Cayuga County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court Terms
A party is a person (or entity) on either side of the “v.” (plaintiff and defendant are each parties to the case). A plaintiff (sometimes called claimant) is the person who initiates or begins the lawsuit. A “defendant” is the party that is being sued. In certain cases, a third party (ie. not the plaintiff or defendant) is brought into a case (usually by a defendant who feels the third party is partly responsible for the damage to plaintiff). If you are interested in filing a third party claim (as a defendant), contact the local clerk for the filing fees and local procedures.
Can I hire an attorney?
You are not required to hire an attorney for a small claims court case. The procedures and rules for small claims court are actually designed to be simple and informal so that a party does not have to hire an attorney and should be able to represent themselves. A party does have a right to retain an attorney if he, she, or it wishes. Sometimes, when a plaintiff and a defendant have both retained attorneys, the court can transfer the case from small claims to the regular civil part.
Arbitration of Small Claims Court Cases in Cayuga County
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process that is binding. In arbitration, an arbitrator, who is often an experienced attorney, hears arguments, weighs evidence, and issues a final judgment on the merits of a claim. If both parties agree to arbitration, an arbitrator will often be able to hear a claim before a judge would (because there are more arbitrators than judges). Arbitrators use the same law as the small claims court judge. When an arbitrator decides your case, the decision is final. There is no appeal-by either party.
What happens if a party fails to appear on the hearing date?
If you are the plaintiff and fail to show up to court on the date of your case, the court will dismiss the case. If you are the defendant, the court may grant a default judgment in your absence. Note: Court rules require that the judge wait at least one hour before holding a hearing or entering a judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
Are continuances allowed in small claims court?
Hearing Day Procedures
We recommend arriving to court at least fifteen minutes before your hearing. When you arrive, you should look for the small claims court calendar or for a clerk to assist you. Cases are listed on the calendar by the last name of the plaintiff and the last name of the defendant (or full name of the business or other entity). If your case is not listed on the calendar, speak with the court clerk (or judge if there is no clerk present). Some courtrooms have the parties check in as they arrive. In others, the parties only check in when their case is called.
When your case is called, be ready to tell the judge if you are ready for the case to go forward (and the judge to hear your evidence) or if you need to make a request (like a request for a continuance). If both sides are ready, the court will proceed to hear the case.
Cayuga County Small Claims Court Locations
Each town and village has its own court to handle cases from there. Cayuga County has 27 locations to handle small claims court cases for the following villages and towns: Aurelius Town, Brutus Town, Cato Town, Conquest Town, Fleming Town, Genoa Town, Ira Town, Ledyard Town, Locke Town, Mentz Town, Meridian Village, Montezuma Town, Moravia Town, Moravia Village, Niles Town, Owasco Town, Port Byron Village, Scipio Town, Sempronius Town, Sennett Town, Springport Town, Sterling Town, Summerhill Town, Throop Town, Venice Town, Victory Town, and Weedsport Village.
The locations for the courts are:
Aurelius Town Court1241 W. Genesee St Road Auburn, NY 13021
Brutus Town CourtPO Box 720 Town Hall 9021 N Seneca Street Weedsport, NY 13166
Cato Town Court11320 Shortcut Road Cato, NY 13033
Conquest Town Court1289 Fuller Road Port Byron, NY 13140
Fleming Town Court2433 Dublin Road Auburn, NY 13021
Genoa Town Court1000 Bartnick Road Genoa, NY 13071
Ira Town Court2487 W. Main Street Cato, NY 13033
Ledyard Town Court1099 Poplar Ridge Road Aurora, NY 13026
Locke Town CourtPO Box 149 Locke, NY 13092
Mentz Town Court14 Mentz Drive PO Box 798 Port Byron, NY 13140
Meridian Village Court11320 Short Cut Road Cato, NY 13033
Montezuma Town Court8192 Dock Street P.O. Box 392 Montezuma, NY 13117
Moravia Town Court139 Main Street PO Box 1146 Moravia, NY 13118
Moravia Village Court48 West Cayuga Street PO Box 858 Moravia, NY 13118
Niles Town Court5921 New Hope Road Moravia, NY 13118
Owasco Town Court2 Bristol Avenue Auburn, NY 13021
Port Byron Village Court52 Utica Street P.O. Box 398 Port Byron, NY 13140
Scipio Town CourtP.O. Box 61 Scipio Center, NY 13147
Sempronius Town Court2274 State Route 41A Moravia, NY 13118
Sennett Town Court6931 Cherry Street Road Auburn, NY 13021
Springport Town Court859 State Route 326 Cayuga, NY 13034
Sterling Town Court1290 State Route 104A Sterling, NY 13156
Summerhill Town Court13606 State Route 90 Locke, NY 13092
Throop Town Court7471 Robinson Road Auburn, NY 13021
Venice Town Court2479 State Route 34 Venice Center, NY 13147
Victory Town Court1323 Town Barn Road Red Creek, NY 13143
Weedsport Village Court8892 South Street P.O. Box 190 Weedsport, NY 13166
Mediation of Small Claims Court Cases in Cayuga County
Mediation is an attempt to settle your case without a trial. It is a consifential way to resolve the case. Mediation involved a person acting as a mediator who will try and bring opposing parties to an agreement that all the parties can agree to. In Cayuga County, mediation services are provided by:
Center for Dispute Settlement, Inc.
120 North Main Street, Suite 45
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How do I file a small claims dispute?