OCA Support Units


Division of Administrative Services

The Division of Administrative Services provides a wide range of support services to OCA units and to the trial courts, including purchasing, contract procurement, accounts management and revenue processing. The Division also performs Statewide information management functions including maintaining attorney registration, retainer and closing statement information and adoption affidavits, as well as overseeing the Continuing Legal Education Department.

Attorney Registration
All attorneys admitted to practice in New York State are required to file a biennial registration form and pay a fee. This Office notifies attorneys of registration, collects fees and maintains a database of admitted and registered attorneys. For further information or assistance,
call: 212-428-2800.

Criminal History Search
The Criminal History Record Search Unit performs searches of the UCS's Criminal Records and Information Management System database to provide individuals' criminal histories in New York to members of the public, private corporations and public agencies. The database includes records from all 62 NY Counties and a search is $65 per name/date of birth. Town and Village data is limited. Please read the CHRS FAQ for more information. For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2810.

Fiduciaries and other Court Appointees
All persons or entities whose appointments are governed by Part 36 of the Rules of the Chief Judge must be enrolled on an approved list established by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts. (Categories of appointment governed by Part 36 are: Guardian, Guardian Ad Litem, Law Guardian (Privately Paid), Court Evaluator, Attorney for Alleged Incapacitated Person, Court Examiner, Supplemental Needs Trustee, Receiver, Referee, Counsel, Accountant, Auctioneer, Appraiser, Property Manager and Real Estate Broker). Applicants may apply on-line or may contact OCA for a hard-copy application. For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2818.

Retainer & Closing Statements
Pursuant to 22 NYCRR Parts 603.7 and 691.20, every attorney who enters into a contingent-fee agreement in any case involving personal injury, property damage, wrongful death, or claims in connection with condemnation or change of grade proceedings in the First and Second Departments must file a statement of the retainer with the OCA. These retainer statements include the date of agreement, plaintiff name and terms of compensation.

Effective May 28, 2003, the Appellate Division 4th Department repealed sections 1022.2 and 1022.3 therefore removing the requirement that attorneys practicing in the 4th Department file statements with OCA. 

In addition, in any case or proceeding that requires a retainer statement to be filed, a closing statement must be filed within 15 days after the attorney receives or shares in any sum received in connection with the claim.  This statement must include information indicating the gross amount of the settlement or award (if any), the net distribution between client and attorney, and a breakdown of other expenses and disbursements.  A closing statement must also be filed if an action is abandoned or if the agreement is terminated without recovery.

For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2807

Adoption Affidavits
In accordance with the rules of the respective Appellate Divisions, 22 NYCRR Parts 603.23 (1st Dept.), 691.23 (2nd Dept.), 806.14 (3rd Dept.), and 1022.33 (4th Dept.), all attorneys in adoption proceedings must file an affidavit with the OCA concerning the adoption.  The objective of the filing is to maintain a record of attorneys and agencies involved in adoptions and to record the fees, if any, charged for their services. 

Effective on October 8, 2003 an administrative order was issued by the Chief Administrator updating the Uniform Rules of the Family and Surrogates Courts [22 NYCRR $205.53.(b)(7), 207.55(b)(7)] to no longer require that a receipt of this filing be presented to the court prior to the entry of the decree.  The rule change was made to permit adoptions to proceed to finalization upon affirmation of the attorney that the affidavit had been filed in the hope to expedite the resolution of adoption cases.

For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2807

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Division of Professional & Court Services

The Division of Professional and Court Services oversees the statewide responsibilities for a diverse array of offices and programs including Alternative Dispute Resolution, Attorney for the Child contracts, Children's Centers in the Courts, Criminal Indigent Defense contracts, Grants and Contracts, Guardianship and Fiduciary Services, Judiciary Civil Legal Services contracts, Juvenile Justice Reform, Legal Information, the Office of Language Access and Court Interpreting Services, the Parent Education and Awareness Program, Records Management, and operational issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. For further information or assistance, please call (212) 428-2760.

The Division provides programmatic and fiscal oversight, technical assistance, training and support to assist the New York State Unified Court System in providing effective, efficient and quality service and facilitates access to external funding resources that support court operations and innovation.

Programmatic Offices & Initiatives within the Division include:

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution provides a wide array of initiatives including Court-Connected ADR Programs, the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program, the Children's Centers Program, Collaborative Family Law Center, Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program, New York State Agriculture/Mediation Program, and the Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee.

Americans with Disability Act
The Division of Professional and Court Services is responsible for addressing inquiries regarding concerns under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It assists the courts in assuring access to services and reasonable accommodations for court users and employees who qualify under the ADA. For more details on how to get an accommodation, go to the Frequently Asked Questions page (“Q. How Do I Request an Accommodation?”). 

Attorney for the Child Contracts
The OCA Attorney for the Child contracts provide financial support to organizations that serve the legal needs of children in Family Court, Supreme Court custody matters and Integrated Domestic Violence courts.

