Surrogate's Court

SURROGATE'S COURT hears cases involving the affairs of decedents, including the probate of wills and the administration of estates. 

Family, Supreme and Surrogate's Courts all have jurisdiction over guardianships of the person and property of infants. Family and Surrogate's Courts also have jurisdiction in adoption proceedings.

Surrogate's Court in the State of New York is the Court where Wills are probated, Estates are administered, Fiduciaries are issued Letters of Appointment, Guardians are appointed and Children are adopted. Some people refer to it as "The Court for Orphans and Widows" but it is really much more. The Surrogate's Court is a Court of Record which means we have information about Estates and other matters within our jurisdiction in files going back as far as 1811. With rare exception these files may be reviewed by members of the Public. Title Searchers, Genealogists and Historians search our files regularly. You may request a search by mail and pay the applicable search fee (see below) and we will search the files for you. For more information about Chautauqua Surrogate's Court please click on any of the links below.

Court Location

Gerace Office Building
Courthouse - PO Box C
Mayville, NY 14757



Hon. Stephen W. Cass
Phone: 716-753-4337
Fax: 716-753-4600

Court Forms & Information

Surrogate's Court Forms (statewide)

Fee Schedules

Surrogate's Court Checklists


NYS Courts Electronic Filing (NYSCEF)

Welcome Genealogists

With few exceptions our files are public records available for inspection between the hours of 9:00 a.m and 4:30 p.m. Our staff will be happy to show you how to use the indices. When you locate the individual whose estate you are interested in, please note the file number and ask one of us to pull the file for you. If the file is more than 50 years old it may be necessary for us to retrieve it for you. While we will try to do it as soon as possible we may not be able to do so while you wait. If you know at least two days in advance when you will be in our area and what files you need by Index Number you may call and we will have the file ready for you.