Fulton County Small Claims Court
Hearing Day Procedures
We recommend arriving to court at least fifteen minutes before your hearing. Upon arriving, you should look for the small claims court calendar (or a clerk if there is no calendar). 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, you may ask the court for a continuance or adjournment or any other request. If both parties are ready to proceed, the case will go forward.
Are continuances allowed in small claims court?
The court may call a continuance an adjournment. These are discouraged as the purpose of small claims court is a quick, efficient way of resolving disputes. Only the court can grant a continuance. A party can ask for a continuance by requesting one through the mail. You should also send a copy of the request to all the other parties in the case. You can also ask for a continuance on the hearing date, but you need to be prepared in case the court refuses your request.
What are the filing costs for a case in Fulton County?
In this County, the filing see is $10 (if the amount asked for is $1,000 or less) and $15 (if the claim exceeds $1,000).
Small Claims Court Appeals for Fulton County Cases
Small Claims Court Appeals for Fulton County Cases
A party has 30 days from the date of the judgment to file a notice of appeal (or 35 days if you were mailed the court’s judgment). There are fees for filing a notice of appeal as well as additional costs for purchasing a transcript (if a court reporter was present). The small claims court clerk has specific information regarding fees associated with appeals. Remember, an appellate court will only overturn a judgment if the ruling is “clearly erroneous.” This is why we recommend consulting an attorney to determine if an appeal is appropriate.
Small Claims Court Cases in Fulton County
Small Claims Court cases are heard in the town or village court for Fulton County. One can sue for $3,000.00 or less in a town or village court in Fulton County. These cases are designed to be resolved informally (so a party does not have to hire an attorney). Note: If you have a claim for more than $3,000, you cannot separate it into two claims to be under the limit. A claimant or plantiff can only seek monetary relief in small claims court. You cannot sue someone to force a person or business to perform a task (like fix a car) or return a personal item. Money is the only remedy available (on claims and counterclaims). A plaintiff or claimant can also sue a public entity like a city or other agency. However, you have to file a claim with that agency before filing your small claims court action. The claim must be filed within ninety days of the incident. If you fail to follow this rule, your case will be dismissed.
Can I hire an attorney to represent me in small claims court?
You do not have to hire an attorney to represent you in small claims court (even if you are a business). In fact, the rules and procedures are designed to be informal so that you should not have to retain an attorney. A party does have a right to retain an attorney if he, she, or it wishes. If attorneys are representing parties on both sides of the v, (plaintiff and defendant), the court may transfer the case to the regular civil part.
Fulton County Small Claims Court Locations
Each village or town has in Fulton County has its own court to handle cases arising at that town or village. Fulton County Small Claims Cases are handled in 11 locations for the following towns and villages: Bleecker Town, Broadalbin Town, Broadalbin Village, Caroga Town, Ephratah Town, Johnstown Town, Mayfield Town, Northampton Town, Oppenheim Town, Perth Town, and Stratford Town.
The small claims court locations are:
Bleecker Town CourtP.O. Box 1043 Gloversville, NY 12078
Broadalbin Town CourtPOB 852 Broadalbin, NY 12025
Broadalbin Village CourtPOB 6 Broadalbin, NY 12025
Caroga Town Court1840 State Highway 10 PO Box 328 Caroga Lake, NY 12032
Ephratah Town Court3782 State Highway 10 Town Barn St. Johnsville, NY 13452
Johnstown Town Court2753 State Highway 29A PO Box 88 Johnstown, NY 12095
Mayfield Town Court75 North Main Street PO Box 00 Mayfield, NY 12117
Northampton Town Court112 South 2nd Street PO Box 479 Northville, NY 12134
Oppenheim Town Court110 State Highway 331 Saint Johnsville, NY 13452
Perth Town Court1849 County Highway 107 Municipal Building Amsterdam, NY 12010
Stratford Town Court120 Piseco Road Town Hall PO Box 1 Stratford, NY 13470
Jury Trials in Small Claims Court
A defendant (and only a defendant) can request a jury trial for a small claims court case. The demand must be made prior to the actual hearing date. The defendant must file an affidavit stating the issues of fact the jury is to decide. The judge will then determine if the case should remain in small claims court or be transferred to the regular civil part. If the case remains in regular small claims court, six jurors are used to hear the case.
How do I counterclaim against the plaintiff?
As a defendant, you can file a counterclaim against the plaintiff (in which you assert that plaintiff owes you money). The counterclaim needs to be filed within five days of your notice of the case, or the court may continue the hearing to a later date. The filing fee for a counterclaim is $3.00. If the counterclaim is filed after the five days, the plaintiff can ask for a later hearing date (and sometimes the court may continue the hearing out even without the plaintiff asking).
Can I file my small claims case in Fulton?
You must bring your action in the municipality (location – village or town) in which the person or business you are suing resides (lives) or has an office open for business.
What happens if a party fails to appear on the hearing date?
If you are the plaintiff, your case is dismissed. If you are the defendant, the court may grant a default judgment in your absence. Court rules require that the judge not enter a default judgment until one hour after the time set for the hearing.
Am I able to sue in small claims court?
Small clams court is open to any party who is a person 18 years of age or older. If someone is younger than 18, a parent or legal guardian is able to bring an action on behalf of the minor. Corporations, partnerships, and other corporate entities must bring their action in Commercial Claims Court and are not able to act as plaintiffs in small claims court. These corporate entities are able to be sued in small claims court. When a business, corporation, or other entity is sued, the entity is able to authorize a person (usually an employee, director, or attorney) to appear on its behalf.
Beginning a Small Claims Court Case
You must go to the Small Claims Court to file your case. The court will provide the necessary forms. These forms will ask for a statement of the case. The statement is a fancy way of asking what your case is about. This should be brief and include all important facts. You should note in the statement of the case if you are requesting interest (which happens if your case concerns property damage or a contract specifies an interest amount). A court will generally have a clerk who is available to assist with questions regarding the forms (and answer other questions). If a court does not have a clerk, generally the judge is available to help you with these questions.
The clerk will provide the time and date for the small claims court hearing. The clerk provides the defendant with the statement of the claim and the date and time of the hearing (this is called “service”). The clerk will provide ths notice through mail–both certified and first-class. If the notice sent by first-class mail is not returned as undeliverable, the defendant is deemed to be “served,” even if the notice sent by certified mail has not been delivered (otherwise a defendant could simply refuse to sign for the certified mail). If the post office cannot deliver notice of the claim and you believe the person still resides in that village or town, the court (clerk) will give you a new hearing date and will instruct you on how to personally serve the defendant. Due Process (a fancy way of saying fairness) requires that the defendant be served prior to a hearing on your case. If service has not been completed within four months of filing, the claim will be dismissed. The case will be dismissed without prejudice which means you can refile with the same court if you learn the defendant is still residing in that location (otherwise, if the defendant moved, you would file it in the court of the new town or village).
Mediation of Small Claims Court Cases in Fulton 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 Fulton County, mediation services are provided by:
Tri-County Mediation Center
Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties