New York Uniform District Court - Article 18 - § 1803 Commencement of Action Upon Small Claim

Uniform District Court 
    § 1803. Commencement of action upon small claim.
    (a)  Small  claims shall be commenced upon the payment by the claimant
  of a filing fee of fifteen dollars for  claims  in  the  amount  of  one
  thousand  dollars or less and twenty dollars for claims in the amount of
  more than one thousand dollars, without the service of  a  summons  and,
  except  by  special  order  of  the  court,  without  the service of any
  pleading other than a statement of his cause of action by  the  claimant
  or  someone  in  his behalf to the clerk, who shall reduce the same to a
  concise, written form and record it in a docket kept especially for such
  purpose. Such procedure shall provide for the sending of notice of  such
  claim  by  ordinary  first  class  mail  and  certified mail with return
  receipt requested to the party complained against at his  residence,  if
  he  resides  within  a  district  of  the  court  in the county, and his
  residence is known to the claimant, or at his office or place of regular
  employment within such a district if he does not reside therein  or  his
  residence within such a district is not known to the claimant. If, after
  the expiration of twenty-one days, such ordinary first class mailing has
  not  been  returned as undeliverable, the party complained against shall
  be presumed to have received notice of such  claim.  Such  notice  shall
  include  a clear description of the procedure for filing a counterclaim,
  pursuant to subdivision (c) of this section.
    Such procedure shall further provide for an  early  hearing  upon  and
  determination  of  such claim. No filing fee, however, shall be demanded
  or received on small claims of employees who shall comply  with  §  1912
  (a)  of  this act which is hereby made applicable, except that necessary
  mailing costs shall be paid.
    (b) The clerk shall furnish every claimant, upon commencement  of  the
  action,  with  information  written in clear and coherent language which
  shall be prescribed and furnished by the office of court administration,
  concerning the small claims court. Such information shall  include,  but
  not be limited to, an explanation of the following terms and procedures;
  adjournments,    counterclaims,    jury   trial   requests,   subpoenas,
  arbitration, collection methods and  fees,  the  responsibility  of  the
  judgment  creditor  to collect data on the judgment debtor's assets, the
  ability of the court prior to entering judgment to order examination  of
  or  disclosure  by,  the  defendant and restrain him, the utilization of
  section eighteen hundred twelve of this article concerning treble damage
  awards and information subpoenas including, but not limited to, specific
  questions to be used on information subpoenas, and the claimant's  right
  to  notify  the  appropriate  state  or  local  licensing  or certifying
  authority of an unsatisfied judgment if it arises out  of  the  carrying
  on,  conducting or transaction of a licensed or certified business or if
  such business appears to be engaged in fraudulent  or  illegal  acts  or
  otherwise   demonstrates   fraud  or  illegality  in  the  carrying  on,
  conducting or transaction of its business and a list  of  at  least  the
  most  prominent state or local licensing or certifying authorities and a
  description of the business  categories  such  licensing  or  certifying
  authorities  oversee.  The  information  shall  be available in English.
  Large signs in English shall be posted in conspicuous locations in  each
  small   claims   court  clerk's  office,  advising  the  public  of  its
    (c) A defendant who wishes to file  a  counterclaim  shall  do  so  by
  filing  with  the  clerk a statement containing such counterclaim within
  five days of receiving the notice of claim. At the time of  such  filing
  the  defendant  shall pay to the clerk a filing fee of five dollars plus
  the cost of mailings which are required pursuant  to  this  subdivision.
  The  clerk  shall  forthwith send notice of the counterclaim by ordinary
  first class mail to the claimant. If the defendant  fails  to  file  the

  counterclaim  in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, the
  defendant retains the  right  to  file  the  counterclaim,  however  the
  claimant  may,  but  shall  not  be  required  to,  request  and  obtain
  adjournment  of  the  hearing to a later date. The claimant may reply to
  the counterclaim but shall not be required to do so.
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Last modified: February 16, 2014