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Cortland City Court


Commercial Claims

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 (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) must be filed indicating the office/ authority of the claimant to settle or participate in the trial on behalf of the business. NO COLLECTION AGENCIES. (Download application in Adobe Acroba).


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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 household purposes.


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Geographic Jurisdiction

The Claimant must have a principle office in the State of New York. The Defendant must reside or have an office for the transaction of business or regular employment within the County.


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Monetary Jurisdiction

Up to $5,000.00 (exclusive of interest and costs) - for money damages only.


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Necessary Parties

If a party will be inequitably affected by a judgment 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 include:

(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 personal injuries.


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Required Forms in Commercial Claims:

Certificate of Authority

The claimant must file with the Court a Certification of Authority (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) 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 Court or on this web site.

Certification on Limitation of Commercial Claim/Consumer Transaction Filings

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 (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) can be obtained from the Clerk of the City Court or on this web site.

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 (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) and a sample of a Demand Letter (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) can be obtained from the City Court Clerk's office or from this web site.


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Counterclaims

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). Click here for the application (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML). 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 (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) which can be obtained from the City Court or on this web site.


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How to File in the Cortland City Court

Once you have completed the application (download in Adobe Acrobat for Small Claims/Commercial Claims and the REQUIRED forms (if any), you may submit your application to the Clerk of the Court located at City Hall, 25 Court Street, Cortland, NY with the appropriate filing fee (Claims can NOT be submitted via the Internet). The Clerk will provide you with a Court date at least 30 days from the date of filing for the hearing in this matter and will send a Summons with the hearing date and a copy of the Application to the opposing party.


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Withdrawing a Commercial/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 on this web site (download in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) . Only the individual that 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.