New York Court Structure System

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Main Responsibilities and Jurisdictions

The New York court system pertains to the judicial branch of the government and its main actions are related to law interpretation. In New York, there are federal and state courts, and they all have different jurisdictions. In other words, they are allowed to hear cases that imply different matters, focusing on federal versus state laws.

Structure of the New York State Court System

The New York State court system is divided into courts of appeals and trial courts. Still, there is also a Court of Claims and problem-solving courts (drug treatment, integrated domestic violence, domestic violence, mental health, and sex offense courts). There are 57 New York County courts, one for each NY county.

Responsibilities of the County Courts

These courts are allowed to hear all civil and criminal cases, and they can also hear small claims appeals and civil cases that are $25,000 or less. At the same time, they are responsible for handling appeals of misdemeanor cases.

Civil Court Structure

The civil court structure involves the existence of the Court of Appellants, the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court, Intermediate Appellate Courts, and the Courts of Original Instance. The Intermediate Appellate Courts feature County Courts and they are related to the Appellate Terms of the Supreme Court 1st and 2nd departments.

Courts of Original Instance

The Courts of Original Instance consist of Supreme Courts, County Courts, Surrogate’s Courts, Family Courts, and Court of Claims, as well as District Courts, NYC Civil Courts, City Courts, Town Courts and Village Courts. The same structure can be seen in the case of criminal courts.

The Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals is New York’s highest court and it is comprised of a chief judge and six associate judges, each of them is appointed to a 14-year term.

The Role of the Court of Appeals

The highest appellate court in the State of NY was created to properly implement the state’s law principles and improve the overall context of particular lawsuit decisions.

Appeal Process

In order for an appeal to be initiated, the individual who is appealing the respective case has to get a writ of certiorari. The appellate court also needs to order the trial court to turn the case over to them.

The New York Supreme Court

Appeal cases that need to be ruled by appellate courts need to go to the New York Supreme Court. This particular court is responsible for hearing death penalty appeals that originate from trial courts.

The Appellate Division

The Appellate Division is composed of four departments. The first department is in Manhattan and covers Bronx County and the Manhattan area, or New York County.

Commercial Division and the New York State Court of Claims

Also, the Commercial Division is busy handling complex commercial cases, which are part of the Supreme Court of New York State. As for the New York State Court of Claims, this is considered to be the exclusive forum for civil litigation seeking damages against the State of New York. It also involves actions related to other state-related entities such as the N.Y. State Thruway Authority.