The Town of Bethlehem Court will be closed Thursday, April 27th
from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm.
Town justice courts play a vital role in the New York State Unified Court System. Town courts have broad jurisdiction, and they hear both civil and criminal matters.
On the civil side, the Town Court hears actions seeking monetary awards up to $3,000 and small claims proceedings for awards of up to $3,000. The court also handles landlord/tenant matters that may result in an eviction as well as a money judgment for back rent that is due. The Town Court also hears small claims proceedings intended to provide a low-cost, simplified and informal procedure for individuals to resolve disputes involving limited monetary claims. Often, individual litigants do not use an attorney in these matters and are not required to do so.
On the criminal side, the Town Court is authorized to handle matters involving the prosecution of misdemeanors and violations that are committed within the town's geographic boundaries. The Town Court also conducts arraignments and preliminary hearings in felony matters. In addition, the court hears Vehicle and Traffic Law misdemeanors and traffic infractions.
Town justices are required to be on-call 24 hours a day and are often called upon to arraign misdemeanor and felony charges as well as to act as Family Court judges when Family Court is not in session. In cases involving domestic violence, the judges are also authorized to issue orders of protection.
Any court date should be verified by calling the court office at 518-439-4955, option 5, then option 2. Adjournments will not be granted after noon the day prior to your appearance.
Although younger children are permitted in the courtroom, the court reserves the right to remove any child who is a disruption to the court hearing. We strongly suggest you make provisions to leave younger children at home.
Please be advised that the court has a metal detector through which all parties will have to pass.
Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the court room.
The court clerks can answer questions concerning court procedures, but they are not permitted to give legal advice.
As of August 1, 2011, there will be a $5 fee for all certificates requested through the court. (A service fee of 2.99% of the payment amount will be assessed on all credit card payments.)