Who can use Small Claims
You must be an individual to use Small Claims. Corporations, partnerships, associations or assignees cannot bring actions in Small Claims (see Commercial Claims if you are a corporation, partnership or association).
All claims must be filed in person Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 505 South State Street, Room 130, Syracuse, New York, unless you are out of Onondaga County.
Court is held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. before arbitrators. The case will be scheduled approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the date you file.
To have a Judge hear the case, you must make a request in writing within Five (5) days after receipt of the Summons or plaintiff can request at time of filing.
You may file a claim in Syracuse City Court only if the defendant resides in, is doing business in, or is employed in Onondaga County at the time you start the action. Syracuse City Court has jurisdiction within Onondaga County. The party you are suing must have a street address in Onondaga County as we cannot mail a summons to a P. O. Box. You also have the option to sue in Town or Village Court if the defendant resides outside the City of Syracuse, if claim is less than $3,000.00
Up to $5000 (exclusive of interest and costs) for money damages only. Claims up to $1000 will cost $15.00 to file. If the claim is over $1000 and up to $5000 (Maximum) the fee is $20.00. The fee is payable by cash, certified bank check postal money order or credit card. Small Claims is a "Do It Yourself" court, but you may retain an attorney.
IF YOU ARE AWARDED A JUDGMENT, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO COLLECT THE JUDGMENT. The booklet “A Guide to Small Claims in the NYS City, Town and Village Courts” is available to help explain how to enforce your judgment. The Court cannot make the party pay you.
AGE: You must be 18 years of age or older to bring an action in Small Claims. Otherwise the action must be brought by a parent or guardian.