CLAIMS JURISDICTIONAL AND GENERAL INFORMATION
WHO CAN USE SMALL CLAIMS?
You must be an individual to use Small Claims. Corporations,
Partnerships, Associations or Assignees cannot bring actions
in Small Claims (see Commercial Claims if you are a Corporation,
Partnership or Association).
You must bring the action where the Defendant resides or where
he/she is doing business at the time you start the action. Since
Plattsburgh City Court has jurisdiction within Clinton County,
you must provide an address within Clinton County for the defendant.
You also have the option to sue in Town or Village Court if the
Defendant resides outside the City of Plattsburgh.
Up to $5,000.00 (exclusive of interest and costs) - Money damages
You must be 18 years or older to bring an action
in Small Claims; otherwise, the action must be brought by a
parent or guardian.
If a party will be inequitably affected by a judgement
rendered by a Court (that is, his/her right to litigate a claim
or recover damages against a named defendant could be determined
by the case being heard), that person must be named as a claimant/plaintiff
in the case. If such a person refuses to join the case as a
plaintiff, then he/she may be named as a defendant (CPLR sec.
Two examples of people who should be joined as claimants/plaintiffs
(1) co-tenants on a lease in a claim against
(2) when the owner of, operator of and riders in an
automobile are different people in a negligence action
for property damage and personal injuries.
COMMERCIAL CLAIMS / CONSUMER TRANSACTIONS
JURISDICTIONAL INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS
WHO CAN USE COMMERCIAL CLAIMS/CONSUMER TRANSACTION?:
The Claimant must be a corporation, partnership, or association. A Certification
of Authority must be filed indicating the office/ authority of the claimant
to settle or participate in the trial on behalf of the business as well as
other required forms (listed below). NO COLLECTION AGENCIES.
What is a Consumer Transaction?
A Consumer Transaction is a transaction where the money, property or service
that is the subject of the transaction is primarily for personal, family or
The Claimant must have a principle office in the State of New
The Defendant must reside or have an office for the transaction of business
or regular employment within the County. You must be able to provide the Court
with an address within Clinton County for the defendant.
Up to $5,000.00 (exclusive of interest and costs) - for money damages
If a party will be inequitably affected by a judgement rendered
by a Court (that is, his/her right to litigate a claim or recover damages
against a named defendant could be determined by the case being heard), that
person must be named as a claimant/plaintiff in the case. If such a person
refuses to join the case as a plaintiff, then he/she may be named as a defendant
(CPLR sec. 1101[a]).
Two examples of people who should be joined as claimants/plaintiffs
(1) co-tenants on a lease in a claim against a landlord;
(2) when the owner of, operator of and riders in an automobile
are different people in a negligence action for property damage and
REQUIRED FORMS in COMMERCIAL CLAIMS:
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY:
The claimant must file with the Court a Certification
of Authority indicating
that the claimant has the authority to settle and/or participate in a trial
on behalf of the business. This form may be obtained from the Clerk of the
CERTIFICATION ON LIMITATION OF COMMERCIAL CLAIM / CONSUMER TRANSACTION
The Claimant may file up to five (5) claims per calendar month. You will be
required to file a verification that no more than five (5) commercial claims
have been instituted by you anywhere in New York State during the calendar
month. A Verification Form can be obtained from the
Clerk of the City Court.
DEMAND LETTER CERTIFICATION (required in Consumer Transaction cases only):
The Claimant MUST file with the Court a certification attesting that a Demand
Letter has been sent to the Defendant not less than 10 days nor more than 180
days from the time of the filing of the action in Commercial Claims Court.
The Certification Form and a sample of a Demand
Letter can be obtained
from the City Court Clerk's office.
If you have been named as a defendant in a small claim/commercial claim/consumer
transaction and have a claim against the claimant, you may bring a "counterclaim" as
part of the lawsuit, for money only, up to $5,000. You should file your own Small Claim/Commercial Claim application with the
Court with the filing fee (Claims can NOT be submitted via the Internet). You
must inform the Court that you are filing a counterclaim and inform the Court
of the case name and docket number of the case to which you are filing a counterclaim.
You must be prepared to prove the counterclaim on the day you go to Court.
A counterclaim should be filed within 5 days of your receipt of the summons
and notice of claim. However, if you file a counterclaim after the 5
days has elapsed, the claimant in the initial proceeding may request an adjournment
of the hearing date. The Court must grant the adjournment request.
If you are a corporation, partnership or association filing a counterclaim,
you must submit to the Court a Certification
of Authority which
can be obtained from the City Court.
HOW TO FILE IN THE PLATTSBURGH CITY COURT
Once you have completed
the Application for Small
Claims/Commercial Claims and the REQUIRED forms (if any), you may submit your application to the Clerk of the Court located at 24 US Oval, Plattsburgh, NY 12903 with the appropriate filing fee (Claims can NOT be submitted via the Internet). The Clerk will provide you with a Court date at least twenty one days from the filing date for a hearing. The Court will send a summons with the date and a copy of the application to the opposing party.
PREPARING FOR THE HEARING/TRIAL
Anything that will help prove the facts of your case should be brought to court. This includes photographs, written agreements, an itemized bill or invoice that is receipted or marked “paid”, written estimates of the cost of the service or repairs, receipts and canceled checks. If you rely on estimates, at least two different written itemized estimates of the cost of the service or repairs are required.
Testimony, including your own, is evidence. Any witness whose testimony is important to your case may testify. This can be a person who witnessed your transaction or someone whose special knowledge and experience makes him or her an expert on the cost of the service or repairs that were provided or may be required.
At the initial appearance the Judge will offer you a chance to mediate the claim.
If you and the opposing party wish to attempt to mediate your conflict or disagreement, you may do so before or after you have commenced a small claims action with the Court. If an action has not been commenced and mediation is not successful, you will still have the option of appearing in front of the Court upon the filing of the appropriate paperwork. Once a small claims action has been filed with the Court, you will be offered an opportunity, immediately prior to the hearing, to meet with a trained mediator at City Court. While you are not obligated to participate in the mediation process, it is often possible to resolve your case on terms agreeable to both parties, without judicial intervention, through the assistance of trained mediators.
If you wish to contact North Country Conflict Resolution Services for further information they may be reached by:
- Appearing in person at 22 US Oval, Suite 203, Plattsburgh, NY
- Telephone at 518-324-5144
- Fax at 518-561-5468
For claims involving automobiles, please also see the New York State Attorney General's Website
concerning Automobile Lemon Law Issues
WITHDRAWING A SMALL CLAIM
If you have filed a Small Claim/Commercial Claim with the City Court and the
parties have resolved the matter prior to the Court hearing, you should advise
the Court, in writing, immediately. The form for withdrawing
a small claim/commercial claim is available. Only the individual who filed the claim can withdraw the matter and must have his/her signature notarized by a Notary Public or acknowledged at the Court Clerk’s Office.