Public Access to New York Court Records

Search online public court records from New York state courts for free. UniCourt allows you to lookup civil, family law, probate, small claims, labour, personal injury and other cases from New York Superior Courts, Justice Courts, Circuit Courts, & more. With UniCourt, you can look up New York State Court cases, find latest docket information, view case summary, check case status, download court documents, as well as track cases and get alerts on new filings.

At UniCourt, you can look up New York State Court records by case name, case number, party, attorney, judge, case type, docket entry & more. You can filter search results further by date of filing, jurisdiction, case type, party type, party representation, and more.

About the New York Court System

The State of New York is home to around 20 million people, containing about 6% of the total population of the United States. New York State is the fourth largest state in the U.S. and is home to the largest city in the U.S., New York City (NYC). New York City is the most densely populated major city in the country, with approximately 43% of the State's population living in the 305 square miles that comprise the city.

As a result of being such a large state, the New York State Unified Court System has over 3 million cases filed, heard, and processed each year. The Unified Court System consists of 11 distinct trial courts, an Appellate Division with four regional departments, an Appellate Term that hears appeals from certain trial courts in certain regions of the state, and the Court of Appeals — the highest court in the State. About 3,500 judges and justices work in these courts. The New York Court system is home to some of the most influential and famous cases in American history.

With so much legal information passing through New York courts, having easy access to the court records you need is crucial. UniCourt's online app and Court Data APIs provide simple, coherent case information and public records on New York cases, without forcing you to use different court portals and case search platforms for each new court filing or court system.


New York Cases


Court Documents


Docket Entries

Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals is New York's highest court, consisting of a Chief Judge and six Associate Judges appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the NY State Senate. The term length for judges on the Court of Appeals is 14 years. In general, the Court of Appeals hears civil and criminal cases on appeal from the other appellate courts in the State. Typically, its review is limited to questions of law. Cases on constitutional provisions and the death penalty are appealed directly to this court.

The number of petitions brought before the Court each year averages around 1,600. The New York Court of Appeals has decided many of the most important cases in U.S. jurisprudence, including Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., People v. Scott, and MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co.

Intermediate Appellate Courts

Beneath the Court of Appeals is the Appellate Division, a mid-level appellate court broken into four Departments. The Governor designates the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of the Appellate Division in each Judicial Department from among Justices elected to the Supreme Court. The Presiding Justices then serve for the duration of the term for which they were elected to Supreme Court, while the Associate Justices can either serve standard five year terms or shorter terms, depending on which seats they were appointed to fill.

The New York Court System is divided geographically into four judicial departments and 13 judicial districts. The First Judicial Department includes districts 1 and 12. The Second Judicial Department encompasses districts 2, 9, 10, 11, and 13. The Third Judicial Department includes districts 3, 4, and 6. The Fourth Judicial Department of the New York Court System contains districts 5, 7, and 8... [+] Read More

In the First and Second Departments, the Appellate Terms of the Supreme Court handle the appeals of decisions in cases starting in the New York City Civil and Criminal Courts. In the Second Department, the Appellate Terms can also hear appeals from cases that began in the District, City, or Town and Village Courts. In the Third and Fourth Departments, the County Courts can hear appeals of decisions in cases that began in the City Courts and Town and Village Courts.

Further, there are four Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court. Each judicial department has one Appellate Division. The Appellate Divisions can hear both civil and criminal appeals from the trial courts and civil appeals from both the Appellate Terms and County Courts.

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Trial Courts

The New York Trial Courts are the lowest level courts in the state of New York. Each county in New York has its own trial court, with a total of 58 across the state, employing nearly 1,500 judges.

In New York City, the Civil Court of the City of New York handles lawsuits involving claims for damages up to $25,000, small claims for cases involving amounts up to $5,000, and some landlord-tenant matters. Also in NYC, the Criminal Court of the City of New York deals with misdemeanors and lesser offenses, as well as arrangements and preliminary hearings for felonies.

Outside of New York City, District Courts in Nassau and Suffolk counties arraign defendants accused of felonies and handle misdemeanors, lesser offenses, and civil suits involving claims of up to $15,000. City Courts arraign defendants accused of felonies and handle misdemeanors, lesser offenses, and civil suits involving claims up to $15,000. Additionally, some City Courts can handle issues involving small claims up to $5,000, and housing aspects of landlord-tenant matters.

Outside of New York City, Town and Village Justice Courts handle misdemeanors, lesser offenses, and civil suits involving claims up to $3,000. Across New York State, County Courts are located in each county outside of NYC. County Courts have the exclusive authority to conduct trials in felony matters, but share the authority to handle misdemeanors and other minor offenses with local City Courts and Town and Village Courts. Further, County Courts have limited authority over cases involving claims for money damages up to $25,000... [+] Read More

Some trial courts operate both in and outside of NYC. The Supreme Courts in New York hear cases beyond the authority of the lower courts. Outside New York City, Supreme Courts hear civil matters, while the County Courts hear criminal matters. Justices of the Supreme Court are elected to 14-year terms by voters in their respective judicial districts. There are 62 Supreme Courts throughout the State, one in each county.

The remaining trial courts that operate in and out of NYC are the Family Court, the Surrogate's Court, and the Court of Claims, which has exclusive authority over lawsuits seeking money damages against the State.

The New York Trial Courts have heard numerous notable cases in modern U.S. history, including Pierson v. PostEinstein v. 357 LLC, and Kesha v. Dr. Luke.

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Federal Courts

The State of New York is home to one federal appeals court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, and four U.S. District Courts: the Northern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the Western District of New York. New York also has four federal bankruptcy courts: the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York.

The 2nd Circuit handles cases for New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. It has 13 active judges, all of whom are appointed for life by the President of the United States. Typically, three appellate court judges sit on each case panel, but for en banc appeals the full court is empanelled to hear the case. Famous cases from the Second Circuit include United States v. Carroll Towing Co. and Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference vFederal Power Commission.

The four New York-based U.S. District Courts currently have a total of 89 judges, who are all appointed for life. The Southern District, which is also known as the "Sovereign District of New York” for its reputation as a highly independent and nonpartisan court, has courthouses in New York City, White Plains, and Poughkeepsie, NY. The Northern District has locations in Albany, Binghamton, Plattsburgh, Syracuse, and Utica, NY. The Eastern District has courthouses in Brooklyn and Central Islip, NY, while the Western District has locations in Buffalo and Rochester, NY.

NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is an independent state agency that investigates allegations of judicial misconduct against New York state, county, town and village judges. The Commission states that, "All New York State judges are required to observe high ethical standards set out in the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct."

The NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct was first established in 1975, and has considered 61,971 complaints of judicial misconduct since starting operations. The Commission consists of 11 Members, four of which are appointed by the Governor, three by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, and one by each of the four leaders of the State Legislature.

New York Court Statistics

The Chief Administrator of the Courts for the New York State Unified Court System publishes annual reports on New York state court statistics in an effort to fuel legal transparency. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals also publishes annual reports on statistics pertaining specifically to the highest court in the state.

The following statistics are some of the highlights from the Chief Administrator's 2021 Annual Report and the Clerk's 2021 Annual Report.

  • Over 3 million cases were processed through the New York Unified Court System.
  • The New York Court of Appeals disposed of 2,727 matters, including 81 appeals, 988 motions, and 1,658 criminal leave applications.
  • The New York Appellate Division received a total of 13,933 contested matters.
  • 988,222 civil cases were filed with the New York Trial Courts, with 91,426 being part of the Small Claims Assessment Review Program.
  • A total of 663,809 criminal cases were filed in the New York Trial Courts.

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