What is Legal Aid, 18-B, N.Y.C.D.S and N.D.S.?
How can I find an attorney?
Where do I find information on bail bonds?
Where do I post cash bail?
How do I have cash bail refunded?
What is a bail remission motion and how do I file one?
Where do I pay a fine, surcharge, or crime victims assistance fee?
How do I find out where a case is pending?
What do I do if I missed a court date?
How do I obtain a copy of the minutes?
How can I order a court file that is not stored on-site?
How do I obtain a Certificate of Disposition?
How do I have my records sealed or expunged?
How do I get vouchered property released?
How do I apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities?
How do I obtain access to sealed records?
How can I obtain a copy of my Criminal History Report (rap sheet)?
How can I correct misinformation or mistakes on my "rap sheet"?
Where do I file a notice of appeal?
Where do I file a post-judgment motion?
How do I file a Writ of Habeas Corpus?
The Legal Aid Society, the 18-B Panel of the Appellate Division, The New York County Defenders Services, and Neighborhood Defender Services are all publicly funded organizations which provide attorneys to represent defendants in criminal matters. To qualify for such representation, a defendant must be indigent, that is unemployed or earning only a minimal amount of money.
To find an attorney call the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Legal Referral Service at Phone: 212-626-7373 (English), Phone: 212-626-7374 (Spanish) or check the yellow pages of a local phone book.
For information on bail bonds, check the yellow pages under BAIL BONDS, or request a current list of approved Bail Bondsmen List from the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000.
Bail can be posted at the New York City Department of Correction facility where the defendant is being held or at any of the following:
- Manhattan House of Detention, 125 White Street, New York, NY 10013
- Rikers Island, 11-11 Hazen Avenue, East Elmhurst, NY 11370
For further information on inmates, bail, visiting hours, and travel directions call 718-546-0700.
Bail can also be posted at the courthouse if the defendant is in the court pens for a scheduled court appearance. Notify the clerk in the part in which the defendant's case is pending of your intention to post bail. You will be referred to the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000. Bail can only be posted by certified check, teller's check, money order, or cash. Checks or money orders must be endorsed "County Clerk-New York County."
Generally, cash bail is refunded upon final disposition of the case. If, after cash bail is posted, bail is increased or the defendant is released on his/her own recognizance and the original bail is exonerated, a cash bail refund is also then available. A cash bail refund order will be issued by the court on the same day that the case is concluded or when the bail is exonerated. Refund checks do not come from the court. If you have not received your bail money within three weeks from the date the case was finished or the bail was exonerated, contact either the NYC Finance Dept., 60 John Street, 2nd Floor (Business Center for walk-ins) or 12th Floor (write-ins), New York, NY 10038, 212-291-4899 or 212-291-4854 (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm), and the Automated Line: 212-504-4321 (available 24 hours) or the Central Clerks' Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000.
Except in the instance where a court case results in a dismissal or acquittal, 3% will be deducted from posted bail upon its refund.
A bail remission motion is a request for a refund of bail money that was forfeited. Application must be made within one (1) year from date of forfeiture before the Administrative Judge of Supreme Court, New County. In all applications for the remission of bail forfeitures, please be advised of the
- All applications for the remission of bail will be litigated. The court will not consider any papers until the District Attorney's Office has had an opportunity to respond.
- A County Clerk's Index Number must be purchased and the number endorsed on all moving papers. Index numbers are purchased at 60 Centre Street, Room 141, New York, NY 10007. The fee is $210.
- All applications for remission must include proof that copies of the papers were served upon the Special Projects Unit of the District Attorney's Office, 80 Centre Place, Room 402, New York, NY 10013, and that the District Attorney has been given the statutory five days notice. All applications must be made within one year after forfeiture. The Court must deny any request to waive this requirement whether or not the District Attorney consents.
- The attorney's affidavit must contain facts as to the criminal offense, its disposition, if any, the posting of bail, the date of the forfeiture, any stays of the proceeding when the defendant was absent, facts regarding the defendant's return to custody, the date of the entry of judgment (for bonds only), a statement that no more than one year has elapsed since the forfeiture and a statement that the rights of the People have not been prejudiced. The affidavit must also include a statement as to whether any previous application for similar relief has been made and the results thereof. If this is a renewed application, it must specify in detail any new facts.
- Supporting affidavits(s) must be based on the affiant's own personal knowledge; hearsay affidavits are of no value. Any substantiating documentation to support the motion (doctor's note, hospital records, etc.) may be included but do not replace a supporting affidavit based upon personal knowledge.
- All motions are returnable to the Motion Support Unit, 100 Centre Street, Room 1010, New York, NY 10013 646-386-3860. The bail remission motion together with the response and the court file are then sent to the administrative Judge for decision. There is no set time limit for decision. When a decision is rendered, all parties will be notified.
Fines, mandatory surcharges, and crime victim assistance fees are payable in the Central Clerks' Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000. Acceptable forms of payment are certified checks, teller's checks, money orders or cash. All payments must be made in the exact amount due. If both a fine and a surcharge were imposed, the fine must be paid first. Separate checks or money orders are required for fines and surcharge payments.
