Nassau County Small Claims Court
What happens on day of the hearing?
We recommend arriving to court at least fifteen minutes before your hearing. When you arrive, look for the small claims court calendar (or the clerk). The calendar will list the cases that will be heard that day. They will be listed by the last name of the plaintiff and the last name of the defendant (or business name). 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 the judge or clerk calls your case, you should be prepared to tell the judge if you are ready for the case to proceed, ask for a continuance if you want one (and be ready to state a good reason for one), or any other request you may need to make. If both parties are ready, the case will proceed.
Beginning a Small Claims Court Case
The case has to be filed at the court location. Visit the court for that town or village, and the court will provide you with the paperwork to begin the action. One section of the form will ask for a statement of the case. This is the term the court uses to ask what your case is about. Your statement of the case should be concise but still include all the important facts. You may be entitled to interest if the basis for your case is property damage or based on a contract. Most courts have a clerk who can assist you to ensure you follow the procedures (and answer questions). In the few courts that do not have clerks, the judge can assist you.
The clerk will provide the time and date for the small claims court hearing. The clerk will “serve” the notice of claim by mailing it to the defendant (this is what part of your filing fee funds). This notice informs a defendant the time and location of the hearing and states the reason for the claim being made by plaintiff. The clerk will provide ths notice through mail–both certified and first-class. Once 21 days have passed, the defendant is deemed “served” unless the first-class item was returned undeliverable. If the defendant cannot be served by mail, the clerk can provide you with instructions on how to serve the defendant personally (the clerk will give you a new hearing date and time). 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. However, if you learn new information of the defendant’s location, you can refile in that court (or the new court where the defendant is now located).
How do I file a 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. Note: you can still file your claim after the five day window, but the judge then has the option of pushing back the hearing date (but no longer than twenty days). As the plaintiff, you have a right to ask for a continuance in this case.
Small Claims Court Appeals for Nassau County Cases
The window for filing an appeal is thirty days from the judgment (or thirty-five if you received the judgment in the mail). There are additional fees you need to file as well as determining whether a transcript of the case needs to be ordered. Consult with an attorney when you are deciding if you should file an appeal. Remember, an appellate court will only overturn a judgment if the ruling is “clearly erroneous.” Some parties benefit from consulting with an attorney prior to filing an appeal (to determine if it is even worthwhile).
Where are the Small Claims Courts located in Nassau County?
Every town and village of Nassau County has its own small claims court to handle cases arising in that location. In Nassau County, there are [COURTSNUM] separate courts for the following villages or towns:Atlantic Beach Village, Baxter Estates Village, Bayville Village, Bellerose Village, Brookville Village, Cedarhurst Village, Centre Island Village, Cove Neck Village, East Hills Village, East Rockaway Village, East Williston Village, Farmingdale Village, Floral Park Village, Flower Hill Village, Freeport Village, Garden City Village, Great Neck Estates Village, Great Neck Plaza Village, Great Neck Village, Hempstead Village, Hewlett Bay Park Village, Island Park Village, Kensington Village, Kings Point Village, Lake Success Village, Lattingtown Village, Laurel Hollow Village, Lawrence Village, Lynbrook Village, Malverne Village, Manorhaven Village, Massapequa Park Village, Matinecock Village, Mill Neck Village, Mineola Village, Munsey Park Village, Muttontown Village, New Hyde Park Village, North Hills Village, Old Brookville Village, Old Westbury Village, Oyster Bay Cove Village, Plandome Heights Village, Plandome Manor Village, Plandome Village, Port Washington North Village, Rockville Centre Village, Roslyn Estates Village, Roslyn Harbor Village, Roslyn Village, Russell Gardens Village, Saddle Rock Village, Sands Point Village, Sea Cliff Village, South Floral Park Village, Stewart Manor Village, Upper Brookville Village, Valley Stream Village, Westbury Village, Williston Park Village, and Woodsburgh Village.
