New York State Courts

Courts – State Courts – New York

Highest Court

The highest court in New York is the Court of Appeals of New York.  The  Court of Appeals consists of  7 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Final appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. (2) Direct appeal of questions involving provision of constitution and death sentence.

Intermediate Courts

Appellate Division of Supreme Court
The Appellate Division of Supreme Court consist of 55 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction.

Appellate Terms of Supreme Court
The Appellate Terms of Supreme Court consist of 15 supreme court justices serve each term (5 in each appellate term).  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction over appeals from courts of limited jurisdiction.

General Courts

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court consists of 369 justices.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Unlimited law and equity, and  exclusive matrimonial. (2) Felonies and misdemeanors prosecuted by indictment.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

County Court
The County Court consist of 128 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil law and equity under $36,000.  Original criminal jurisdiction over all offenses (except in New York City).  Appeals on record.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

Family Court
The Family Court consists of 126 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Adoption, child protection, family, offenses, support, custody, and paternity.. (2) Juvenile delinquency.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Surrogate’s Court
The Surrogate’s Court consist of 30 surrogate’s.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Matters relating to decedents’ estates, probate of wills, adoption, guardianships.

City Court
The City Court consist of 158 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil actions under $5,000, small claims.  (2) Criminal with fine less than $1,000, sentence less than 12 months, and  felony preliminaries.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Town and Village Justice Court
The Town and Village Justice Court consist of 2,164 justices.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Original civil under $3,000 (small claims).  (2) Original criminal with fine less than $1,000 sentence less than 12 months (mostly traffic), and  felony preliminaries.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Court of Claims
The Court of Claims consist of 22 judges plus 50 sitting as acting Supreme Court justices in felony trials.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Claims to which the state is a party.

District Court
The District Court consist of 50 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) In Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  (2) Civil actions under $15,000.  (3) Criminal with fine less than $1,000 or sentence less than 12 months, and  felony preliminaries.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Civil Court of the City of New York
The Civil Court of the City of New York consist of 120 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil law and equity under $36,000, including small claims and housing partition.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Criminal Court of the City of  New York
The Criminal Court of the City of New York consist of 107 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Criminal with fine less than $1,000 or sentence less than 12 months, felony preliminaries.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Courts not to sit on Sunday except in special cases nor on Saturday in certain cases.
A court shall not be opened or transact business on a Sunday or a Saturday, if one of the parties observes Saturday as a holy day, except to receive a verdict, discharge a jury, or  to receive a plea of guilty and the pronouncement of a sentence of a criminal court or a court of special sessions.  A Saturday session of court must be adjourned to some other day than Sunday, unless made after a cause has been committed to a jury.  However, these restrictions do not apply to a magistrate where it is necessary to preserve peace; in the situation of a criminal case, arrest, commit, or discharge a person charged with an offense; granting an injunction order of a supreme court justice who deems it necessary to prevent irremediable injury; or servicing a summons with or without a complaint if accompanied by an injunction order and an order of such justice permitting service on that day. (New York State Consolidated Laws chapter 30, Article 2. Section 5)

Adjournment of term of court of record to future day
Any term of a court of record may be adjourned from day to day, or to a specified future day, by an entry in the minutes. Any judge of the court may so adjourn a term thereof, in the absence of a sufficient number of judges to hold the term. (New York State Consolidated Laws Chapter 30, Article 2,  Section 6)

Judge prohibited from taking fees for advice in matters before him
A judge or judicial officer shall not demand nor receive any type of compensation for giving advice in an action, claim, matter, motion, or proceeding pending to him/her or for which the judge believe may be brought to him/her, or for preparing a paper or other proceeding relating to an action, claim, matter, motion, or proceeding.  However, a justice of the peace is allowed by law to receive compensation. (New York State Consolidated Laws Chapter 30, Article 2, Section 18)

Internal control responsibilities
The chief judge shall:  establish and maintain guidelines for internal control; a system to review the internal control, and  assigned internal control officers.  To identify all parts of the judiciary and their responsibilities, the chief judge shall issue and periodically revise a schedule which lists all the components. (New York State Consolidated Laws Chapter 30, Article 7-D,  Section 249-a)

Polish and Italian interpreters for Erie county
The county of Erie shall appoint a Polish and an Italian interpreter.  The interpreters shall be appointed by the Erie County Clerk and serve under the presiding judge or justice  at the criminal terms of the county and supreme court, and before grand juries.   (New York State Consolidated Laws Chapter 30, Article 12 S 388)

Execution of warrant
The sheriff issuing a warrant must collect each fine out of the person’s personal property, as directed by the laws and rules of collection.  A delinquent unable to pay due to a lack of personal property shall be arrested by the sheriff and detained in custody until paid.   (New York State Consolidated Laws Chapter 30 Article 20, S 792)


Inside New York State Courts