The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $5,000 generally, but for town and village justice courts it's $3,000.
Small claims cases in New York are heard in the Small Claims Part (Civil Court, Cities -- including New York City; District Court, Nassau and Suffolk Counties; Justice Court, Rural Areas) or Commercial Small Claims (City Courts and District Courts).
For information on New York's statute of limitation periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.
In New York, the defendant must file a written answer within five days or receiving the plaintiff's claim, but only if a counterclaim ($5,000 max) is being filed. Otherwise, an answer is not required.
You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in New York.
Eviction cases are not allowed in small claims court in New York, but must be heard by a higher court.
In New York, the defendant may request a jury trial at least one day prior to the hearing, by filing an affidavit stating the issues that require a jury trial.
For more information about New York small claims court, see www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/smallclaims/index.shtml.
Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).
Updated: October 1, 2015