In civil cases process and mandates of the court may be served and executed throughout the county of Orange. (L. 1948, c. 569)
The city court shall have jurisdiction:
In an action to recover a sum of money only, where the amount demanded in the complaint does not exceed three thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs;
In an action to establish a mechanic's lien and to recover a personal judgment for the amount due, not exceeding three thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs;
In an action to foreclose a lien on a chattel, where the amount sought to be recovered does not exceed three thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs;
In an action to recover one or more chattels, with or without damages for the taking, withholding or detention thereof, where the value of the chattel or chattels does not exceed three thousand dollars;
In a summary proceeding to recover the possession of real property situated wholly or partly within the city, and to remove tenants and others therefrom;
To enter judgment upon confession, where the sum confessed does not exceed three thousand dollars exclusive of interest and costs;
To provide for methods of conciliation and to enter judgment upon an award of arbitrators, where the amount claimed does not exceed three thousand dollars, exclusive of interest and costs;
To approve a settlement of a cause of action of an infant, not to exceed three thousand dollars;
To make an order granting or denying a motion to discharge a defendant from arrest, or an order granting or denying a motion to vacate or modify a warrant of attachment or a requisition to replevy or a warrant of seizure.
Notwithstanding the jurisdiction hereinabove conferred upon the city court, its authority shall not be construed:
Except as provided in subdivision two of this section, the plaintiff or defendant, or one of the plaintiffs or defendants, must reside within the city. A person, an association or a corporation having an office or a place for the transaction of business within the city or being engaged in the business of transportation therein, is, for the purposes of this section, to be deemed a resident thereof.
In a summary proceeding to recover the possession of real property or in an action to establish a mechanic's lien, to foreclose a lien on a chattel, or to recover one or more chattels, neither the plaintiff nor the defendant need reside within the city if the real property or chattel is located within the city. (L. 1948, c. 569)
The provisions of the civil practice act and the rules of civil practice, notwithstanding express reference by name or classification therein to any other court, shall apply to the city court as far as the same can be made applicable and are not in conflict with the provisions of this act.
Where the word "state" is used in applicable provisions of the civil practice act or rules of civil practice it shall be construed to mean "county" as applied to the city court if the context of the particular section or rule permits of such construction.
The court, within the limits of its jurisdiction, is vested with all the powers possessed by the county court in like causes. (L. 1948, c. 569)
An action must be commenced by the service of the summons or the voluntary appearance of the parties. The summons shall state the names and, if known, the residence addresses of all the parties, plaintiff and defendant, and if the defendant's name if unknown, a fictitious name shall be stated. It shall summon the defendant to appear before the court at a specified place within six days from the date of service, exclusive of the day of service to answer the plaintiffs complaint. It shall be issued by the clerk or by the plaintiffs attorney in his name, and he shall add to his signature his office and post office address. The summons must have endorsed upon it the office and post office address of the plaintiff, or the name and office and post office address of his attorney. (L. 1948, c. 569)
The summons must be in substantially the following form, the blanks being properly filled:
The summons may be served upon the defendant within the county in like manner as in the supreme court, except as otherwise provided in this act or in rules adopted pursuant thereto.
An order for substituted service of a summons upon a defendant, whether a domestic corporation other than a municipal corporation, a joint-stock or other unincorporated association having a president or treasurer residing; within the county, or a natural person residing within the county, may be made by the court, or the judge thereof, upon satisfactory, proof that the plaintiff has been or will be unable, with due diligence to make personal service of the summons within the county.
The summons shall not be served by publication, except that in an action in which a warrant of attachment has been granted, an order may be obtained within thirty days after the granting of the attachment, providing for the service of the summons upon the defendant by publication.
Where a warrant of attachment has been granted, service of the summons, in lieu of publication, may be made personally upon the defendant within or without the county, whether or not an order has been made for service by publication.
Where a warrant of attachment has been granted, and the summons cannot with reasonable diligence be served within the county, it may be served by leaving a copy thereof, together with the warrant of attachment and the inventory of the property attached, at the last known place of residence of the defendant in the county, with a person of suitable age and discretion, or, if such person cannot be found there, by posting them on the outer door, and also depositing another copy of each in the post office, inclosed in a sealed post-paid wrapper, directed to the defendant at his residence. If the defendant has no place of residence in the county the marshal shall deliver a true copy of the summons, warrant and inventory to the person in whose possession the property attached is found and send another copy of each by registered mail, addressed to the defendant at his last known address. The defendant's return receipt, the summons and an affidavit of compliance herewith shall be filed with the clerk of the court within thirty days after the defendant's return receipt is received by the plaintiff. Service of process shall be complete ten days after proof thereof is filed.
