Location and Hours
Onondaga County/City of Syracuse Criminal Courthouse
505 S. State Street, Room 130
Syracuse, NY 13202
Telephone: (315) 671-2760
Fax: (315) 671-2744
Community Court is held every Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Hon. Derrek T. Thomas
Background & Purpose
The background and purpose of Syracuse Community Court is committed to invigorating justice for both the community and the defendant. Prior to the Courts existence in 2001, defendants charged with traditional quality of life infractions were typically fined minimally and released into the community without penalty or supervision. This practice addressed neither the social service needs of the defendant nor the community's need for justice.
Syracuse Community Court is held every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the Onondaga County/City of Syracuse Criminal Courthouse before the Hon. Derrek T. Thomas. The court typically hears local law cases such as littering, loitering, open container, park curfew, violation of noise ordinance, and nuisance parties violations. Community Court is like many other courts in which the defendants can represent themselves, or have an attorney to represent them. If the defendant chooses to plead guilty, the sentence imposed by the Judge is performing community service or paying a fine of up to $500. Habitual violators may also be sentenced by the court up to l5 days in jail. If the defendant chooses the option of community service, he/she is assessed by the client assessment specialist to ensure they are both physically, and mentally capable of doing community service. In addition, defendants are also screened for various social service needs, and identifying any substance abuse or mental health issues that might exist. Community service consists of a six hour shift working in the neighborhood in which the offense was committed. The emphasis is placed on giving something back to the community and consists of cleaning various sites of litter, brush and debris, and even removing snow from areas around fire hydrants.