The Civil Term is composed of specialized departments that help the court run smoothly. Below is a list of those departments and their functions:
- Holiday Recess Information*
- Centralized Motion Part Notice
- What's New - Link to site updates
- Special Notices - This will have special filing procedures, temporary changes in Justices' schedules, and other important information.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) - Mediation is a confidential and informal process where opposing parties meet with a trained, neutral third party to identify issues and explore options that both parties agree on. ADR can be used in a number of departments. For example, the Commercial Division promotes the use of ADR in commercial cases to avoid prolonged litigation. The Matrimonial Mediation Pilot Program links divorcing couples with trained mediators to help them reach agreements on parenting and economic matters.
Civil Commitments / Mental Hygiene - This department handles cases involving mentally ill persons - hospitalized or not - who need court orders to facilitate treatment and/or retention at or release from a mental health facility among other actions.
- Commercial Division - The Commercial Division helps solve complicated commercial disputes.
- Court Help - This office provides free comprehensive procedural advice on Supreme Court matters, such as Special Proceedings (i.e., Article 78), Matrimonial/Family proceedings, Foreclosure and other Real Property/Housing and many other proceedings to unrepresented litigants. This link on the court's website - www.nycourts.gov/courthelp - provides litigants with additional information.
- E-File - The New York State Unified Court System has established “NYSCEF,” a program that permits the filing of legal papers by electronic means with the County Clerk and the court as well as electronic service of papers in those cases.
- Ex-Parte - This office accepts all emergency applications where it is important for the party to see a judge immediately and it also processes ex-parte applications (an application where only one side is heard). Most emergency applications are brought by an order to show cause (a motion where the judge sets the return date, usually on an expedited basis). This office also handles emergency applications concerning foreclosure issues.
- Foreclosure - New legislation requires residential foreclosure conferences for nearly all foreclosures in New York State. Those conferences are scheduled here.
- Guardianship - Handles elder law matters that come under the Mental Hygiene Law, which was created to help those who can no longer help themselves.
Matrimonial (Divorce) - Handles all divorces, including all emergency applications involving divorce.
- Motion Support - Processes notices of motions, notices of petitions, requests for preliminary conferences and proposed orders and judgments as a result of a memorandum issued through motion practice.
For additional information, you may access these departments by clicking on the links above or by choosing from the menu to the left.