The provisions of the civil practice act and the rules of civil practice governing like service in the supreme court shall apply where the summons is served pursuant to the provisions of subdivisions two, three or four of this section. (L. 1948, c. 569)
Pleadings shall be written and shall consist of complaint and answer and, when ordered, a reply. The complaint must accompany the summons and shall consist of a statement or notice of the nature and substance of the plaintiff's cause of action which may be endorsed upon or annexed to the summons. (L. 1948, c. 569)
The summons and complaint or notice must be filed with proof of service in the office of the clerk within four days after service.
Answer. The summons shall require the defendant to appear and make answer within six days after service of the summons. Within such period of time the defendant shall file such answer in the office of the clerk and, if the plaintiff appears by attorney, the defendant shall also serve a copy of his answer upon plaintiff's attorney within said period of time.
Amendments. The time within which a pleading may be amended of course shall be six days, and an amended pleading shall be answered within six days after it has been served.
Motions. Notice of a motion under rule one hundred two, one hundred three or one hundred four of the rules of civil practice shall be served within six days from the service of the pleading to which the motion is addressed. Notice of a motion under rule one hundred six or one hundred seven must be served within six days after the service of the complaint, and motions under rules one hundred nine, one hundred ten or one hundred eleven must be served within six days after the service of the answer or reply.
Notice of motion. Unless brought on by order to show cause, notice of motion shall be served at least six days before the date set therein for hearing except where attorneys for the several parties have their offices in the city of Newburgh, New York, when notice of three days may be given.
Note of issue. The note of issue shall be served not more than nine nor less than six days before the date set therein for trial and shall be filed with the clerk at least three days before such date.
Motion for new trial. A motion for a new trial or to vacate and set aside any verdict or judgment shall be made within five days after the rendition of the verdict of a jury.
Precepts in summary proceedings shall be called upon the return day at the time and place specified in such process or as soon thereafter as the business of the court will permit at which time defendant must appear and answer or final order or warrant will be issued or judgment by default against him will be entered by the clerk.
An objection to a pleading may be taken by motion as provided in the civil practice act and rules of civil practice. A notice of motion by the defendant must be served within six days after the service of process upon him, exclusive of the day of service, but the court or any judge of the court, upon application, may extend such time upon at least two days' notice to the adverse party. Notice of such motion shall be returnable not less than two nor more than four days after the date of serving and filing such notice. If the motion is addressed to the complaint, the time of the defendant to answer the same, shall, upon filing notice of such motion with proof of service thereof, thereby be extended for six days immediately following the date of filing of the decision on such motion. The court or any judge thereof may in any case, upon application of the defendant, in its discretion, without notice, extend the time to answer once only of course, but such extension shall not exceed five days and no further extension shall be granted by the court or any judge thereof, unless at least two days' notice of the application therefor has been given to the adverse party. (L. 1948, c. 569)
An attachment may be levied upon any property within the county upon which an attachment may be levied in an action in the supreme court, except real property and interests therein. (L. 1948, c. 569)
The provisions of the civil practice act and the rules of civil practice with regard to the pleading of items of account, bills of particulars, the taking of testimony by deposition and physical examination of a party, notwithstanding express reference by name or classification therein to any other court, shall apply. Where the word "state" is used in section two hundred eighty-eight of the civil practice act, it shall be construed to mean the "county of Orange". Similarly, the provisions of section three hundred four of the civil practice act shall be construed to mean that one of the conditions upon which a deposition may be read in evidence is that the deponent is not within the county of Orange at the time it is read in evidence. The periods of time prescribed by the civil practice act or any rule of civil practice relating to matters covered by this section may be changed by rule of this court. (L. 1948, c. 569)
If it shall appear that the title to real property will come in question in the action, it may be removed to a court having jurisdiction thereof, in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred ten-a of the civil practice act. (L. 1948, c. 569)
Editor's Note: See now Civil Practice Law and Rules § 325 and Rule 326.
If a counterclaim in excess of the court's jurisdiction is interposed, the court may, nevertheless, grant judgment to the extent of its jurisdiction, but the defendant shall be deemed to have waived any right to further recovery. (L. 1948, c. 569)
Demand. Trial by jury shall be deemed to be waived unless demanded in the note of issue by the party serving the same, or by any other party, in writing, within three days thereafter. The party demanding a trial by jury shall file a copy of the demand with the clerk within one day after the service thereof upon the opposing party, and must, at the time of filing his demand, pay the fee prescribed by section thirty-nine of this act.
Jury lists. The officer in the county of Orange charged by law with selecting the persons qualified to serve as jurors in the county and supreme courts shall furnish the clerk of the city court with the names of such qualified persons who are residents of the city. Jurors shall be drawn from among such persons.
