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Last update: 2011-11-13

  • Article 1. Short Title 1 - 1-A
  • Article 2. General Provisions Relating to Courts and Judges 2 - 39-B
  • Article 2-A. State Commission on Judicial Conduct 40 - 48
  • Article 3. Court of Appeals 51 - 60
  • Article 3-A. Commission on Judicial Nomination 61 - 68
  • Article 4. Appellate Division 70 - 109
  • Article 4-A. Official Referees 114 - 125
  • Article 5. Supreme Court 140 - 174
  • Article 5-A. The City Court of the City of New York 176 - 177
  • Article 5-B. Special Narcotics Parts of the Supreme Court in Cities With a Population of One Million or More 177-A - 177-D
  • Article 6. The Surrogates' Courts 179 - 181
  • Article 6-A. County Judges, Surrogates and Certain District Attorneys 182 - 188
  • Article 7. County Court 190 - 208
  • Article 7-A. Judicial Administration 210 - 219-C
  • Article 7-B. Compensation of Judges and Justices of the Unified Court System 220 - 224
  • Article 7-C. Of the Court for the Trial of Impeachments 240 - 248
  • Article 7-D. Internal Control Responsibilities of the Judiciary 249 - 249-C
  • Article 8. Clerks 250 - 283
  • Article 9. Stenographers 290 - 320
  • Article 10-A. Grand Jury Stenographers 321 - 330
  • Article 10. Attendants, Officers and Messengers 340 - 352
  • Article 11. Criers 360 - 364
  • Article 12. Interpreters 380 - 390
  • Article 13. Sheriffs and Constables 400 - 411-B
  • Article 13-A. Judicial Proceedings for the Removal of Public Officers by Impeachment 415 - 428
  • Article 14. Law Reporting 430 - 438
  • Article 15. Attorneys and Counsellors 460 - 499
  • Article 16. Selection of Jurors 500 - 528
  • Article 19. Contempts 750 - 781
  • Article 20. Collection of Fines 790 - 796
  • Article 20-A. Remission of Fines and Forfeitures 798 - 799-A
  • Article 21. Court Libraries 810 - 815
  • Article 21-A. Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program 849-A - 849-G
  • Article 21-B. Justice Court Assistance Program 849-H - 849-K
  • Article 22. Judicial Hearing Officers 850 - 854
  • Article 23. Laws Repealed; When to Take Effect 860 - 861

Article 1
Short Title

Section 1. Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Judiciary Law."

Section 1-A. Definition.

As used in this chapter, the word "minor" or "infant" shall mean any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.

Article 2
General Provisions Relating to Courts and Judges

Section 2. Courts of record.

Each of the following courts of the state is a court of record:

1. The court for the trial of impeachments.

2. A court on the judiciary.

3. The court of appeals.

4. The appellate division of the supreme court in each department.

5. The supreme court.

6. The court of claims.

7. A county court in each county, except the counties of New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond.

8. The family court.

9. A surrogate's court in each county.

10. Each city court outside the city of New York.

11. The district court in each county or portion thereof in which such court shall be established.

12. The civil court of the city of New York and the criminal court of the city of New York.

All courts other than those specified in this section are courts not of record.

Section 2-A. Jurisdiction and powers of courts continued.

Each court of the state shall continue to exercise the jurisdiction and powers now vested in it by law, according to the course and practice of the court, except as otherwise prescribed by statute or rules adopted in conformance thereto.

Section 2-B. General powers of courts of record.

A court of record has power

1. to issue a subpoena requiring the attendance of a person found in the state to testify in a cause pending in that court, subject, however, to the limitations prescribed by law with respect to the portion of the state in which the process of the local court of record may be served;

2. to administer an oath to a witness in the exercise of the powers and duties of the court and;

3. to devise and make new process and forms of proceedings, necessary to carry into effect the powers and jurisdiction possessed by it.

Section 3. Use of term "court" prohibited.

No person, firm, association or corporation shall hereafter use or employ the term "court" as part of or in connection with the name of any body, board, bureau, association, organization or corporation, or in referring to any body, board, bureau, association, organization or corporation, in such manner as to be calculated reasonably to lead to the belief that the body, board, bureau, association, organization or corporation is vested with judicial power or is a part of the judicial system of the state; the use of such term being expressly limited by this section for reference to a court of record or a court not of record, duly organized and existing under the laws of the state as a part of the judicial system of the state.

Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.

Section 4. Sittings of courts to be public.

The sittings of every court within this state shall be public, and every citizen may freely attend the same, except that in all proceedings and trials in cases for divorce, seduction, abortion, rape, assault with intent to commit rape, criminal sexual act, bastardy or filiation, the court may, in its discretion, exclude therefrom all persons who are not directly interested therein, excepting jurors, witnesses, and officers of the court.

Section 5. Courts not to sit on Sunday except in special cases nor on Saturday in certain cases.

A court shall not be opened, or transact any business on Sunday, nor shall a court transact any business on a Saturday in any case where such day is kept as a holy day by any party to the case, except to receive a verdict or discharge a jury and for the receipt by the criminal court of the city of New York or a court of special sessions of a plea of guilty and the pronouncement of sentence thereon in any case in which such court has jurisdiction. An adjournment of a court on Saturday, unless made after a cause has been committed to a jury, must be to some other day than Sunday. But this section does not prevent the exercise of the jurisdiction of a magistrate, where it is necessary to preserve the peace, or, in a criminal case, to arrest, commit or discharge a person charged with an offense, or the granting of an injunction order by a justice of the supreme court when in his judgment it is necessary to prevent irremediable injury or the service of a summons with or without a complaint if accompanied by an injunction order and an order of such justice permitting service on that day.

Section 6. Adjournment of term of court of record to future day.

Any term of a court of record may be adjourned from day to day, or to a specified future day, by an entry in the minutes. Any judge of the court may so adjourn a term thereof, in the absence of a sufficient number of judges to hold the term.

Section 7. Adjournment of term on non-appearance of judge.

If a judge, authorized to hold a term of a court, does not come to the place where the term is appointed to be held, or to which it shall have been adjourned by the judge, before four o'clock in the afternoon of the day so appointed or of such adjourned day, the sheriff or clerk must then open the term, and forthwith adjourn it, or again adjourn it, as the case may be, to nine o'clock in the morning of the next day. If the judge attends by four o'clock in the afternoon of the second day of the term as appointed or as adjourned by such judge, he must open the term; otherwise the sheriff or the clerk must adjourn it without day. If, before four o'clock of the second day of the term as appointed or as adjourned by the judge, the sheriff or the clerk receives from a judge, authorized to hold the term, a written direction to adjourn the term to a future day certain, he must adjourn it accordingly, instead of adjourning it as above prescribed. The direction must be entered in the minutes as an order.

Section 7-A. Vacancies or changes in judges; power of judge out of office.

A civil or criminal action or special proceeding in a court of record is not discontinued by a vacancy or change in the judges of the court or by the re-election or re-appointment of a judge, but it must be continued, heard and determined by the court as constituted at the time of the hearing or determination. After a judge is out of office, he may settle a transcript or statement for a record on appeal or make any return of proceedings had before him while he was in office, and may be compelled so to do by the court in which the action or special proceeding is pending.

Section 7-B. Continuance of out of court proceedings before judges of same court.

At any stage of a special proceeding instituted before a judge of a court of record out of court, or a proceeding commenced before a judge out of court in an action or special proceeding pending in a court of record, such proceeding or special proceeding may be continued before any other judge of the same court, who may exercise all powers in the matter as if it had been originally instituted before him.

Section 7-C. Continuance of special proceeding before another officer.

In case of the death, sickness, resignation, removal from office, absence from the county, or other disability of an officer before whom or in whose court a special proceeding has been instituted, where no express provision is made by law for the continuance thereof, it may be continued before or in the court of

1. the officer's successor, or

2. if there is no successor capable of acting, any other officer residing in the same county before whom it might have been originally instituted, or

3. if there is neither a successor nor an officer specified in paragraph two capable of acting, an officer in an adjoining county who would originally have had jurisdiction of the subject matter had it occurred or existed in the latter county. An officer substituted, as prescribed by law, to continue a special proceeding instituted before another, may exercise all powers in the special proceeding, as if it had been originally instituted before him.