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State of New York

Methods of Judicial Selection: New York

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

Court of Claims
Jurisdiction: cases against the state
Selection of Judges: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate consent
Retention of Judges: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate consent
Qualifications: state resident; state practice > 10 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
Family Court
Jurisdiction: matters involving children and families
Selection of Judges: partisan election*
Retention of Judges: reelection*
Qualifications: state resident; county resident; state practice > 10 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
Surrogate's Court
Jurisdiction: probate of wills; administration of estates; adoptions
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: state resident; county resident; state practice > 10 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
Civil Court
Jurisdiction: City of New York; civil cases < $25,000; small claims < $3,000
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: state resident; city resident; state practice > 10 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
Criminal Court
Jurisdiction: City of New York; misdemeanors; ordinance violations
Selection of Judges: mayoral appointment
Retention of Judges: reappointment
Qualifications: state resident; city resident; state practice > 10 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
District Court
Jurisdiction: civil cases < $15,000; small claims < $5,000; misdemeanors; ordinance violations
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: state resident; county resident; state practice > 5 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
City Court
Jurisdiction: civil cases < $15,000; misdemeanors
Selection of Judges: varies
Retention of Judges: varies
Qualifications: state resident; city resident; state practice > 5 yrs; minimum age of 18; mandatory retirement age of 70
Town Court
Jurisdiction: minor civil and criminal matters
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: state resident; local resident; minimum age of 18

Note: District courts are established in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Note: City courts are established in cities outside of New York City.

*Judges of family courts within New York City are appointed by the mayor.