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NEW YORK CITY CIVIL COURT
CCA

Last update: 2011-11-09


  • Article 1. Organization 101 - 110
  • Article 2. Jurisdiction 201 - 213
  • Article 3. Venue 301 - 307
  • Article 4. Summons 400 - 412
  • Article 7. Mandates 701 - 702
  • Article 8. Provisional Remedies 801 - 802
  • Article 9. Pleadings 901 - 910
  • Article 10. Motions 1001 - 1004
  • Article 11. Disclosure 1101 - 1102
  • Article 12. Subpoenas 1201
  • Article 13. Trial 1301 - 1307
  • Article 14. Judgment 1401 - 1403
  • Article 15. Execution 1501 - 1509
  • Article 16. Marshals 1601 - 1612
  • Article 17. Appeals 1701 - 1707
  • Article 18. Small Claims 1801 - 1815*2
  • Article 18-A. Commercial Claims 1801-A - 1814-A
  • Article 19. Costs and Fees 1900 - 1915
  • Article 21. General 2101 - 2104
  • Article 22. Transition 2201 - 2300

Article 1
Organization

Section 101. Short title.

This act shall be known as the New York city civil court act, and may be cited as "CCA".

Section 102. Court established.

The civil court of the city of New York is hereby established as a single city-wide court, as provided by sections one and fifteen of article six of the constitution; it shall be a part of the unified court system for the state, and a court of record with such power and jurisdiction as are herein or elsewhere provided by law. The court in each county of the city shall have an official seal on which shall be engraved the arms of the state, the name of the court, and the county.

Section 102-A. Vacancies and composition of court.

1. The civil court of the city of New York shall consist of one hundred thirty-one judges, all of whom shall be residents of the city of New York. No person may serve in the office of judge of this court after the effective date of this section unless he or she has been admitted to practice law in this state for at least ten years as of the date he or she commences the duties of office.

2. The twenty-five additional judges of the civil court of the city of New York authorized on June first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight by chapter nine hundred eighty-seven of the laws of nineteen hundred sixty-eight shall be elected in and from the residents of the following counties in the indicated numbers: from the county of New York, seven; from the county of Kings, seven; from the county of Queens, six; from the county of Bronx, four; and from the county of Richmond, one. Such additional judges shall receive the same compensation as the existing judges of the civil court of the city of New York. The eleven additional judges of the civil court of the city of New York authorized by this section shall be chosen by the electors of the counties included within the city of New York from districts within such counties as shall be established by law.

3. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by the expiration of term in the office of judge of the civil court of the city of New York shall be filled by the mayor of the city of New York by an appointment which shall continue until and including the last day of December next after the election at which the vacancy shall be filled.

4. Vacancies in the office of judge of the civil court of the city of New York occurring by the expiration of the term on the last day of December, nineteen hundred seventy-eight of a justice elected or appointed to the city court of the city of New York or the municipal court of the city of New York, who was continued as a judge of the civil court pursuant to the provisions of subdivision c of section thirty-five of article six of the constitution, or of their successors, shall be filled for a full term at the general election to be held in November, nineteen hundred seventy-eight. Judges to fill such vacancies shall be chosen by the electors of the county or district from which the judge whose term expires on December thirty-first, nineteen hundred seventy-eight or his predecessor, was elected or appointed.

Section 103. Powers of appellate division.

In addition to the powers conferred upon them in this act and in any other provision of law, all the powers heretofore conferred by law upon the chief justice of the city court of the city of New York and upon the president justice and board of justices of the municipal court of the city of New York are vested in the appellate divisions of the supreme court in the first and second judicial departments. As provided by section twenty-eight of article six of the constitution and article seven-a of the judiciary law, the appellate divisions of the supreme court in the first and second judicial departments shall supervise the administration and operation of the court in their respective departments, either separately or jointly; provided, however, that if the administrative board shall so direct, a single administrative judge shall be designated by the appellate divisions or the administrative board as provided by law to administer and regulate the operations of the court.

Section 104. Expenses of court.

All salaries of both judicial and non-judicial personnel of the court and all other expenses of the court whatsoever shall be a charge upon the city of New York. As provided in subdivision d of section twenty-nine of article six of the constitution, the governing body of the city shall annually include in its final estimate such sums as may be necessary to pay such salaries and expenses.

Section 109. Clerk of the court.

There shall be a chief clerk of the court. The chief clerk and such other non-judicial personnel as shall be authorized by rule or order of court shall each have the power to administer oaths, take acknowledgments and sign the process or mandate of the court.

Section 110. Housing part.

(a) A part of the court shall be devoted to actions and proceedings involving the enforcement of state and local laws for the establishment and maintenance of housing standards, including, but not limited to, the multiple dwelling law and the housing maintenance code, building code and health code of the administrative code of the city of New York, as follows:

(1) Actions for the imposition and collection of civil penalties for the violation of such laws.

