How Does Small Claims Court Work In NY

How does small claims court work in NY?

Small Claims Court in New York operates as a distinct section within the court system.

This court streamlines and simplifies the legal process, promoting accessibility for individuals without the necessity of legal representation.

It is exclusively open to individuals seeking financial claims.

The allowable claim amount varies, spanning from $3,000 to $10,000, contingent on your residential location in the state.

How Does Small Claims Court Work In NY

What Monetary Limits on Small Claims Cases in New York?

The New York City Civil Courts in each borough handle small claims cases with a maximum claim amount of $10,000.

In Nassau County, the Long Beach City Court, Glen Cove City Court, and the Nassau County District Court hear small claims cases with a limit of $5,000.

Western Suffolk County has small claim dockets in its six district courts, also with a $5,000 limit.

The far eastern part of Suffolk County, which includes Riverhead, Shelter Island, the North Fork, and the Hamptons, exclusively utilizes town courts for small claims cases, and the limit is $3,000.

In the rest of New York State, cases brought in a city court have a limit of $5,000, while cases brought in a town or village court have a limit of $3,000.

Type of Cases Filed in Small Claims Courts

Small claims courts exclusively handle cases involving the collection of monetary damages.

These courts cannot address pain and suffering or compel someone to take specific actions.

Common case themes include damaged items, harm to personal or real property, and other property-related damages.

Small claims courts can handle almost any case type as long as the primary goal is to recover monetary damages within the specified limits for small claims cases.

How To Bring a Small Claims Case in New York

To initiate a small claims case in New York, you must file your claim in the small claims court situated in the defendant’s residence, workplace, or business location.

If both you and the defendant reside in New York City, you can file in your own county or the defendant’s county if you live in different boroughs.

Residents in the rest of New York State can use the court locator on the Small Claims page of the New York State Unified Court System.

Starting a small claims case involves completing an application form and paying a filing fee of $10 to $20.

Obtain the application from the small claims court clerk’s office where you’re initiating the case.

You’ll need the defendant’s contact details for the court to send notice of the lawsuit.

It’s important to note that the defendant may counterclaim against you, similar to being sued by the opposing party.

If necessary, you can have witnesses testify on your behalf.

If a witness is unwilling to appear, you can request the clerk to issue a subpoena, which can compel a person to appear or provide documents or records.

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