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Judge Assignments

Civil Motions | Small Claims | Commercial Landlord-Tenant | TAP Judge/ Trial Back-up | Personal Appearance Part | Pre-Note of Issue 325-d Conferences | Misc. Court Work

Many boroughs assign the judges to a "circuit" of assignments several terms a year, depending on the number of judges in the borough and the workload. Circuit may consist of one week in the civil motion Part, one week of Small Claims, one week of miscellaneous court work, and one week of the Personal Appearance Part, or one week of Commercial Landlord-Tenant back-up. After a judge has concluded sitting circuit, he or she typically has many decisions to write that have been submitted during the various assignments. A Judge may also be assigned for consecutive terms to preside over trials.

Civil Motion Part

In each county there is a hearing part for all civil motions made on notice. There is a procedural motion calendar and a non-procedural motion calendar, and in some boroughs, the pro se motions are also heard with the civil motion calendar. A judge who sits for a week in a civil motion Part may hear upwards of 650 motions. In addition to those motions decided from the bench, a judge may typically leave the motion Part with between 35 to 50 submitted motions, with sometimes as many as 110 additional default motions. These motions must be decided within 60 days. This requires the judges to write several opinions each week while carrying out their other judicial assignments.

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Small Claims

Civil Court judges are also assigned to sit in the Small Claims Part of the Civil Court. One judge is assigned as the up-front judge to take any applications on the call of the calendar and to preside over trials. There is sometimes a judge assigned to sit as a back-up judge to hear trials, as well. In general, the judges hear these cases Monday through Thursday nights and during the day on Thursdays in Manhattan and on various days in the other counties. The Manhattan judges are also assigned to sit on Thursday nights in the Harlem Small Claims Night Court throughout the year.

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Part 52 Commercial Landlord-Tenant

The commercial landlord-tenant cases are presided over by the Civil Court Judges. One judge is assigned as the up-front judge to handle any applications during the call of the calendar and to handle the commercial motions. On average, the number of commercial motions on the calendar each week may range from 75 to 100, of which between one-third and one-half are submitted. These motions must be decided within 30 days. Cases that are trial ready are sent out to one of the judges assigned to sit as back-up judges. If a judge begins a commercial landlord-tenant trial during his or her assignment as a back-up judge and does not complete the trial, the judge must find time to schedule the completion of the trial during his or her next assignment.

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Personal Appearance Part

A judge may also be assigned to sit in the Civil Court's Personal Appearance Part, specifically to hear cases where one or both sides are self-represented litigants. If any party to a civil action is a self-represented litigant, the case will automatically be calendared in the Personal Appearance Part. The Judges presiding in this Part oversee all conferences, discovery and in some boroughs all motion practice, up until the trial.

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TAP Judge/Trial Back-up

One judge is also assigned to sit in the Trial Assignment Part ("TAP"), where trial-ready, post-note of issue cases are calendared. The TAP judge first tries to settle the case and then transfers the matter to a back-up judge for a bench trial, or sends the parties to pick a jury, if the case does not settle.

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Pre-Note of Issue 325-d Conferences

The majority of the cases transferred to the Civil Court from the Supreme Court in each county are not ready for trial. In fact, in the Bronx and Brooklyn almost all of the cases transferred are pre-note of issue actions which still require further litigation and judicial deliberation before a resolution will be achieved. In addition to their regular assignments, each Civil Court judge receives pre-note of issue cases that have been transferred from the Supreme Court, to conference every afternoon.

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Miscellaneous Court Work

Other judicial assignments cover a variety of court work, including signing warrants, ex parte orders and nunc pro tunc orders, handling mechanic's liens, turnover proceedings, name change petitions, and presiding over traverse hearings, inquests, and infant's compromises.




























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