New York City Civil Court
New York City Civil Court Kings County
The New York City Civil Court handles the majority of civil legal cases that arise within the five boroughs of New York City. There is a separate civil court for each county in the city: New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Bronx, and Richmond (Staten Island). This article will focus specifically on the Civil Court located in Kings County, Brooklyn.
Overview of the civil court system in New York City
The New York City Civil Courts are part of the New York State Unified Court System. They handle civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages up to $25,000 as well as other non-criminal matters. Common types of civil cases include landlord-tenant disputes, small claims, and consumer complaints. The civil courts aim to provide a forum to efficiently resolve civil disputes and legal issues for NYC residents and businesses.
Location and jurisdiction of Kings County Civil Court
The Kings County Civil Court is located at 141 Livingston Street in downtown Brooklyn. It has jurisdiction over civil legal matters arising within the County of Kings, which is comprised of the borough of Brooklyn. The jurisdictional limit for monetary claims is up to $25,000. Landlord-tenant cases and small claims matters from Brooklyn are handled in this court.
Filing a Case in Kings County Civil Court
There are a few different types of civil cases that can be filed in Kings County Civil Court. The process for initiating a case will depend on the specific nature of the dispute.
Types of cases heard in Kings County Civil Court
Some of the most common types of civil cases filed include:
Small claims cases
Small claims cases are for disputes seeking damages up to $5,000. Common small claims matters include consumer complaints, payment disputes, personal injury, and property damage.
Filing fees and limits
The filing fee for small claims is between $10-$20 depending on the amount claimed. The jurisdictional limit is $5,000.
Commercial claims deal with financial disputes between businesses or between a business and individual. The limit is $25,000.
Filing fees and limits
The fee for commercial claims under $10,000 is $45, and up to $25,000 is $65. The jurisdictional limit is $25,000.
Housing-related cases make up a large portion of the civil court docket. Common types include:
These involve landlords suing for overdue rent payments.
Holdover cases involve eviction proceedings against tenants.
How to file a case
There are a few options for submitting the initial paperwork to start a civil case in Kings County Civil Court:
Plaintiffs can go to the court clerk’s office to file the summons and complaint in person. This should be done during business hours Monday to Friday.
The summons and complaint can be mailed to the court clerk along with the filing fees.
Cases can be initiated through the court’s e-filing system as well. This requires setting up an NYSCEF account.
The Civil Court Process in Kings County
Below is an overview of the typical timeline and procedures involved in civil litigation at the Kings County Civil Court:
Before the case
Service of process
The plaintiff must properly deliver the summons and complaint to the defendant. This is called service of process and is usually done by a process server. The defendant has 20-30 days to respond.
Answering a complaint
The defendant files an “answer” admitting or denying the allegations. They can also file counterclaims against the plaintiff.
Settlement and mediation
Many cases get resolved through settlement negotiations or mediation before reaching trial. The court may also hold settlement conferences.
Going to trial
If no settlement is reached, the case proceeds to trial.
Bench trials vs. jury trials
Bench trials are held before a judge only. Jury trials are heard by a 6-person jury along with the judge. Plaintiffs must specifically request a jury trial.
Burden of proof
In civil cases, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving their case by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means it is more likely than not that their claims are true.
The trial process
The plaintiff presents their case first followed by the defense. Witnesses may testify and documents can be shown as evidence. Closing arguments summarize each side’s position.
After the trial
Judgments and collecting judgments
The judge or jury will issue a verdict for the plaintiff or defendant. If money damages are awarded, the plaintiff can take steps to collect on the judgment.
The losing party has 30 days to file an appeal to contest the trial court’s ruling. Appeals are handled by higher courts.
Resources for Navigating Kings County Civil Court
For those involved in a civil court case in Kings County, there are various resources available to help navigate the process:
Court websites and online resources
The court’s website, nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/civil/, provides info on procedures, forms, e-filing, and more. Court records can also be searched online.
Help centers and law libraries
Within the courthouse are help centers and law libraries with court staff available to answer questions and provide information.
Legal aid and assistance
Free legal aid organizations, like Legal Services NYC, can provide counsel to qualifying low-income litigants. Consultations or full representation may be available.
New York City Civil Court Online Court Resources
New York City, the bustling metropolis that never sleeps, houses a complex legal system that serves its diverse population. Whether you’re a resident, attorney, or simply someone curious about the court system in the Big Apple, you’ll find a wealth of online court resources at your fingertips. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various online resources available for the New York City Civil Court, as well as those applicable to courts generally in Kings County, New York, and resources that can aid all courts throughout New York State.
Search Court Case Records
Are you in search of specific court case records in New York? Look no further. The New York City Civil Court offers an Electronic Case Record Tracking system that allows you to track the progress of your case. Whether it’s a Supreme Court civil case in any county or a local civil court case, you can register for free e-mail notifications to stay updated on the activity in the cases you select to be tracked.
Local Civil Court Case Records
When it comes to accessing civil court case records in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk County District Courts, and other local city courts, the New York City Civil Court has you covered. You can search for records using various criteria such as index number, party name, attorney name, or judge name, making it easy to find the information you need.