(2) Actions for the collection of costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by the city of New York in the elimination or correction of a nuisance or other violation of such laws, or in the removal or demolition of any dwelling pursuant to such laws.

(3) Actions and proceedings for the establishment, enforcement or foreclosure of liens upon real property and upon the rents therefrom for civil penalties, or for costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by the city of New York in the elimination or correction of a nuisance or other violation of such laws.

(4) Proceedings for the issuance of injunctions and restraining orders or other orders for the enforcement of housing standards under such laws.

(5) Actions and proceedings under article seven-A of the real property actions and proceedings law, and all summary proceedings to recover possession of residential premises to remove tenants therefrom, and to render judgment for rent due, including without limitation those cases in which a tenant alleges a defense under section seven hundred fifty-five of the real property actions and proceedings law, relating to stay or proceedings or action for rent upon failure to make repairs, section three hundred two-a of the multiple dwelling law, relating to the abatement of rent in case of certain violations of section D26-41.21 of such housing maintenance code.

(6) Proceedings for the appointment of a receiver of rents, issues and profits of buildings in order to remove or remedy a nuisance or to make repairs required to be made under such laws.

(7) Actions and proceedings for the removal of housing violations recorded pursuant to such laws, or for the imposition of such violation or for the stay of any penalty thereunder.

(8) Special proceedings to vest title in the city of New York to abandoned multiple dwellings.

(9) The city department charged with enforcing the multiple dwelling law, housing maintenance code, and other state and local laws applicable to the enforcement of proper housing standards may commence any action or proceeding described in paragraphs one, two, three, four, six and seven of this subdivision by an order to show cause, returnable within five days, or within any other time period in the discretion of the court. Upon the signing of such order, the clerk of the housing part shall issue an index number.

(b) On the application of any city department, any party, or on its own motion, the housing part of the civil court shall, unless good cause is shown to the contrary, consolidate all actions and proceedings pending in such part as to any building.

(c) Regardless of the relief originally sought by a party the court may recommend or employ any remedy, program, procedure or sanction authorized by law for the enforcement of housing standards, if it believes they will be more effective to accomplish compliance or to protect and promote the public interest; provided in the event any such proposed remedy, program or procedure entails the expenditure of monies appropriated by the city, other than for the utilization and deployment of personnel and services incidental thereto, the court shall give notice of such proposed remedy, program or procedure to the city department charged with the enforcement of local laws relating to housing maintenance and shall not employ such proposed remedy, program or procedure, as the case may be, if such department shall advise the court in writing within the time fixed by the court, which shall not be less than fifteen days after such notice has been given, of the reasons such order should not be issued, which advice shall become part of the record. The court may retain continuing jurisdiction of any action or proceeding relating to a building until all violations of law have been removed.

(d) In any of the actions or proceedings specified in subdivision (a) and on the application of any party, any city department or the court, on its own motion, may join any other person or city department as a party in order to effectuate proper housing maintenance standards and to promote the public interest.

(e) Actions and proceedings before the housing part shall be tried before civil court judges, acting civil court judges, or housing judges. Housing judges shall be appointed pursuant to subdivision (f) of this section and shall be duly constituted judicial officers, empowered to hear, determine and grant any relief within the powers of the housing part in any action or proceeding except those to be tried by jury. Such housing judges shall have the power of judges of the court to punish for contempts. Rules of evidence shall be applicable in actions and proceedings before the housing part. The determination of a housing judge shall be final and shall be entered and may be appealed in the same manner as a judgment of the court; provided that the assignment of actions and proceedings to housing judges, the conduct of the trial and the contents and filing of a housing judge's decision, and all matters incidental to the operation of the housing part, shall be in accordance with rules jointly promulgated by the first and second departments of the appellate division for such part.

(f) The housing judges shall be appointed by the administrative judge from a list of persons selected annually as qualified by training, interest, experience, judicial temperament and knowledge of federal, state and local housing laws and programs by the advisory council for the housing part. The list of persons who have been approved by such advisory council, whether or not appointed to such judicial position, shall be deemed public information and be published in the city record immediately after such list is submitted to the administrative judge. The annual salary of a housing judge shall be one hundred fifteen thousand four hundred dollars.

(g) The advisory council for the housing part shall be composed of three members representative of real estate owners or lessors, including the chair of the New York city housing authority; three members representative of tenants' organizations; and two members representative of each of the following: civic groups, bar associations and the public at large. Such members shall be appointed by the administrative judge, with the approval of the presiding justices of the first and second departments of the appellate division. Except for the member representing the housing authority, the members of the advisory council shall be appointed for non-renewable terms of three years. In addition the mayor of the city of New York shall appoint one member to serve at his or her pleasure and the commissioner of housing and community renewal shall be a member.