Children’s Centers in the Courts
The New York State Unified Court System developed the nation’s first statewide system of Children’s Centers in the courts. The Centers provide a safe, supportive haven for children in the courthouse; and a vehicle for connecting families to needed services. For more information, please call (845) 431-1800.

Continuing Legal Education
All attorneys licensed to practice in New York State must meet continuing legal education requirements. For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2105.

Criminal Indigent Defense Contracts
The OCA contracts with institutional providers of criminal indigent defense services in New York City to provide financial resources to enable the organizations to conform to the Workload Standards for criminal indigent defense services established by the Chief Administrative Judge.

Grants & Contracts
The Division’s Grants and Contracts unit reviews external funding opportunities for court system eligibility and alignment with the goals of the court system, provides technical assistance throughout the grant proposal development process, submits funding proposals on behalf of the Unified Court System (UCS) and supports fiscal and programmatic reporting for approximately 50 active grant-funded projects.

The Grants and Contracts unit also provides fiscal management for over 190 contracts with external organizations that provide services in support of court operations. Fiscal management is provided in collaboration with the courts, other Divisions of OCA, and many of the programmatic offices and initiatives within the Division. Fiscal management support is also provided for service contracts related to grant-funded projects and problem solving courts.

Guardian Assistance Network
The Guardian Assistance Network helps families or friends who have been appointed by the court under Article 81 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law to serve as guardians. GAN offers support, practical advice and training in carrying out guardianship responsibilities.

A guardian is an adult who is selected by a judge to make decisions for another person who needs help managing finances and making personal care decisions.  Guardians are usually appointed to care for adults but parents or family members of a severely disabled child may be appointed as guardian to care for that child.

Judiciary Civil Legal Services Contracts
The Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York was created by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in 2010 as part of his effort to establish a comprehensive approach to providing counsel to low-income New Yorkers in civil cases.  The Division manages contracts that provide financial support to organizations providing these services.

Juvenile Justice System Reform
The Division supports judicial branch engagement in juvenile justice reform efforts with funding from the State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Staff support judicial participation in collaborative efforts to promote a more efficient, and fair juvenile justice system.

Legal Information and Law Libraries
The Office of Legal Information provides UCS Courts, Judicial Chambers, Law Libraries, Agency Offices with legal research services and legal reference materials from major legal reference vendors. In addition, the office plans and administers programs for the UCS Court Law Libraries, manages the statewide library automation system, provides consultation to the UCS law libraries upon demand, circulates updated legal reference information via intranet / internet-based databases and newsletters. For more information, please call (518) 238-4361. 

Office of Language Access (OLA)
The Office of Language Access assists in the development and implementation of policies and best practices that support the NYS Unified Court System's (UCS) commitment to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), or who are deaf or hard of hearing, have equal access to the courts and available court services. OLA is responsible for ensuring that prompt, accurate and consistent foreign language and sign interpretation and translation are provided in a manner that complies with UCS policies and procedures. For more information, please call (646) 386-5670 or email courtinterpreter@nycourts.gov.

Parent Education and Awareness Program
The New York State Parent Education and Awareness Program is designed to educate divorcing or separating parents about the impact of their breakup on their children. The primary goal is to teach parents ways they can reduce the stress of family changes and protect their children from the negative effects of ongoing parental conflict in order to foster and promote their children's healthy adjustment and development. For more information, please email nyparent-ed@nycourts.gov.

Records Management
The Records Management Office provides records management guidance, technical assistance and training, to assist the Courts and OCA offices to streamline operations by lowering costs while maintaining file integrity.  In addition to guidance and technical services, this office also operates a records storage facility in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.


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Division of Human Resources

The Division of Human Resources provides support services encompassing personnel administration; labor relations and professional development. For further information or assistance, call: (212) 428-2515 or E-mail HRQuestions@nycourts.gov

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Division of Technology

The Division of Technology provides information processing and technology services for the UCS. The court system relies on computer technology to perform an ever increasing number of tasks - including the assignment of new cases, the tracking of pending and closed case histories, the production of court calendars and reports of caseload activity. For further information or assistance, contact Technology@nycourts.gov

A variety of court case information is available on-line at eCourts. Using our free case information services you can find future appearance dates for cases in Criminal, Family and Housing Court. You may also view information on both active and disposed cases in Civil Supreme and Local Civil Courts, and by signing up for our free eTrack case tracking service you can receive email notifications about activity in Civil Supreme, Local Civil and Criminal Court cases. For more information contact ecourts@nycourts.gov.

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Division of Financial Management

The Division of Financial Management is responsible for the preparation, review and implementation of the Judiciary budget. It also helps develop fiscal policies and procedures and performs other related functions. For further information or assistance, call: 518-453-8600 or E-mail DFM@nycourts.gov.

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Counsel's Office

Counsel's Office serves as the law department of the Office of Court Administration, providing legal assistance on all administrative matters affecting the Unified Court System. It represents judges and nonjudicial employees in state and federal court proceedings where the issues raised affect the administration of the courts (where judges are sued in their judicial capacity, they are represented by the Attorney General's Office), and it appears on behalf of the court system in proceedings before state and federal administrative agencies (such as the State Division of Human Rights and federal EEOC). It also drafts charges and prosecutes all disciplinary proceedings brought against nonjudicial employees.

