about this opportunity for a fresh start.”

Supervising Judge Tamiko A. Amaker said at the press conference: “The Office of Court Administration and New York City Criminal Courts are very pleased to collaborate with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Grand Street Settlement, the Legal Aid Society and the New York City Police Department to create this Clean Slate opportunity once again for many New Yorkers to vacate summons warrants in a community-based environment.” 

Irwin Shaw, Attorney-in-Charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Manhattan office said: “The Legal Aid Society is pleased to co-sponsor Clean Slate with DA Vance, the NYPD, the Office of Court Administration and the Grand Street Settlement.  Clean Slate is a tremendous opportunity for New Yorkers to get a second chance to build better lives without fear of arrest.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said: “A low-level, non-violent infraction shouldn’t ruin a life. That’s why I’m thrilled to support District Attorney Vance’s ‘Clean Slate’ initiative. I thank DA Vance, the Legal Aid Society, the Office for Court Administration, and especially Grand Street Settlement for hosting Saturday’s event.” 

New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh said at the press conference: “A simple infraction doesn’t need to lead to a long-term problem with the criminal justice system. It’s a very good step we’re taking today and I’m very proud to be here to announce this second ‘Clean Slate’ opportunity.”

New York City Council Member Margaret Chin said: “No one deserves to live in fear of imprisonment because of a mistake they made years, or even decades, ago. That is why I encourage New Yorkers with outstanding warrants to take this opportunity to clean the slate and take back their lives. I want to thank DA Vance, as well as the Legal Aid Society and Grand Street Settlement, for giving everyday New Yorkers a chance to resolve these issues so that they can move on with their lives.”

New York City Council Member Vanessa Gibson said: “I want to thank Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for continuing the Clean Slate Program and recognizing that all New Yorkers deserve a second chance. Outstanding warrants for low-level nonviolent offenses add undue burden to our court system and alienate otherwise law abiding people from law enforcement. I am thankful that the Manhattan DA will once again offer New Yorkers an opportunity to resolve these warrants without fear of arrest and urge anyone with an outstanding summons warrant to take advantage to this important opportunity.”

New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez said: “I applaud the work of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance in working to ensure that New Yorkers will be able to clear any outstanding summons warrants without fear of arrest. Often times, individuals do not have access or an opportunity to address these outstanding warrants and its consequences, but on Saturday they will be able to do so in my district at Grand Street Settlement.”

In an effort to reduce unnecessary arrests for low-level summons warrants, and to provide those with open summons warrants a fresh start, District Attorney Vance is partnering with the Office of Court Administration, the NYPD, and the Legal Aid Society to host Clean Slate, a one-day warrant forgiveness event. The types of summons warrants that can be cleared at this event include:

•    Disorderly Conduct 
•    Public Consumption of Alcohol
•    Public Urination
•    Littering
•    Unlawful Possession of Marijuana
•    Others, including some subway offenses 

In addition to the outstanding warrant, the underlying summons can also be resolved at this event without fines or other penalties. The presiding judge will issue Adjournments in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ACDs, which require the recipient to avoid new arrests for six months, before the dismissal and sealing of his or her case. Warrants for felony or misdemeanor charges cannot be resolved at Clean Slate, but Legal Aid attorneys will be present to offer free legal advice in an effort to help individuals resolve such cases. Additionally, Clean Slate will offer a resource fair with job training, healthcare information, and referral services on-site. 

Family members are welcome, and free prizes will be given away all day. Open summons warrants from any of the five boroughs can be resolved at this event, regardless of one’s current residence or immigration status. There will be interpreters available on-site to assist Spanish, French, and Mandarin speakers, and translation services for other languages will also be available. Those wishing to clear open summons warrants must bring a photo ID, but it is not necessary to bring the original summons. 

For more information about Clean Slate and qualifying offenses, visit our website, or call 212-335-3310.