Alphabetical lists of defendants are posted daily in the lobby of 100 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013, in the Central Clerk's Office at 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000, and in the Clerk's Office at 111 Centre Street, Room 927, New York, NY 10013 646-386-4300. In addition, each court part has a calendar listing cases to be called in the part that day. If the defendant's name does not appear in either place, ask for assistance at one of the offices listed above.
Another way to find out where your case is pending is by going to E-Courts. Click on "future criminal court appearance," fill in the defendant's name and click on "find court date." The indictment number, court part as well as the date are provided.
Contact the court part where your case is pending or the Central Clerks' Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000 to find out if you have been given a new date to appear. If you have not and a warrant for your arrest has been issued, contact your attorney and appear in court as soon as possible.
To request a transcript of court minutes, you must have the following information:
- The defendant's name and/or the indictment number.
- Date(s) of the proceeding.
- The court part and/or the court reporter's name.
If you do not know the name of the court reporter or his/her phone number, you can call the Central Court Reporters' office at 646-386-4400 to find out. The name of the court reporter for each court appearance can also be found on the court file, which is generally in the court part where the case is pending. If the case is concluded, the court file is in the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013 646-386-4000. You can also call the Central Clerks' Office to find the name of the court reporter. Requests for transcripts must be made directly to the court reporter who recorded the proceedings in question. Court reporters are entitled to a fee for the minutes they transcribe. The amount of the fee depends on how quickly the transcript is needed and the length of the proceeding.
The current rates are as follows:
- Regular delivery (more than two weeks) - $3.30 - $4.30 per page.
- Expedited delivery (within two weeks) - $4.40 - $5.40 per page.
- Daily delivery (same day) - $5.50 - $6.50 per page.
Be advised that if a defendant is appealing a judgment and has been granted poor person relief by the Appellate Division, all pertinent minutes will be provided by the court reporter to the Appellate Division free of charge to the defendant. Application for poor person relief by a defendant who has filed a notice of appeal must be made directly to the Appellate Division, First Department, at 27 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010, 212-340-0400. Forms to request poor person relief are available in the Appeals Bureau of the Supreme Court, located at 100 Centre Street, Room 1201, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-3932.
The Central Clerk's Office maintains files from 1992 to the present. In addition, all sealed files are on the premises. It is necessary to have the indictment number for the particular file you are requesting. The indictment number should be listed on any document or communication from the court. The indictment number can also be obtained if you know the date and part in which the case was on the court's calendar. Court calendars can be found in either the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000, or in the court part in which the proceeding took place.
To order a file not on-site, contact the Central Clerk's Office at the above telephone number. Requests are submitted each Monday to our storage facility and files are delivered on Thursday of each week.
To obtain a certificate of disposition, bring the following information to the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000.
- Indictment or SCI number.
- Defendant's full name.
- Defendant's date of birth.
If you are the defendant on a sealed case, you must bring a picture I.D. If requesting a disposition for a defendant who has a sealed case, you must submit a notarized letter from the defendant giving permission to release the disposition. Certificates of disposition cost $10.
Certificates of Disposition are also available through the mail. Send a $10 certified check or money order together with the information listed above to:
100 Centre Street
New York, NY 10013
If a case results in an acquittal, dismissal, or Youthful Offender (Y.O.) adjudication, the records are automatically sealed at the time of the disposition. Except for these circumstances, there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Law for the sealing or expunging of a conviction.
You will need a copy of your Property Clerk's Receipt, a release from the District Attorney's office, and a certificate of disposition from the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000. These items must be taken to the NYC Police Department's Property Clerk's Office, located at Police Headquarters, One Police Plaza, Room S-20, Avenue of the Finest and Madison Street, where vouchered property can be retrieved. To get there, take the 4, 5, or 6 train to the Brooklyn Bridge Station or the M15 bus to St. James Place and Pearl Street.
For more information, go to the following web site: http://www.nyc.gov/. Under "Jump to City Agency Web sites," select "Police." Then use the "Search" and type in "property clerk."
How do I apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities?
To apply for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities, obtain a form from the Central Clerk's Office, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013 646-386-4000. The form must be completed, notarized, and returned to the Central Clerk's Office at the above location.
The form then must be signed by the sentencing judge, sealed and given to the Probation Department. The Probation Department will prepare a report and submit it to the judge with a recommendation. The judge will then render a decision either granting or denying the request.
A judge may not grant such relief if a state prison sentence was imposed. In such a case, an application must be made to: Certificate Review Section, NYC Division of Parole, 97 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, 518-473-9400 or 518-474-3693.
If you are the defendant on a sealed case, you may have access to your own records upon presentation of a picture I.D. to a clerk in the Central Clerk's Office, located at 100 Centre Street, Room 1000, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-4000. Anyone other than the defendant must get an unsealing order signed by a Supreme Court judge. By statute, unsealing orders are available only under certain circumstances.
