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New York Small Claims Court

In New York City, Small Claims cases are heard in City Civil Court; in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in District Court, except 1st District; in other cities in City Court. In rural areas, cases are heard in Justice Court.

Statues: District Court Act, Article 18, Sections 01-15; Uniform Justice Court Act, Article 18, Sections 01-15; N.Y.C. Civil Court Act, Article 18, Section 01-15, Article 18-A, Sections 01-14 (commercial claims). Uniform Civil Rules for the New York City Civil Court, Part 208, Section 41 and Part 208, Section 41- A; Uniform Civil Rules for the City Courts Outside the City of New York, Part 210, Section 41 and Section 41 Part 212-A, Section 41; Uniform Civil Rules for the Justice Courts, Part 214, Section 10.

Dollar Limit: $5,000.

Where To Sue: Where defendant resides, is employed or maintains a business office.

Service: Certified or registered mail, court-approved adult. If after 21 days not returned as undeliverable, then notice presumed.

Hearing Date: Set by court.

Attorneys: Allowed.

Transfer: Within court's discretion to appropriate court.

Appeals: By defendant only for review of law, not facts or by plaintiff if substantial justice was not done; to County Court or Appellate Terms within 30 days.

Special Provisions: No equitable relief. Non-appealable arbitration available. Corporations and partnerships may not sue. Right to sue may not be transferred. Jury trial available to defendant. Defendant must file affidavit stating the issues that require a jury trial. Businesses that fail to pay judgments may face a refusal of renewal of grant of business license from authorities. Counterclaims allowed only if within the dollar limit.

Note: This section outlines the special rules that apply to the small claims courts of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Filing fees are not listed because they vary greatly and change frequently. Because court rules may change at any time, always check with the clerk of the small claims court to verify the accuracy of the information given for your state.

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