New York has a County Court in each county outside of New York City. These courts have exclusive jurisdiction over criminal cases that occur within the county. The crimes may include felonies, where the punishment is more than a year in prison. County Courts can also hear lesser offenses, but most of those go to the lower courts (City and Town and Village Courts). New York’s County Courts also have limited jurisdiction with civil issues. County Court judges are elected and serve ten-year terms.
Other types of cases handled in County Courts are tort case, contract disputes, real property cases of $25,000 or less, civil appeals, other civil lawsuits, and serious criminal matters. These courts act as an intermediate appellate court for City Courts and Town and Village Courts.
On the NYCourts.gov website, there is a section for County Courts where users can click a link to their specific county. The link takes the user to a detailed page with a listing of each judge who works in that County Court. It also shows the courthouse location with the mailing address and directions, hours of operation, the Court Clerk’s details, phone numbers, and some history about the court. From there, patrons can access court guides, the law library, links to the bar association, ADA accessibility options, information for jurors, and local county information. The main unified court system website also offers forms for filing cases, an e-filing option, a portal to pay tickets, fees, and fines, other legal publications and assistance to help users navigate the complex legal system. There is even a whole section for people who are representing themselves in a court case and not using an attorney.
On average, New York’s County Courts see about 108,458 civil cases and 40,000 criminal cases per year.