New York State Court System
Understanding how the system of New York court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.
New York Courts Overview
To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Florida by simply going to courts by county.
The trial court system of New York consists of Court of Claims, Town Courts and Village Courts, City Courts, District Courts, Criminal Courts of the City of New York, Civil Courts of the City of New York, Surrogate’s Courts, Family Courts, County Courts, and Supreme Courts.
New York Supreme Courts
The New York Supreme Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all types of cases, but usually handle only the cases that other state courts have no jurisdiction to handle. They have superior jurisdiction to all other state courts.
Typical criminal cases Supreme Courts hear often depend on whether the court is situated in New York City or not. They handle more criminal cases in New York City, while outside New York City, most criminal cases are handled by County Courts with Supreme Courts only handle felony cases that County Courts cannot handle.
Typical civil cases that all Supreme Courts hear include complex commercial cases, annulments, divorce, general civil claims exceeding $25,000, and reviews of small claims tax assessment.
Every Supreme Court has a Commercial Division that handles complex commercial cases, including breach of contract, business torts, breach of fiduciary duty, commercial real estate, misrepresentation, dissolutions of corporations, environmental insurance coverage, certain malpractice cases, commercial class actions, shareholder derivative actions, dissolutions of corporations, transactions that the Uniform Commercial Code governs, and other cases that have been described by the law.
New York County Courts have jurisdiction to handle all types of cases in the county. However, they only handle those cases that other lower courts cannot handle.
Criminal cases typically heard by these courts include lesser-included offenses and felonies. Civil cases typically heard by these courts include foreclosure, participation of real property, evictions, general civil counterclaims, general civil claims amounting to less than $25,000, and various matters involving liens and estate.
These courts have limited jurisdiction over abuse prevention orders, domestic relations cases, and juvenile matters among other criminal cases. Family courts handle Domestic Relations cases, such as spousal conciliation, adoption, paternity, and child support and child custody unconnected to dissolution of marriage.
Juvenile cases typically handled by these courts include juvenile dependency, juvenile delinquency, and child neglect. They have original jurisdiction to handle child protection proceedings and juvenile delinquency.
These courts have jurisdiction to handle certain types of cases connected to the affairs of a decedent. These cases include lifetime trusts, guardianship of minors’ property, probate of wills, and administration of estates. Surrogate’s Courts may also handle cases that Supreme Courts have transferred to them.
Civil Courts of the City of New York
These courts have limited jurisdiction over many counterclaims for any disputed amount of money, many general civil cases with less than %25,000 in dispute, and some counterclaims for certain financial limits. Supreme Courts may also refer cases to these courts.
Every Civil Court has both a Small Claims division and a Housing Court division. The Housing Court divisions handle housing code violations and holdover proceedings.
Civil Courts also have General Civil divisions for handling certain types of cases involving mortgages or liens, commercial landlord-tenant cases, reformation or rescission of certain transactions, certain types of cases connected to real property, and cases that also include ejectment.
Criminal Courts of the City of New York
These criminal courts have limited jurisdiction to handle misdemeanors, preliminary hearings for most felony cases, and all offenses of a status less than misdemeanor. They share jurisdiction with Family Courts and Supreme Courts over Domestic Violence Orders of Protection.
These courts have limited jurisdiction to handle some types of criminal and civil case. Civil cases typically heard by these courts include many misdemeanors, preliminary hearings for most felony cases, and all offenses of a status less than misdemeanor. Civil cases include genera civil claims for not more than $15,000, exclusive of costs and interest.
Each District Court has a Small Claims division to handle civil claims for below $5,000, exclusive of costs and interest. They also have a Commercial Claims division that handles many consumer transaction claims for below $5,000, excluding costs and interest.
These courts have limited jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases that do not exceed the jurisdiction limit of District Courts. They hear civil cases such as civil violations of local or state housing standards, establishment of some liens, and civil cases for personal property or money among others.
Town Courts and Village Courts
Also referred to as Justice Courts, these courts hear certain types of criminal and civil cases including misdemeanors, most small claims and general civil claims for less than $3,000, traffic violations and local ordinance and infractions. They also set bail, arraign and hold preliminary hearings of felony cases.
Court of Claims
Court of Claims has limited jurisdiction to handle civil claims by municipality, corporation, or any person against certain government agencies or against the sate itself.
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