Ballots and jury boxes. The clerk must prepare suitable ballots by writing the name of each person appearing on the list, with his place of residence and other information on a separate piece of paper. The ballots must be uniform in appearance, and the clerk must deposit them in a box kept for that purpose, to be known as the undrawn jury box. The ballots containing the names of persons who have been summoned and appeared for service must be placed in a box to be known as the drawn jury box. When all ballots have been drawn from the undrawn jury box the whole number must be returned to the undrawn jury box.
Summoning of jurors. When a jury trial is demanded, the clerk must draw, from the undrawn jury box, such number of names as shall be prescribed by the court, and shall deliver a list thereof to the marshal, to summon the persons named therein to attend the court at a specified time to serve as jurors.
Numbers of jurors. A jury shall be composed of six persons, except that either party may demand a jury of twelve.
Drawing of jurors. The jury shall be selected from among the persons summoned and attending pursuant to subdivision d of this section. It shall be drawn in the same manner as in the county court, except that where a jury consists of six persons, either party may peremptorily challenge not more than three persons, and where the jury consists of twelve persons either party may peremptorily challenge not more than six persons. (L. 1948, c. 569)
A decision upon the trial of a non-jury case may be general in form as though it were a verdict by a jury.
The decision and judgment of the court on the trial of a non-jury case, or upon the hearing of a motion, shall be rendered within fourteen days after the matter has been finally submitted for determination, unless an extension of time be agreed to in writing or stipulated in open court by both parties. If no decision is rendered within the time thus limited, the cause may be again moved for trial, or the motion may be renewed. The clerk shall forthwith notify all parties to the action or proceeding or their attorneys of the granting and entry of any decision or judgment. (L. 1948, c. 569)
If the defendant fails to appear and answer as herein provided, the clerk of the court shall, after the time to appear and answer has expired, forthwith enter judgment for the relief demanded in the complaint or notice in all cases in which the plaintiff is entitled to such judgment without proof, and shall refer all the other cases to the judge for his action.
Upon application, the clerk must deliver a transcript of a judgment. If the judgment is for the plaintiff in an action to establish a mechanic's lien, the clerk shall insert in the transcript an additional statement that the action was brought to establish a mechanic's lien and that the lien has been duly established and adjudged against the interest of the defendant in the property described in the complaint when the notice of lien was filed. If the judgment is for the recovery of a chattel which has been delivered to the unsuccessful party, or for the value thereof, the clerk shall insert in the transcript an additional statement setting forth the nature of the action and specifying the chattel described in the judgment. In all cases wherein the judgment creditor may be entitled to the issuance of a body execution, the clerk shall insert in the transcript the words "Defendant liable to execution against his person"; and a like note must also be made in the docket of the judgment made by the county clerk.
Upon presentation of a transcript of a judgment and payment of the filing fee, the clerk of the county in which the judgment was rendered must indorse upon the transcript the date of its receipt, must file it in his office and must docket the judgment as of the time of the receipt of the transcript, in a book kept by him for that purpose as prescribed by law; and if the judgment is for the recovery of a chattel which has been delivered to the unsuccessful party or for the value thereof, or for the establishment of a mechanic's lien, he must enter in the docket the particulars of the judgment as stated in the transcript.
Upon the docketing of a judgment as prescribed in subdivision three of this section it shall be deemed a judgment of the county court and may be enforced accordingly. This shall not prevent the city court or a judge thereof from vacating, setting aside or modifying the judgment or staying execution thereof. (L. 1948, c. 569)
Except as otherwise specially prescribed by law an execution may be issued on a judgement heretofore or hereafter rendered at any time within five years after the rendition thereof, and shall be returned within sixty days after it is issued, except that an execution may be renewed for additional periods of sixty days each by a written indorsement thereupon to that effect, signed by the clerk and dated upon the day when the indorsement is made; provided, however, that application for each renewal must be made prior to the expiration of each sixty-day period. A garnishee may be issued by this court in accordance with the provisions of section six hundred eighty-four of the civil practice act.
No execution shall issue out of the city court, after a transcript of the judgment has been filed in the county clerk's office.
Editor's Note: See now Civil Practice Law and Rules §§ 5209, 5231.
Appeals in civil causes may be taken from the city court to the county court in the manner provided in article forty of the civil practice act, from
A judgment in an action;
A final order in a special proceeding;
An order granting or denying a new trial;
An order granting or denying a motion to open a default and to vacate a judgment or final order entered thereon;
An order granting or denying a motion to vacate a judgment or a final order upon the ground that the judgment was rendered or the final order was made without service of summons or process;
An order granting or denying a motion to discharge a defendant from arrest, or an order granting or denying a motion to vacate or modify a warrant of attachment or a requisition to replevy or a warrant of seizure:
An order denying a motion for summary judgment or for judgment on the pleadings;
Any other order, provided that leave to appeal be granted (a) by the judge who made the order, upon motion made within eight days after service of a copy of such order with notice of entry thereof, or (b) in the event of the denial of such leave in the city court, by a judge or justice of the appellate court, upon motion made within ten days after such denial.