The locations for the courts are:
Atlantic Beach Village Court65 The Plaza P.O. Box 189 Atlantic Beach, NY 11509
Baxter Estates Village Court315 Main Street Port Washington, NY 11050
Bayville Village Court34 School Street Bayville, NY 11709
Bellerose Village Court50 Superior Road Bellerose Village, NY 11001
Brookville Village CourtPO Box 227, Route 106 East Norwich, NY 11732
Cedarhurst Village Court200 Cedarhurst Avenue Cedarhurst, NY 11516
Centre Island Village Court303 Centre Island Rd Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Cove Neck Village Court2 Cove Neck Road P.O. Box 299 Oyster Bay, NY 11771
East Hills Village Court209 Harbor Hill Rd East Hills, NY 11576
East Rockaway Village Court376 Atlantic Avenue PO Box 189 East Rockaway, NY 11518
East Williston Village CourtP.O. Box 95 East Norwich, NY 11732
Farmingdale Village Court361 Main Street Village Hall Farmingdale, NY 11735
Floral Park Village Court1 Floral Blvd Floral Park, NY 11002
Flower Hill Village Court1 Bonnie Heights Road Manhasset, NY 11030
Freeport Village Court40 North Ocean Avenue Freeport, NY 11520
Garden City Village Court349 Stewart Avenue Garden City, NY 11530
Great Neck Estates Village Court4 Gateway Drive Village Office Great Neck, NY 11021
Great Neck Plaza Village CourtGussack Plaza PO Box 440 Great Neck, NY 11022
Great Neck Village Court61 Baker Hill Road Great Neck, NY 11023
Hempstead Village Court99 Nichols Court Hempstead, NY 11551
Hewlett Bay Park Village Court30 Piermont Avenue Hewlett, NY 11557
Island Park Village Court127 Long Beach Road Island Park, NY 11558
Kensington Village Court2 Nassau Drive Great Neck, NY 11021
Kings Point Village Court32 Steppingstone Lane Kings Point, NY 11024
Lake Success Village Court15 Vanderbilt Drive Lake Success, NY 11020
Lattingtown Village CourtPO Box 201 Locust Valley, NY 11560
Laurel Hollow Village Court1492 Laurel Hollow Road Syosset, NY 11791
Lawrence Village Court196 Central Avenue Lawrence, NY 11559
Lynbrook Village Court1 Columbus Drive Lynbrook, NY 11563
Malverne Village Court99 Church Street Malverne, NY 11565
Manorhaven Village Court33 Manorhaven Blvd. Port Washington, NY 11050
Massapequa Park Village Court151 Front Street Village Hall Massapequa Park, NY 11762
Matinecock Village CourtDuck Pond Road P.O. Box 227 East Norwich, NY 11732
Mill Neck Village Court32 Frost Mill Road PO Box 232 Millneck, NY 11765
Mineola Village Court155 Washington Avenue Mineola, NY 11501
Munsey Park Village Court1777 Northern Boulevard Manhasset, NY 11030
Muttontown Village Court1763 Rt. 106 Syosset, NY 11791
New Hyde Park Village Court1420 Jericho Turnpike New Hyde Park, NY 11040
North Hills Village Court1 Shelter Rock Road Roslyn, NY 11576
Old Brookville Village Court201 Mccouns Lane P.O. Box 436 Old Brookville, NY 11545
Old Westbury Village Court1 Store Hill Road Old Westbury, NY 11568
Oyster Bay Cove Village Court25-Route 25A Village Hall Oyster Bay Cove, NY 11771
Plandome Heights Village Court37 Orchard Street Manhasset, NY 11030
Plandome Manor Village Court55 Manhasset Avenue Manhasset, NY 11030
Plandome Village Court65 South Drive PO Box 930 Plandome, NY 11030
Port Washington North Village Court71 Old Shore Road Port Washington, NY 11050
Rockville Centre Village CourtOne College Place PO Box 950 Rockville Centre, NY 11571
Roslyn Estates Village Court25 The Tulips Roslyn, NY 11576
Roslyn Harbor Village Court500 Motts Cove Road South Roslyn Harbor, NY 11576
Roslyn Village Court1200 Old Northern Blvd Roslyn, NY 11576
Russell Gardens Village Court6 Tain Drive Great Neck, NY 11021
Saddle Rock Village Court18 Masefield Way Saddle Rock, NY 11023
Sands Point Village CourtTibbits Lane Sands Point, NY 11050
Sea Cliff Village CourtP.O. Box 340 Sea Cliff, NY 11579
South Floral Park Village Court383 Roquette Avenue South Floral Park, NY 11001
Stewart Manor Village Court120 Covert Avenue Stewart Manor, NY 11530
Upper Brookville Village CourtPlanting Fields Arboretum Annex Building PO Box 436 Glen Head, NY 11545
Valley Stream Village Court123 So Central Avenue Valley Stream, NY 11580
Westbury Village Court235 Lincoln Place Westbury, NY 11590
Williston Park Village Court494 Willis Avenue Williston Park, NY 11596
Woodsburgh Village Court30 Piermont Avenue Hewlett, NY 11557
Can I file my small claims case in
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.
Small Claims Court Terms
A party is one a person, business entity, or public entity that is named as a plaintiff or defendant in a case. The plaintiff (sometimes referred to as a claimant) is the person (or entity) that begins the lawsuit (by a filing at the courthouse). A defendant is the person or entity being sued (person who owes money). Sometimes, a third party (not the plaintiff or defendant) is brought into the case where a defendant files a third party claim asserting that another party is responsible for plaintiff’s damages. A defendant who is interested in filing a third party action should contact the clerk of the local court for the property procedures and filing fees.
Can I ask for a continuance?
In small claims court cases, a continuance can also be called an adjournment. The court generally discourages continuances in the interest of resolving disputes quickly and inexpensively. Only the court can give you a continuance (even if you have talked to the other party and agreed to a later date). 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. A party may also request a continuance on the actual hearing date, but a judge may be inclined to deny this request (and you should be prepared to go forward if the judge does not grant one).
What happens if I don’t show up for the hearing?
If the plaintiff fails to appear at the hearing, the case is dismissed. If the defendant fails to appear at the hearing, the court may grant a default judgment based on the evidence that the plaintiff presented. Court rules require that the judge not enter a default judgment until one hour after the time set for the hearing.
Should I use mediation for my small claims case?
Mediation is one way the court offers to try and settle your case without a trial. Mediation is a confidential way to try and resolve the case. It involves a mediator who will try and bring the plaintiff and defendant together to agree on a result that is fair to all (or, more likely, somewhat fair to each party). In Nassau County, the mediation provider is:
Long Island Dispute Resolution Centers
Education and Assistance Corporation, Inc.