Ulster County Small Claims Court

Ulster County Small Claims Court

What about a jury trial for a small claims court case in Ulster County?

Only a defendant can make the request for a jury trial. The demand must be made prior to the hearing. (The reason a plaintiff cannot demand a jury trial is because if the plaintiff files the case in small claims court the court deems the plaintiff consenting to have factual issues determined by the judge and not a jury, otherwise the case would be filed in the regular civil part). The defendant must file an affidavit stating the issues of fact the jury is to decide. The judge will then decide whether the case will 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.

What are the fancy terms used in these cases?

A party is a person (or entity) on either side of the “v.” (plaintiff and defendant are each parties to the case). A “plaintiff” or “claimant” is the party who brings or initiates the action in Small Claims Court. 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). 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.

Small Claims Court Appeals for Ulster 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). Appeals require additional fees to be filed. You must also determine if a transcript needs to be ordered. 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.” Some people find it useful to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to file an appeal.

Do I have to hire an attorney?

In small claims court cases heard in the village or town courts, you are not required to hire an attorney. 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 plaintiff or defendant can choose to hire an attorney if he or she chooses. 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.

Mediation of Small Claims Court Cases in Ulster 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 Ulster County, mediation services are provided by:

Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.

5 thoughts on “Ulster County Small Claims Court”

    • I may have to make a small court claim over something that just happened. However, I have a commitment to go away for approximately 6 months. What is the time frame for filing? For example, can you wait to file a claim 6 months after the incident occurred?

  1. Upon notifying the Ulster Health Department regarding the warranty of I Habitability, a couple days passed and the landlord proceeded with an eviction. I represented my mother and me Pro Se. we won the case on grounds of retaliation.

    We went 5 weeks with the bathroom toilet, tub and sink filled with raw sewage. On Jan 1st…the 5the week of this situation (landlord given a a citation based on their two visits) we lost heat. I stayed in the house that week, my mother stayed at my sisters. The landlord, with no permission, moved our belongings out in order to fix the heat. No permission was given. He put our belongings in a trailer, locked.

    This occurred on Jan 7th, 2018. We came home from shopping and the landlord wrote a note on the door and an email…that he just noticed we had a lock on the trailer. The reason? We have filed with the pOst office and police that 10-12 packages have been stolen that were delivered. We now have packages held at the post office. On Friday the 13th of this month, we put a lock on the trailer due to the stolen property.

    The landlord wrote…i’it just came to his attention that we have a lock on the trailer and to remove it immediately. 64/65 days our belongings were illegally removed from the house, with no permission give. Eviction proceedings are still going on but not ajudicated, no writ or possession by the court.

    How do I file a claim against the landlord for this?

    My mother worked 37 years in IBM and went out on disability for spinal stenosis. I earned my jurist doctorate and was gainfully employed in Long Island. I was struck by a car going 65 mph….hit and run while walking my dog. Several surgeries over the years including a spinal cord procedure on Dec. 6, 2017.

    We are unable to climb in a trailer to remove our belongings illegally removed.

    How to we take action against the landlord?

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

    Paul Malec

  2. Can I begin the process of filing a small claims case from overseas, and only return for the trial?
    Could I mail it in, or file online?
    Thanks kindly,


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