(h) The advisory council shall meet at least four times a year, and on such additional occasions as they may require or as may be required by the administrative judge. Members shall receive no compensation. Members shall visit the housing part from time to time to review the manner in which the part is functioning, and make recommendations to the administrative judge and to the advisory council. A report on the work of the part shall be prepared annually and submitted to the administrative judge, the administrative board of the judicial conference, the majority and minority leaders of the senate and assembly, the governor, the chairpersons of the judiciary committee in the senate and assembly and the mayor of the city of New York by the thirty-first day of January of each year.

(i) Housing judges shall have been admitted to the bar of the state for at least five years, two years of which shall have been in active practice. Each housing judge shall serve full-time for five years. Reappointment shall be at the discretion of the administrative judge and on the basis of the performance, competency and results achieved during the preceding term.

(k) Unless a party requests a manual stenographic record by filing a notice with the clerk two working days prior to the date set for an appearance before the court, hearings shall be recorded mechanically. A party may request a transcript from a mechanical recording. Any party making a request for a copy of either a mechanically or manually recorded transcript shall bear the cost thereof and shall furnish a copy of the transcript to the court, and to the other parties.

(l) Any city department charged with enforcing any state or local law applicable to the enforcement of proper housing standards may be represented in the housing part by its department counsel in any action or proceeding in which it is a party. A corporation which is a party may be represented by an officer, director or a principal stockholder.

(m) The service of process in any of the actions or proceedings specified in subdivision (a) which are brought under the housing maintenance code of the administrative code of the city of New York shall be made as herein provided:

(1) Service of process shall be made in the manner prescribed for actions or proceedings in this court, except where the manner of such service is provided for in the housing maintenance code of the administrative code of the city of New York, such service may, as an alternative, be made as therein provided.

(2) Where the manner of service prescribed for actions or proceedings in this court includes delivery of the summons to a person at the actual place of business of the person to be served, such delivery may be made alternatively to a person of suitable age and discretion at the address registered with the department charged with the enforcement of local laws relating to housing maintenance pursuant to article forty-one of such code, hereinafter referred to as the "registered address".

(3) Where the manner of service prescribed for actions or proceedings in this court includes affixing the summons to the door of the actual place of business of the person to be served, the summons may, as an alternative, be posted in a conspicuous place on either the premises specified in the summons or the registered address.

(4) Where the manner of service for actions or proceedings in this court includes mailing the summons to the person to be served at his last known residence, the summons may, as an alternative, be mailed to the registered address; however, if the person to be served has not registered as required by article forty-one of such housing maintenance code, such summons may, as an alternative, be mailed to an address registered in the last registration statement filed with such department other than the address of the managing agent of the premises and to the last known address of the person to be served.

(5) Where the manner of service for actions or proceedings in this court includes mailing the summons to the person to be served at his last known residence, if the person to be served is a corporation and if either: (i) an officer of such corporation, (ii) the managing agent of such corporation for the premises involved in the suit or (iii) a person designated by such corporation to receive notices in its behalf, other than the secretary of state, has been named a party to the suit, the summons may, as an alternative, be mailed to the registered address of such corporation or, if such corporation has not registered as required by such code, to the address of such corporation set forth in a document filed or recorded with a governmental agency.

(6) A copy of the summons with proof of service shall be filed in the manner provided in section four hundred nine, except that such filing shall be made with the clerk of the housing part in the county in which the action is brought.

(n) Nothing contained in the section one hundred ten shall in any way affect the right of any party to trial by jury as heretofore provided by law.

(o) There shall be a sufficient number of pro se clerks of the housing part to assist persons without counsel. Such assistance shall include, but need not be limited to providing information concerning court procedure, helping to file court papers, and, where appropriate, advising persons to seek administrative relief.

(p) The court shall review the performance and records of administrators appointed pursuant to article seven-A of the real property actions and proceedings law or receivers appointed pursuant to paragraph six of subdivision (a) of this section. Such review shall include but not be limited to an examination of the accountings submitted by such administrators or receivers and an examination of the plan submitted to the court pursuant to subdivision nine of section seven hundred seventy-eight of the real property actions and proceedings law. The court may compel the production of any records it deems necessary to perform such review.

Article 2
Jurisdiction

Section 201. Jurisdiction; in general.

The court shall have jurisdiction as set forth in this article and as elsewhere provided by law. The phrase "$25,000", whenever it appears herein, shall be taken to mean "$25,000 exclusive of interest and costs".

Section 202. Money actions and actions involving chattels.

The court shall have jurisdiction of actions and proceedings for the recovery of money, actions and proceedings for the recovery of chattels and actions and proceedings for the foreclosure of liens on personal property where the amount sought to be recovered or the value of the property does not exceed $25,000.

Section 203. Actions involving real property.