Case Records Requests
If you require physical copies of case records, the court clerk can provide you with the necessary information. Learn about fees for copies, how to inspect records for free at the clerk’s office, and the process for obtaining trial transcripts.
Dockets, Calendars, and Other Case Information
Stay informed about court cases in New York by accessing local civil court calendars. This resource covers not only New York City Civil Courts but also Nassau and Suffolk County District Courts and most local city courts. You can search by court, part, judge, and date range to find the information you need.
Published Opinions and Orders
For those seeking legal opinions, the New York Attorney General provides access to legal opinions dating back to 1995. Additionally, you can view published New York State trial court opinions by various criteria, including date, case name, and keyword.
Forms and Related Information
The New York City Civil Court offers a variety of forms, including those specific to Housing Part and Small Claims Part. You can view, download, and fill out forms for various court purposes. Additionally, you can access information on filing fees for different courts, helping you prepare your legal documents more effectively.
If you’re looking for a more interactive way to fill out forms, the court provides an interactive computer program that simplifies the process. Forms are organized by case type and program/form name, ensuring you find the right template for your needs.
Online Fine Payments
Convenience is key when it comes to online fine payments. New York City residents can pay violation fines online, including parking tickets, red light tickets, bus lane tickets, and more. This system also allows you to check the status of parking tickets, locate towed vehicles, and request a parking ticket hearing.
Pay Child Support
For parents in New York, paying child support is made easier through the online payment system. This resource provides a convenient way to fulfill child support obligations.
New York City Civil Court – Housing Part Information and Resources
This section provides valuable information about self-representation, online forms, and definitions of common legal terms applicable to the Civil Court of the City of New York’s Housing Part.
New York City Civil Court – Housing Part Procedures
Understanding court procedures is crucial. Here, you can learn about various aspects of the Housing Part, including how to answer a case, appeals, emergency access, repairs, evictions, judgments, warrants, and more.
New York City Civil Court – Small Claims Part Electronic Filing
Streamline the process of filing small claims or commercial claims cases in the New York City Civil Court by filing electronically. This resource provides links to filing service vendors to simplify the process.
New York City Civil Court – Small Claims
If you’re dealing with small claims in New York City Civil Court, get answers to frequently asked questions about the Small Claims Part to ensure a smoother experience.
Those who can afford to hire a lawyer can find Brooklyn civil litigation attorneys through attorney directories, referrals, or legal matching services. Representation can make navigating court processes easier.
Conclusion and Key Takeaways
The Kings County Civil Court provides an impartial forum for resolving civil disputes within Brooklyn under $25,000. The court handles everything from small claims to complex commercial litigation. Understanding the applicable procedures, types of cases, and available resources can help both plaintiffs and defendants navigate the civil justice system in Kings County effectively. Some key takeaways include:
- Know the jurisdictional limit – $25,000 for commercial cases and $5,000 for small claims.
- Be aware of the different rules and procedures for housing, small claims, and commercial cases.
- Use the court clerk’s office, help centers, and online resources for information.
- Seek legal assistance from legal aid or private attorneys for representation.
- Try negotiation or mediation before going to trial if possible.
How do I file a small claims case in Kings County Civil Court?
To file a small claims case in Kings County Civil Court, you must complete a small claims form with details of your claim, go to the clerk’s office in person to file it, and pay a $10-$20 fee based on the amount claimed. The maximum that can be sought is $5,000.
What is the difference between a bench trial and a jury trial?
In a bench trial, only a judge hears the case and renders a verdict. In a jury trial, the case is heard and decided by a six-member jury along with the judge. Plaintiffs must affirmatively request a jury trial.
Can I get an attorney for my civil case even if I cannot afford one?
Yes, you may be able to get legal assistance or representation at no cost if you qualify based on low-income eligibility guidelines. Contact legal aid organizations like Legal Services NYC or check if you meet requirements for a court-appointed attorney.
How long does it take to get a hearing date after filing a case?
It varies by case type and how busy the court is, but you can generally expect to get a court hearing date within 1-3 months after filing. Housing cases tend to get priority. Trials will take longer to be scheduled.
Can I file an appeal if I lose my civil case?
Yes, any party can file a notice of appeal within 30 days after entry of the trial court’s final judgment or order. The appeal will be heard by the appellate term of the New York Supreme Court.
How can I access case records for the New York City Civil Court?
You can access case records through the Electronic Case Record Tracking system, which allows you to register for free e-mail notifications of case activity.
What types of forms are available for download from the New York City Civil Court?
The court provides a wide range of forms for different purposes, including Housing Part and Small Claims Part forms. You can view, download, and fill them out as needed.
Is there a convenient way to pay fines and child support online in New York City?
Yes, you can pay violation fines, including parking tickets and child support, online through the New York City online payment system.
Where can I find legal resources and information for self-help in the court system?
The Law Library of Brooklyn offers resources that can be requested by e-mail or fax, along with a glossary of legal terms.
How can I file small claims cases electronically in the New York City Civil Court?
You can file small claims and commercial claims cases electronically by following the links to filing service vendors provided by the court.