Supreme Courts, Family Courts and Surrogate's Courts are located in every county and generally handle the same types of cases throughout the state. Town and Village Courts have similar jurisdiction over cases but less territorial jurisdiction as compared to other types of courts. The Court of Claims is a specialized court that handles civil claims against the State of New York from one central location.
If you prefer, you can start your search by going to New York Courts by County. New York Supreme Courts Supreme Courts are considered to have superior jurisdiction to other state courts. Supreme Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but typically only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Criminal cases heard by Supreme Courts will depend on whether or not the court is located in New York City.
Supreme Courts exercise more jurisdiction over criminal cases in New York City. Outside of New York City, County Courts handle most criminal cases, and Supreme Courts only exercise jurisdiction over felony cases beyond the jurisdiction of County Courts.
Supreme Courts may handle domestic violence cases in the context of a divorce or legal separation case, including Orders of Protection. Supreme Courts may transfer some cases to and from other courts. Financial limitations on jurisdiction may be removed to allow some transfers to occur. Some Supreme Courts have Commercial Divisions that handle complex commercial cases.
Most cases are required to meet certain monetary thresholds for the Commercial Division to have jurisdiction. Minimum monetary thresholds vary by county and do not apply to all cases that may be heard by the Commercial Division. Cases heard by a Commercial Division include breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, business torts, transactions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, commercial real property, shareholder derivative actions, commercial class actions, internal affairs of business organizations, certain malpractice cases, environmental insurance coverage, dissolutions of corporations, and other cases described by law.
Commercial Divisions do not handle suits for professional fees, residential real estate disputes, certain actions related to insurance claims and coverage, attorney malpractice and other non-commercial cases described by law.
New York County Courts County Courts have jurisdiction over all criminal and some civil cases in the county, but typically only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of lower courts. Criminal cases heard by County Courts include felonies and lesser-included offenses. County Courts share jurisdiction with Supreme Courts over conservatorships and decisions by the State Board of Parole. New York Family Courts Family Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of juvenile matters, domestic relations cases, abuse prevention orders and some criminal cases.
Juvenile cases heard by Family Courts include child neglect, juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency. Family Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over juvenile delinquency, child protective proceedings and persons in need of supervision.
Domestic Relations cases heard by Family Courts include child custody unrelated to a dissolution of marriage, child support unrelated to a dissolution of marriage, paternity, adoption and spousal conciliation. Family Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over most paternity cases and certain types of support and maintenance. Family Courts may handle guardianships of minors and some criminal offenses between family or household members. Family Courts may handle certain types of cases referred by Supreme Courts, including habeas corpus proceedings to determine custody of minors and support or custody disputes related to a dissolution of a marriage.
Family Courts may transfer cases to other courts except Supreme Courts. Financial limits on jurisdiction in other courts may be removed to allow some transfers to occur. Each Civil Court has a Housing Court division for residential landlord-tenant summary process cases also known as holdover proceedings and housing code violations. Each Civil Court has a General Civil division that handles cases that include ejectment, certain types of cases involving real property, certain types of cases involving liens or mortgages, rescission or reformation of certain transactions, commercial landlord-tenant cases and other civil cases not handled by another division.
Courts for the City of New York may transfer some cases to other courts. New York Criminal Courts of the City of New York Criminal Courts of the City of New York have jurisdiction over most misdemeanors, all offenses of a grade less than misdemeanor and preliminary hearings for felony cases.
New York District Courts District Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases that may vary from court to court. Criminal cases heard by District Courts may include most misdemeanors, all offenses of a grade less than misdemeanor and preliminary hearings for felony criminal cases. District Courts are prohibited from having more jurisdiction than Courts of the City of New York, and additional limits may exist. New York City Courts City Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases that may vary from court to court but will not be any greater than the potential jurisdiction of a District Court.
City Courts may have jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases, criminal offenses classified as less than a misdemeanor, and preliminary hearings for felony criminal cases. Criminal cases heard by Town Courts and Village Courts include misdemeanors, local ordinance and traffic violations and infractions. Town Court and Village Court justices also arraign, set bail, and hold preliminary hearings in felony cases. Also included are evictions, back rent claims, and other landlord-tenant matters.
Town Courts and Village Courts may also hear building and zoning code violations and dog complaints. New York Court of Claims The New York State Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over civil claims by any person, corporation, or municipality against the State of New York or certain government-affiliated agencies and organizations.
Cases handled by the Court of Claims include appropriation of real or personal property, breach of contract, public construction contracts, torts by state officers or employees while acting in their official capacity, and unjust conviction and imprisonment.
The Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction over claims against individuals, towns, cities or counties, but the Court of Claims can hear and determine any claim in favor of the State against a claimant. The Court of Claims handles cases for the entire state from one main location in Albany, but trials may be conducted at other locations.
They can set up treatment programs, monitoring, and access to services in lieu of incarceration for some offenders.