Small Claims FAQs

WHAT IS SMALL CLAIMS COURT?

Small Claims Court is a special part of City, Town or Village court where you can sue for money:  

  • Up to $5,000 in City Courts
  • Up to $3,000 in Town and Village Courts

Small claims actions must be initiated in the City, Town of Village where the defendant (the party you’re filing against) lives, works, or has a place of business.

You must know their exact mailing address.  PO Boxes aren’t acceptable.

If the defendant doesn’t live, work or have a place of business in New York State, you cannot file a Small Claims case here.

For more info, please reference the New York State Unified Court System’s Guide to Small Claims and Commercial Claims at www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/pdfs/SmallClaimsHandbook.pdf

 

WHAT IF I WANT TO SUE FOR MORE $ THAN THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT ALLOWS?

If you’re seeking monetary damages that exceed the limits of Small Claims Court, you can start a Civil Case in:

  • City Court for monetary damages up to $15,000
  • County Court for monetary damages up to $25,000
  • Supreme Court for monetary damages greater than $25,000

 

DO I NEED A LAWYER TO SUE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT?

No, but you can hire one if you want. The defendant may also hire a lawyer. The Court will not assign an attorney to you.

 

HOW CAN I CONTACT A SMALL CLAIMS COURT IN BROOME COUNTY?

You can look up our City, Town and Village Courts online at www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/find.shtml.

The following municipal courts also have websites:

 

HOW DO I START AN ACTON IN BINGHAMTON SMALL CLAIMS COURT?

 

HOW DO I START A CIVIL CASE IN BINGHAMTON CITY COURT?

 

HOW DO I START A CIVIL ACTION IN BROOME COUNTY OR SUPREME COURT?

To start an Civil Action in Broome County Court or Supreme Court, you must file the following documents in the Broome County Clerk’s Office:

These are your initiating papers. 

The case won’t be known to the court until you file a Request for Judicial Intervention.

  • $95 filing fee

For more information on how to commence a Civil Action please visit www.nycourts.gov/legacyPDFs/courts/6jd/forms/SRForms/civilact_howtocommence.pdf.

Additional information and forms can be found at www.nycourts.gov/legacyPDFs/courts/6jd/forms/SRForms

At this level, it’s highly recommended that you consult with a licensed attorney for help navigating the court process.

 

IF I DON’T AGREE WITH THE JUDGE’S DECISION, CAN I FILE AN APPEAL?

Cases decided by mediation or voluntary arbitration can NOT be appealed, but if your case was decided by a Judge, you can ask a higher court to review your case. 

You must file a Notice of Appeal with the Court that decided your case within 30 days of the Judge’s decision.  Once your appeal is perfected, the City, Town or Village Court will send it to Broome County Court for review.

County Court has no authority to rehear your case, to retry your case, or to consider any facts other than those presented at your original hearing. A County Court Judge is only permitted to determine if the trial was fair and if the lower court correctly applied the law. 

For more information on the small claims appeals process please:

If you’re appealing a Binghamton City Court decision, please visit ww2.nycourts.gov/courts/6jd/broome/binghamton/appealcivil.shtml for more information.