The Office of Court Administration has a procedure for providing electronic searches of criminal history records upon request. New York County is one of 13 counties for which a search is available. Searches in New York County go back as far as 1976. The search fee is $95 per name, per county. Applications may be filed in person weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at:
NYS Office of Court Administration
Office of Administrative Services
Criminal History Record Search
25 Beaver Street (Room 840-Front Counter)
New York, NY 10004
To receive an application or for more information, call 212-428-2810.
If you wish to obtain a copy of your own criminal history record, you may also contact one of the following:
1) Legal Action Center
225 Varick Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY, 10014
Appointments to get copies of Criminal History Reports (rap sheets) can be made Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They do not take walk-in's. You must make an appointment with the Rap Sheet Coordinator.
2) Police Headquarters
One Police Plaza (between Avenue of the Finest and Madison Street)
New York, NY 10002
A request should be made for an "Albany Package." There is a $15 fee for fingerprinting (money orders only). It is the responsibility of the person requesting the "rap sheet" to send the fingerprints, the form provided in the "Albany Package", and a money order for $25 for the processing fee to Albany.
Contact the Legal Action Center, 153 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014, 212-243-1313. A copy of their manual "How to Get and Clean Up Your New York Rap Sheet" will tell you all you need to know to correct rap sheet mistakes. There is no cost for this service.
A notice of appeal must be served within 30 days of sentence on the New York County District Attorney's office, located at One Hogan Place, New York, N.Y 10013, and filed within 30 days of the sentence with the Appeals Bureau of the Supreme Court, located at 100 Centre Street, Room 1201, New York, NY 10013, 646-385-3932. If applicable, attached to the notice of appeal should be a request for poor person relief which states that the appellant cannot afford to hire an attorney due to insufficient income and assets. Forms to request poor person relief and profile statements are available in the Appeals Bureau at the above location. For more information, defendants should refer to the written notice of their right to appeal, received from their trial attorney after the pronouncement of sentence.
Post judgment motions must first be served on the New York County District Attorney's Office, located at One Hogan Place, New York, N Y 10013, then filed with the Motion Support Unit of the Supreme Court located at 100 Centre Street, Room 1007, New York, NY 10013, 646-386-3860.
How do I file a Writ of Habeas Corpus?
Supreme Court - New York County - Criminal Term
1. Take the Writ and Verified Petition to 60 Centre Street, New York County - Supreme Court - Civil Term. Purchase an index number from the County Clerk's Office, Room 141B. NO WRIT WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT AN INDEX NUMBER. The Legal Aid Society does not have to pay the required fee, but must demonstrate to the County Clerk that the defendant is represented by the Society.
2. Take the Writ to the Ex-Parte Motion Part at 60 Centre Street, Room 315 (3rd floor). Submit the Writ and Verified Petition to the clerk. The Writ MUST be signed by a Civil Term Supreme Court Judge assigned to this Ex-Parte Motion Part. The Writ must also be recorded in the Ex-Parte Motion Part.
3. If it is necessary for the Writ to be returnable the same day it is signed, PRIOR to going to the Ex-Parte Motion Part at 60 Centre Street, you must obtain permission from the Judge assigned to the Grand Jury Part (generally Part 60 or Part 70) at Supreme Court - Criminal Term, 100 Centre Street. Both Parts 60 and 70 are located on the 11th floor. Once you have permission to add this matter to the calendar, you must return to the Ex-Parte Motion Part at 60 Centre Street, Room 315, as described above. You must tell the clerk to make the Writ returnable on that day. You may be asked to add in handwriting to the Writ that you have already obtained permission for it to be returnable the same day.
4. You must serve a copy of the Writ and Verified Petition on the Office of the District Attorney, 1 Hogan Place , 7th floor.
5. Take the signed original Writ and Petition with proof of service on the District Attorney's Office to the motion clerk at Supreme Court, 100 Centre Street, Room 1000 (10th floor). DO NOT take the Writ directly to the court part.
6. The motion clerk will docket the Writ and add it to the appropriate court calendar.
7. If you wish the defendant to be produced before the court on the day the Writ is returnable, you must serve the Department of Corrections with the Writ after it is served on the District Attorney's Office. A defendant cannot be produced for a Writ made returnable the same day it is signed. If the defendant's production is waived, there is no need to serve the Writ on the Department of Corrections.
8. After the Writ is heard, if you wish to obtain a certified copy of the Judge's decision on the Writ, ask the part clerk to return the Writ to the motion clerk. A certified copy can then be obtained from the clerk in Room 1000. The Appellate Division requires a certified copy of the Court's decision on a Writ in order to file an appeal.
Appellate Division Procedure
1. Agree with the Assistant District Attorney to an expedited briefing schedule for the appeal. If there is no agreement, both the defense attorney and the Assistant District Attorney must go to the Appellate Division at 27 Madison Avenue at 25th Street, New York City, to obtain a court ordered expedited schedule.
2. To file an appeal, the following must be provided to the Appellate Division:
- A Stipulation of Expedited Briefing schedule
- Two Notes of Issue
- A Brief on Appeal, including a Rule 5531 statement
- A Record on Appeal, under separate cover, including a certification of accuracy (Rule (?) 2105)
- A Request for oral argument
- An affidavit of Service of all the above documents on the District Attorney's Office