Justice Court

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Restriction of access to court facilities by persons who self-identify as at risk of COVID-19

In light of further recent developments in the coronavirus public health emergency in New York State, please be advised of the following updated operational protocols for the trial courts of the Unified Court System, as well as all other Unified Court System Offices:

Effective 5pm on Monday, March 16, pursuant to directive from the Administrative Law Judge, we are postponing all non-essential functions of the court until further notice. All trials, hearings, civil matters are cancelled until further notice. ALL EVICTION PROCEEDINGS ARE HEREBY STAYED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. The court will send written notification in regard to criminal or civil matters for your next appearance date. If you have a pending vehicle and traffic matter, please submit any plea in writing via the USPS. Any payments can be made either via money order through the USPS or via nCourt online payment services at www.paycourtonline.com or 1-888-912-1541. Payments will be processed upon our return. Any pending vehicle and traffic suspension releases will be reported to DMV effective the post-mark date on your letter to the court. DO NOT leave paperwork in the court window as you run the risk of the court not receiving same. Thank you for your cooperation in this regard and stay safe during this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Bethlehem Town Court
518-439-9717

Responsibilities


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.

Civil 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.

Criminal Matters


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


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.

Court Calendar


  • Criminal Court - First and third Tuesday at 4 p.m.
  • Vehicle and Traffic Court - Second and fourth Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.
  • Town and State Police Pre-Conferences - Second and fourth Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.
  • Civil and Small Claims Hearings - Second and fourth Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.

Notices


Please be aware of the following information:
  • Any court date should be verified by calling the court office at 518-439-4955, 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.)
Town Justice, Ryan T Donovan Town Justice, Andrew W Kirby
Honorable Ryan Donovan,
Town Justice

Email | Biography and Term
Honorable Andrew Kirby,
Town Justice

Email | Biography and Term