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New York City Civil Court

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Title: New York City Civil Court  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gerald Garson, Government of New York City, Joseph F. Bruno, New York City courts, New York Supreme Court
Collection: Government of New York City, New York State Courts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

New York City Civil Court

The Civil Court of the City of New York decides lawsuits involving claims for damages up to $25,000 and includes a small claims part for cases involving amounts up to $5,000 as well as a housing part for landlord-tenant matters, and also handles other civil matters referred by the New York Supreme Court.[1][2] It handles about 25% of all the New York courts' total filings.[3] The court has divisions by county (borough), but it is a single city-wide court.[4][5][6]


  • Jurisdiction 1
  • Structure 2
  • Judges 3
  • History 4
    • Notable judges 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The Civil Court has monetary jurisdiction up to $25,000, including replevin when the value of the chattel does not exceed that amount, jurisdiction of real property actions such as partitions, and foreclosures within the monetary limit, and also has equity jurisdiction limited to real property actions, ejectment actions, and actions to rescind or reform a contract not involving more than the $25,000 jurisdictional limit.[7]


The court's divisions are by each county (borough).[6] In each division there are a number of court parts established by the Chief Administrative Judge:[8]

  • Housing part, for actions and proceedings involving the enforcement of state and local laws for the establishment and maintenance of housing standards, including but not limited to the Multiple Dwelling Law and the housing maintenance code, building code and health code of the New York City Administrative Code.[9]
  • Small claims parts, for the hearing and disposition of all small claims proceedings.
  • Calendar part, for the maintaining and calling of a calendar of cases, and for the hearing and disposition of all motions and applications, including orders to show cause and applications for adjournments, in civil actions that have been placed on a reserve or ready calendar but not yet assigned to a trial part.
  • Trial part, for the trial of civil actions and for the hearing and determination of all motions and applications, including orders to show cause, made after an action is assigned to a trial part.
  • Motion part, for the hearing and determination of motions and applications that are not otherwise required to be made in a calendar part, trial part or conference part.
  • Conference part, for the precalendar or pretrial conference of actions.
  • Multipurpose part, for the performance of the functions of a calendar part, a trial part, a motion part, a conference part, as well as other special parts of court.


New York City Civil Court judges are elected countywide or from districts[10][5] to 10-year terms, with vacancies filled by the mayor and service continuing until the last day of December after next election,[11] while Housing Part judges are appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge to five-year terms.[1][12][13][14] A candidate needs to file petitions to be considered a candidate for a political party's nomination in the general election; petitions containing 4,000 signatures are needed for a county-wide seat, and petitions containing 1,500 signatures are necessary for a district seat.[12]

Party leaders frequently designate candidates for the Civil Court judgeships, who then face an open primary against others who qualify for the ballot. The party machine usually manages to elect most of its judicial candidates.

Civil Court or Family Court Judges may be assigned by the New York Chief Judge to the Supreme Court and are referred to as "Acting Supreme Court Judges".[15] The Chief Judge of New York, in consultation with the Chief Administrative Judge, Administrative Judges, Supervising Judges and the Presiding Justice of the relevant Appellate Division, assigns judges to sit in the county in which they were selected or another county, for example a judge elected to New York City Civil Court in Manhattan could be assigned to Family Court in the Bronx, although an acting Supreme Court judge is usually assigned to the county in which they were elected.[15]


The Civil Court was formed in 1962 in a consolidation of predecessor courts.[3]

Notable judges


  1. ^ a b The New York State Courts: An Introductory Guide (PDF).  
  2. ^ The New York State Courts: An Introductory Guide (PDF).  
  3. ^ a b "Civil Court History".  
  4. ^ New York City Civil Court Act § 102
  5. ^ a b Barr, Michael H. New York Civil Practice Before Trial. §6:180: James Publishing.  
  6. ^ a b 22 NYCRR § 208.2
  7. ^ "In General".  
  8. ^ 22 NYCRR § 208.3
  9. ^ New York City Civil Court Act § 110
  10. ^ New York City Civil Court Act § 102-a
  11. ^ Colby, Peter W. (1985). "The Government of New York State Today". In Colby, Peter W. New York State Today.  
  12. ^ a b  
  13. ^ "Judges".  
  14. ^ New York City Civil Court Act § 110
  15. ^ a b  

External links

  • New York City Civil Court
  • Uniform Civil Rules for the New York City Civil Court in the NYCRR
  • New York City Courts
  • New York State Unified Court System
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