The court shall have jurisdiction of the following actions provided that the real property involved or part of it is situate within the county in the city of New York in which the action is brought:

(a) An action for the partition of real property where the assessed valuation of the property at the time the action is commenced does not exceed $25,000.

(b) An action for the foreclosure, redemption or satisfaction of a mortgage on real property where the amount of the mortgage lien at the time the action is commenced does not exceed $25,000.

(c) An action for the foreclosure of a lien arising out of a contract for the sale of real property where the amount of the lien sought to be foreclosed does not, at the time the action is commenced, exceed $25,000.

(d) An action for the specific performance of a contract for the sale of real property where the contract price of the property does not exceed $25,000.

(e) An action for the establishment, enforcement or foreclosure of a mechanic's lien on real property where the lien asserted does not, at the time the action is commenced, exceed $25,000.

(f) An action to reform or rescind a deed to real property where the assessed valuation of the property does not exceed $25,000 at the time the action is commenced.

(g) An action to reform or rescind a contract for the sale of real property where the agreed price of the property as stated in the contract does not exceed $25,000; or, if the controversy shall be with regard to the price of the property, where the agreed price as claimed by plaintiff does not exceed $25,000.

(h) An action to reform or rescind a mortgage on real property where the unpaid balance of the debt secured by the mortgage does not exceed $25,000 at the time the action is commenced.

(i) An action to compel the determination of a claim to real property under article fifteen of the real property actions and proceedings law where the assessed valuation of the property does not exceed $25,000 at the time the action is commenced.

(j) An action of ejectment where the assessed valuation of the real property does not exceed $25,000 at the time the action is commenced.

(k) An action brought to impose and collect a civil penalty for a violation of state or local laws for the establishment and maintenance of housing standards, including, but not limited to, the multiple dwelling law and the housing maintenance code, building code and health code of the administrative code of the city of New York.

(l) An action to recover costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by the city of New York in the elimination or correction of a nuisance or other violation of any law described in subdivision (k) of this section, or in the removal or demolition of any building pursuant to such law or laws.

(m) An action or proceeding to establish, enforce or foreclose a lien upon real property and the rents therefrom, for civil penalties, or for costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by the city of New York in the elimination of a nuisance or other violation of any law described in subdivision (k) of this section, or in the removal or demolition of any building pursuant to such law or laws.

(n) Actions and proceedings for the removal of housing violations recorded pursuant to any law described in subdivision (k) of this section, or for the imposition of such violation or for the stay of any penalty thereunder.

(o) An action or proceeding for the issuance of an injunction, restraining orders or other orders for the enforcement of housing standards under any law described in subdivision (k) of this section.

(p) Special proceedings to vest title in the city of New York to abandoned multiple dwellings.

Section 204. Summary proceedings.

The court shall have jurisdiction over summary proceedings to recover possession of real property located within the city of New York, to remove tenants therefrom, and to render judgment for rent due without regard to amount, and in such a proceeding after the court has determined that a warrant of eviction be issued, it shall not be necessary for the court to sign the warrant, but it may be signed by the clerk of said court. The court shall also have jurisdiction over special proceedings by tenants of multiple dwellings in the city of New York for judgment directing deposit of rents and the use thereof for the purpose of remedying conditions dangerous to life, health or safety, as authorized by article seven-a of the real property actions and proceedings law.

Section 205. Interpleader.

The court shall have jurisdiction of an action of interpleader and defensive interpleader as defined and governed by the CPLR, provided that the amount in controversy or the value of the property involved does not exceed $25,000.

Section 206. Arbitration.

(a) Threshold questions under CPLR article 75. If an action of which the court has jurisdiction has been duly commenced therein, and there arise in such action any questions relating to the arbitrability of the controversy, the court shall have jurisdiction completely to dispose of such questions and CPLR article 75 shall be applicable thereto. But the court shall not have jurisdiction of the special proceeding, as set forth in CPLR § 7502 (a), used to bring before a court the first application arising out of an arbitrable controversy, except as provided in subdivision (b).

(b) Proceedings on award under CPLR article 75. Where a controversy has been duly arbitrated and an award made therein is for relief which is within the court's jurisdiction, the court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings under CPLR §§ 7510 through 7514, relating to judicial recognition of such awards, which provisions shall be applicable thereto.

(c) Arbitration distinct from CPLR article 75. The rules may provide systems of arbitration and conciliation of claims within the court's jurisdiction without reference to CPLR article 75. Where the chief administrator of the courts has provided by rule for an alternative method of dispute resolution by arbitration and has established by order this arbitration program in any county in this court, applicable in each such county to civil actions for a sum of money only, except those commenced in small claims parts and not subsequently transferred to a regular part of court, that on or after the effective date of such order are noticed for trial or commenced in this court, all such actions shall be heard and decided by a panel of arbitrators where the recovery sought for each cause of action is ten thousand dollars or less, exclusive of costs and interest.