NYC Courts

Don't be intimidated by the complexities of the New York City Court system. The international law firm of Ketenci and Ketenci have experience in civil litigation and other civil matters in the US and know their way around New York City.

Civil cases in New York City include:

  • personal injuries
  • contract disputes
  • adoptions and divorces
  • other non-criminal issues

The party bringing a lawsuit is known as the plaintiff. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence.

Most cities in the United States have individual courts that separate legal issues into two categories, criminal and civil. In New York City there are two distinct designations for the court system. Those designations are the New York City Civil Court and the New York City Criminal Court.

New York City Civil Court Duties

Claims for damages over $5000 yet under $25,000, as well as landlord/tenant issues, and other civil matters are handled by the New York City Civil Court. Claims under $5000 are handled by Small Claims Court. The Civil court also handles the following:

  • Real Property Actions such as partitions and foreclosures
  • Ejections from property
  • Rescind or reform a contract

New York City Civil Court Structure

Civil Court divisions are by county, which in New York City is called a borough. Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan are all examples of boroughs.

Each borough has a court division and several subdivisions:

  • Housing - For matters relating to housing standards
  • Small claims - Claims for damages up to $5000
  • Calendar - For organizing and scheduling cases
  • Trial - For the trial of civil actions
  • Motion - The hearing and determination of motions
  • Conference - Pre-trial conferences and hearings
  • Multi Purpose - Organization and coordination of all of the above

NYC Civil Court Judges

Courts in New York City are run by judges

  • Elected to and serve a 10-year term
  • Serve by district
  • Housing judges serve a 5-year term

New York City Criminal Court

Misdemeanor and lesser crimes punishable by less than one year in prison are handled in the New York City Criminal Court. The court also hears felony preliminary hearings. The New York City Supreme Court handles actual felony cases. Parking and traffic violations are handled by Parking Violations Bureau and Traffic Violations Bureau respectively. People who are arrested in New York City are arraigned before a Criminal Court Judge.

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