In a civil action or proceeding there shall be allowed to the prevailing party, who has appeared by attorney, the following sums as costs, which in no event shall exceed fifty dollars:
To the plaintiff, if he recovers judgment after trial is commenced, ten percentum of the amount recovered or of the amount demand in any counterclaim, whichever is greater.
To the defendant, if he recovers judgment after trial is commenced, ten percentum of the amount demanded in the complaint or recovered on his counterclaim, whichever is greater.
To either party, who recovers judgment before trial, costs shall be allowed at one-half of the rates prescribed by subdivisions one or two, as the case may be.
Where an action or counterclaim is discontinued before trial, costs shall be allowed at the rates prescribed by subdivision three of this section. Where an action or counterclaim is discontinued after the trial thereof has commenced, costs shall be allowed at the rates prescribed by subdivisions one or two, as the case may be.
If the defendant interposes a counterclaim, and both the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's counterclaim are dismissed, costs shall be awarded as follows: The plaintiff's costs shall be computed at the rates prescribed in subdivision one of this section based on the amount demanded in the counterclaim and the defendant's costs shall be computed at the rates prescribed in subdivision two of this section based on the amount of the plaintiff's claim; such computation being made without regard to the limitation of fifty dollars prescribed in this section; and the costs to be included in the judgment, in no event to exceed fifty dollars, shall consist of the amount of the difference between the plaintiff's costs and the defendant's costs as thus computed and shall be awarded to the party whose costs as above computed are the larger. Neither party shall be entitled to disbursements. If the defendant interposes a counterclaim and both the plaintiff and defendant recover on their claims, the plaintiff's costs shall be awarded at the rates prescribed in subdivision one of this section, based on the amount recovered upon his claim, and the defendant's costs shall be awarded at the rates prescribed in subdivision two of this section, based on the amount recovered upon this claim; the costs to be included in the judgment shall consist of the amount of the difference between the plaintiff's costs and the defendants' costs, which shall be thus computed without regard to the limitation of fifty dollars heretofore prescribed by this section, and shall be awarded to the party whose costs as above computed are the larger. Costs as finally awarded by virtue of this subdivision shall not exceed fifty dollars.
To the prevailing party, if the amount recovered does not exceed fifty dollars, or to either party where provision for costs is not otherwise made, the court may, in its discretion, award the sum of five dollars.
To either party, the court may, in its discretion, grant costs, not exceeding $10, upon a motion, including the adjournment of a trial.
In an action to establish or foreclose a lien, or in a replevin action, costs shall be computed upon the basis of the value of the chattel or the amount of the lien, as determined by the judgment or claimed by the adverse party, as the case may be (L. 1948, c. 569)
The following fees and no others shall be paid in civil matters:
Court fees. There shall be paid to the clerk of the court, before the services hereinafter enumerated are performed:
For issuing a summons, one dollar.
For filing a note of issue, one dollar.
For filing a notice of appeal, two dollars.
For issuing an order of arrest, a warrant of attachment, a requisition to replevy or a warrant of seizure, one dollar.
For entry of judgment or final order, one dollar.
For a trial by a jury of six, six dollars, or by a jury of twelve, twelve dollars, to be paid by the party demanding the jury at the time of filing the demand.
For certifying a copy of a paper on file in the clerk's office, ten cents for each folio of one hundred words, but in no case less than twenty-five cents and except that no fee shall be charged for certifying a return on appeal.
For issuing a precept in a summary proceeding to recover possession of real property, one dollar.
For filing satisfaction of judgment, fifty cents.
For each transcript issued, fifty cents.
For issuing execution, fifty cents.
For trial of an action by court, two dollars.
For filing an order approving the compromise and settlement of an infant's cause of action, one dollar.
For taking proof of default before court, one dollar.
For issuing an order for which no other fee is provided, one dollar.
Marshal's fees. There shall be paid to a marshal of the court, by the party requiring his services, the same fees to which a sheriff would be entitled for like services, if performed by him.
Jurors' fees. The local legislative body may prescribe the per diem compensation to be paid jurors. (L. 1948, c. 569; amended L. 1958, c. 15)
A prevailing party shall be allowed his necessary disbursements whether he has appeared in person or by an attorney. (L. 1948, c. 569)
The court may adopt, amend and rescind rules not inconsistent with this act, the civil practice act or the rules of civil practice. Such rules shall become effective upon being approved by the justices of the appellate division for the department in which the court is located. The rules shall be entered upon the minutes of the city court and shall be published as the chief judge may direct. (L. 1948, c. 569)
All orders, papers, undertakings and judgment rolls in actions and proceedings in the court, required by statute or rule to be filed, shall be filed in the office of the city judge. (L. 1948, c. 569)