DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS)
The MELS Benefit covers only employees and retirees residing in New York State. The geographic area covered by MELS is limited to those members and retirees residing in New York City, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County or Suffolk County (in zip code area 117 except for 11719, 11764, 11778, 11786, 11789 and 11792).
To determine your eligibility for the benefit call MELS at (212) 815-1111.
[Note: Local 371 members are covered separately.]
MELS Can Help Full-Time and Part-Time Employees and Retirees with:
- Preparation of wills
- Debt matters, including bankruptcy (amount in dispute must be over $500)
- Disputes with sellers of goods and services if the amount in dispute is over $500
- Correction of inaccurate credit reports
- Billing disputes with utilities (gas, electric, phone)
- Landlord actions that could result in your eviction
- Entitlements from government agencies, like Social Security, food stamps, etc.
- Divorce, separation and annulment
- Citizenship matters
- Review by a lawyer of a legal document
Additional Benefits for Full-Time Employees and Retirees:
- Buying or selling your one-family house, co-op or condominium if it is your primary residence
- Buying your two-family house if it is your primary residence
- Disputes over custody, visitation and paternity of children
- Representation where you are the parent in a child abuse, neglect, or foster care case (representation of foster parents is limited to those having had custody of the child for more than 24 months)
- Orders of protection in cases of spouse abuse and other domestic violence (representation will not include cases brought in Criminal Court)
- Name Change
MELS does not accept criminal cases, or handle business problems. Representation is also not available for defense of tort claims, such as libel, slander and personal injury caused by negligence.
Local 371 Social Service Employees Union members are covered by the local’s Legal Services Fund, 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003. Call (212) 777-9000.
Tel: (212) 815-1111
- DO I NEED A WILL? (YES, YOU DO!) (PDF)
- NEED A LAWYER? DC 37 MELS CAN HELP YOU (PDF)
- TIPS FOR TENANTS (PDF)
- THINK SMART ON STUDENT LOANS! (PDF)
- PAYDAY LOANS: A TRAP FOR WORKING PEOPLE (PDF)
- WHERE’S THE PROOF? (PDF)
What you should know if a debt collection lawsuit is brought against you.
- DC 37 MELS CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM (PDF)