New York Small Claims Court: An Overview

What you need to know about New York's small claims procedure.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in New York?

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.

Which court hears small claims cases in New York?

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).

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In New York, the defendant may 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.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in New York?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in New York.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit 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.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in New York?

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.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in New York?

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 and a Small Claims Court FAQ. 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).

Last updated on 10/01/09.

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