Choice of Court

Where is the case going to be litigated? That is an important question because it goes to the cost benefit analysis of recovering anything from a particular situation. In this blog I will walk you through the various courts and costs that you will entail in an attempt to recover damages from a case.

Small Claims Court

This is the most cost effective way to obtain a judgment against a debtor/liable party. The cost of the courts varies a little bit, but to get a case into a small claims court generally costs between 15 and 20 dollars. The major limitation of these courts are that the damages are limited to $5,000 in city courts and $3,000 in towns and villages. This means that no matter how much you were damaged, you can only recover those respective amounts.

City Court

This court has the same rules and regulations as the Supreme Court which will be discussed shortly. The difference about this court is that discovery can be much shorter as generally the limits of each court are $15,000 (this varies court to court). Additionally, this court may require the parties to go to mandatory arbitration if they determine the amount in question to be under $6,000 (as in the city of Syracuse).

Supreme Court

This is the court which can hear any case in New York State, meaning you could be damaged one penny or a million dollars, this court could hear your case. It is a more expensive and time consuming Court, but is necessary to get through some of the most difficult and cases with the most damage.

What does that mean for you:

  1. - When deciding which court you will have to conduct a cost benefit analysis as to which court is right for you.
    a. Is it worth claiming $6,000 worth of damage if that means you would have to go to Supreme Court
  2. - How fast do you want the case to move?
    a. Obviously the smaller of the court the faster each case can move through the system and in the case of small claims the less formalities, which will streamline the process.


All of these things need to be taken so we here at MCV Law can most effectively represent you and your needs.

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