NYS Unified Court System
Office of Court Administration
Counsel’s Office
25 Beaver St, 11th floor
New York, NY 10004


In its legislative capacity, Counsel's Office is responsible for preparing the court system's Legislative Program and for providing on-going contact with the Legislature to support its enactment into law. The Office also provides comments to the Legislature and the Governor on proposed legislation affecting the courts. Counsel's Office provides staff counsel to each of the advisory committees (civil practice, criminal practice, Family Court, Surrogate's Court, local courts) that propose to the Chief Administrator legislation and rules affecting practice and procedure in the courts.

Counsel's Office is also responsible for drafting the administrative and procedural rules affecting the court system. The administrative rules are contained in Parts 1 through 50 of the Rules of the Chief Judge and Parts 101 through 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator. The procedural rules are contained in the Uniform Rules for the Trial Courts (Part 200 through 221 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator). The Office staffs the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics and assists in advising judges on the application of the Rules of Judicial Conduct promulgated by the Chief Administrator.

Counsel's Office negotiates and drafts contracts for goods and services for the Unified Court System and serves as a legal resource for issues that may arise with respect to contracts drafted by the district offices. It also serves handles Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for administrative records of the court system.

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Court Facilities Unit

Under New York State law, local governments are responsible for providing and maintaining facilities for the Unified Court System. The Court Facilities Unit works with these localities to assist them in meeting their responsibilities. It assists local municipalities in designing new court facilities and in renovating existing ones. The Unit also assists localities with the scheduling and coordination of tenant services such as cleaning, painting, carpeting and electrical needs. For further information or assistance, call: 212.428.2968.

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Office of Court Research

The Office of Court Research supports the Court's need for caseload activity statistics. These data are used for budgeting, forecasting, public information, evaluating new initiatives and managing the court system on a daily basis.

In addition to providing caseload activity statistics, this Office also provides jury system support and operations research services to all State courts. Jurors and those interested in serving as jurors can visit NYJuror.com. For further information or assistance, call the jurors' hotline at 1-800-NY-JUROR or E-mail nyjuror@nycourts.gov.

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Office of Public Affairs

The Office of Public Affairs strives to enhance the public's understanding of the court system through community outreach and education projects. It also keeps court employees informed of the work of the Judiciary. For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2116.

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Office of Public Information

The Office of Public Information serves as the spokesperson for the court system. It is responsible for communicating with the media and for publicizing the initiatives and programs implemented by the courts. For further information or assistance, call: 212-428-2500 or E-mail publicinformation@nycourts.gov .

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Office of Diversity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion manages the court system's long-standing commitment to equal employment opportunity and ensuring a diverse workforce that reflects the community. The office also oversees an informal procedure for employees and job applicants to address employment related discrimination matters. For further information please call 212-428-2540 or e-mail: diversity@nycourts.gov.

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Office of the Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General is responsible for the investigation and elimination of misconduct and misfeasance. There are two specialized units within the Office of the Inspector General: the Office of the Managing Inspector General for Bias Matters, which investigates allegations of bias based upon race, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, national origin or religion, and the Office of the Managing Inspector General for Fiduciary Appointments, which investigates matters involving fiduciary appointments within the court system.

For further information or assistance, contact:
Inspector General's Office
Toll-Free 1-866-656-1439 or E-mail ig@nycourts.gov

Managing IG for Bias Matters
Toll-Free Complaint Number 1-877-2EndBias
or E-mail kporter@nycourts.gov

Managing IG for Fiduciary Matters
646-386-3515 or E-mail ecandrev@nycourts.gov

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Internal Audit Services

The Office of Internal Audit provides a centralized office for internal audits and financial investigations within the Judiciary. Thereunder, the Internal Audit Unit assists management in attaining its goals by furnishing necessary information, analyses, appraisals and recommendations. The Internal Control Unit is responsible for overseeing the court system’s internal control processes which have been adopted to safeguard assets, check the accuracy and reliability of accounting data, promote operational efficiency and encourage adherence to prescribed managerial policies. Its mission is to help court managers monitor court operations and identify and correct internal control weaknesses before they become major problems. For further information or assistance, call: 518-238-4303.

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Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety, headed by the Chief of Public Safety, is responsible for developing uniform guidelines, policies, and procedures for ensuring safety throughout the State Court System. It oversees the implementation of emergency preparedness planning and procedures in the courts. This includes the completion of emergency plans for each court location, as well as conducting and reviewing evacuation drills. The Chief of Public Safety also oversees the management of judicial threats, reviews and assists in the development of security planning for new and existing facilities, and is responsible for developing standards and curricula for the Court Officers Academy and for the Court Officers Rules and Procedures Manual. The Department also serves as a liaison between the law enforcement and public safety community, at the local, state and federal levels. For further information or assistance, E-mail DPS1@nycourts.gov

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