By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department
City Courts: A City Court exists in every city in the state, excluding New York City, and hears both civil and criminal cases. Its criminal caseload includes misdemeanors, violations, traffic offenses, and the preliminary stages of felonies. The City Court hears civil cases involving amounts up to $15,000, small and commercial claims, and disputed traffic tickets. City Court judges are elected to 10-year terms.
New York City Courts:: The Criminal Court of the City of New York hears misdemeanors, other violations, and the preliminary stages of felony cases. The mayor appoints Criminal Court judges from a list of candidates submitted by the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary for 10- year terms.
The Civil Court of the City of New York hears all cases involving amounts less than $25,000. It includes a Housing Part, which hears landlord and tenant matters, and a Small Claims Part that hears claims for amounts less than $3,000. Civil Court judges are elected to 10-year terms.
District Courts: The District Court exists only in Nassau and Suffolk counties and hears misdemeanors, violations, the preliminary stages of felony cases, civil cases involving amounts up to $15,000, landlord and tenant matters, commercial issues, and small claims cases. The District Court also hears traffic misdemeanors. Judges are elected to 6-year terms.
Town and Village Justice Courts: Town and Village Courts hear misdemeanors, violations, traffic offenses, and the preliminary stages of felony cases when the offense was committed within the town’s or village’s geographic boundaries. The Town and Village Courts also hear civil cases involving amounts up to $3,000, landlord and tenant matters, and small claims cases. Judges, who do not have to be attorneys, are elected to 4-year terms.
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