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The County Courts are courts within the New York State Unified Court System located in each county outside New York City. [1] In New York City, criminal and civil matters are heard in the city Criminal Court and Civil Court, respectively, or the state Supreme Court.


The court has unlimited criminal jurisdiction and civil jurisdiction where the amount in controversy is no more than $25,000. [2] In many counties, this court primarily hears criminal cases, while the Supreme Court primarily hears civil cases, [3] and usually only felonies as lesser crimes are handled by local courts. [4]


A County Court operates in each county except for the five counties of New York City (in those counties, the New York City Courts and Supreme Court operate in place of a typical County Court). Unlike the Supreme Court, each County Court is considered distinct. [2]

The County Court is authorized to establish "appellate sessions", an intermediate appellate court that hears appeals from the inferior courts. [5] Appellate sessions are located in the Third and Fourth Judicial Departments only. [5]


Judges are elected to ten-year terms. [1]

Appellate procedure

Appeals in criminal cases originating in the County Court and in civil cases are taken to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division as of right, except for civil appeals in the Second Department, which are taken to the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court. In criminal matters in which the County Court acts as an appellate court, further appeal is to the Court of Appeals and may be taken only by permission of a judge of that court. [5]


  1. ^ a b Constitution of the State of New York Article VI, § 10. "a. The county court is continued in each county outside the city of New York. There shall be at least one judge of the county court in each county and such number of additional judges in each county as may be provided by law. The judges shall be residents of the county and shall be chosen by the electors of the county. b. The terms of the judges of the county court shall be ten years from and including the first day of January next after their election."
  2. ^ a b Galie 1991, p. 133.
  3. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 128.
  4. ^ Stonecash, Jeffrey M. (2001). Governing New York State (4th ed.). SUNY Press. p. 172. ISBN  0-7914-4888-6. LCCN  00-032955.
  5. ^ a b c Practice of Law 2012, p. 6.

General and cited references