New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland & Westchester Counties

Court Types

Supreme | County | Family | Surrogate's | City

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has broad authority over all categories of cases, including civil and criminal matters. The court generally handles civil matters seeking monetary damages greater than $25,000. It also hears cases where a party seeks to enjoin or stop certain actions by another party. The Supreme Court is the only court with the authority to address matters related to the termination of a marriage, including separation, annulment and divorce. While the Supreme Court has authority to hear criminal matters involving felonies (offenses punishable by more than one year in prison), generally outside New York City these matters are heard in the County Court.

County Court
The County Court is located in each county outside New York City. It is authorized to handle the prosecution of all crimes committed within the county. It has exclusive authority to handle trials in felony matters and shares authority with the local city, and town and village courts to handle trials in misdemeanor cases (offenses punishable by less than one year in prison) and other minor offenses and violations. The County Court also has limited authority to hear civil cases involving monetary awards of $25,000 or less.

Family Court
The Family Court hears and determines most legal issues involving children and families. There is a Family Court within each county of the State which is authorized to hear matters relating to:

  • Custody, visitation, and guardianship
  • Monetary support for children, spouses and ex-spouses
  • Adoption
  • Paternity
  • Abuse and neglect of children
  • Violence among family members
  • Children accused of committing crimes
  • Children in need of supervision
The Family Court does not handle proceedings involving separation, annulment, or divorce. These matters must be brought in the Supreme Court, which has exclusive authority of such issues.

Surrogate's Court
The Surrogate's Court exists in every county in the State and handles all matters relating to wills, estates and property of deceased persons. The Surrogate's Court also shares authority with the Family Court to hear adoption proceedings

City Court
The City Court exists in every city in the State and has authority to hear both criminal and civil matters. On the criminal side, the City Court is responsible for all Penal Law and City Code misdemeanors and minor offenses committed within the court's regional boundaries. It also handles arraignments and preliminary proceedings in felony matters. In addition, the City Court is responsible for Vehicle and Traffic Law misdemeanors. On the civil side, the City Court hears civil actions seeking monetary awards in amounts up to $15,000, small claims proceedings involving claims up to $3,000 and disputed parking tickets. The court also handles landlord/tenant matters.


















9th Judicial District