senate Bill S3159

Makes provisions regarding small claims jurisdiction where claimant is a tenant or lessee of real property owned by defendant that is situated within certain limits

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 31 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Provide for small claims jurisdiction where claimant is a tenant or lessee of real property owned by the defendant and such real property is situated within the county, within a district of the court in the county, within the municipality in which the court is located or within the city of New York, as the case may be.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5351
Versions:
S3159
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Uniform City Court Act
Laws Affected:
Amd §§1801 & 1803, UCCA; amd §§1801 & 1803, UDCA; amd §§1801 & 1803, UJCA; amd §§1801 & 1803, NYC Civ Ct Act
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S441, A5037
2009-2010: S4781A, A6011A
2007-2008: S7651, A5478

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3159

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the uniform city court act, the uniform
district court act, the uniform justice court act and the New York city
civil court act, in relation to obtaining jurisdiction over certain
defendants

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To permit residential tenants fair
access to the small claims courts by letting them sue in the small
claims court located in the area that the rental unit is located.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Makes provisions for small claims court
jurisdiction when the claimant is or was a tenant or lessee, the defend-
ant is the property owner, the claim relates to such tenancy or lease,
and the property is situated within the county.

JUSTIFICATION: Current law places an unfair burden on the tenant in
terms of the return of their security deposit or other claims, which
requires that tenants file a claim in the jurisdiction where the land-
lord's business is located. In SOLOMON V. CORRELL, the judge invites the
Legislature to address this problem.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: On the first of September next succeeding the date it
becomes law, with provisions.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3159

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the uniform city court act, the uniform  district  court
  act,  the  uniform justice court act and the New York city civil court
  act, in relation to obtaining jurisdiction over certain defendants

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section 1801 of the uniform city court act, as amended by
chapter 65 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
S 1801. Small claims defined.
  The term "small claim" or "small claims" as used  in  this  act  shall
mean  and  include  any  cause of action for money only not in excess of
five thousand dollars exclusive of interest and  costs,  or  any  action
commenced by a party aggrieved by an arbitration award rendered pursuant
to  part  137  of the rules of the chief administrator of the courts (22
NYCRR Part 137) in which the amount in dispute does not  exceed  $5,000,
provided  that  the  defendant  either resides, or has an office for the
transaction of business or a regular employment[,] WITHIN THE COUNTY, OR
WHERE THE CLAIMANT IS OR WAS A TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL  PROPERTY  OWNED
BY  THE  DEFENDANT  AND  THE CLAIM RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR LEASE, AND
SUCH REAL PROPERTY IS SITUATED within the county.
  S 2. Subdivision (a) of section 1803 of the uniform city court act, as
amended  by chapter 309 of the laws of 1996, the  opening  paragraph  as
amended  by  section  1 of part B of chapter 686 of the laws of 2003, is
amended to read as follows:
  (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 thou-
sand 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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01254-01-3

S. 3159                             2

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 ordi-
nary  first  class mail and certified mail with return receipt requested
to the party complained against (1) at  his  residence,  if  he  resides
within the county, and his residence is known to the claimant, or (2) at
his  office  or place of regular employment within the county if he does
not reside therein or his residence within the county is  not  known  to
the  claimant, OR (3) WHERE THE CLAIMANT IS OR WAS A TENANT OR LESSEE OF
REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE DEFENDANT  AND  THE  CLAIM  RELATES  TO  SUCH
TENANCY  OR LEASE AND THE NOTICE OF CLAIM CANNOT BE SENT UNDER PARAGRAPH
ONE OR TWO OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AT ANY PLACE IN THE COUNTY OR AN ADJOIN-
ING COUNTY WHERE CLAIMANT MAY MAIL OR OTHERWISE DELIVER RENT AND AT SUCH
REAL PROPERTY.  If, after the expiration of twenty-one days, such  ordi-
nary  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 proce-
dure 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 S 1912 of
this  act which is hereby made applicable, except that necessary mailing
costs shall be paid.
  S 3. Section 1801 of the uniform district court  act,  as  amended  by
chapter 65 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
S 1801. Small claims defined.
  The  term  "small  claim"  or "small claims" as used in this act shall
mean and include any cause of action for money only  not  in  excess  of
five  thousand  dollars  exclusive  of interest and costs, or any action
commenced by a party aggrieved by an arbitration award rendered pursuant
to part one hundred thirty-seven of the rules of the chief administrator
of the courts (22 NYCRR Part 137) in which the amount  in  dispute  does
not  exceed  five  thousand  dollars, provided that the defendant either
resides, or has an office for the transaction of business or  a  regular
employment[,] WITHIN A DISTRICT OF THE COURT IN THE COUNTY, OR WHERE THE
CLAIMANT  IS  OR  WAS  A  TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE
DEFENDANT AND THE CLAIM RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR LEASE, AND SUCH  REAL
PROPERTY IS SITUATED within a district of the court in the county.
  S  4.  Subdivision  (a)  of section 1803 of the uniform district court
act, as amended by section 31 of part J of chapter 62  of  the  laws  of
2003, is amended to read as follows:
  (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 thou-
sand 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 ordi-
nary  first  class mail and certified mail with return receipt requested
to the party complained against (1) at  his  residence,  if  he  resides
within a district of the court in the county, and his residence is known
to  the  claimant,  or  (2) at his office or place of regular employment
within such a district if he does not reside therein  or  his  residence

S. 3159                             3

within such a district is not known to the claimant, OR (3) WHERE CLAIM-
ANT IS OR WAS A TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE DEFENDANT
AND  THE  CLAIM RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR LEASE AND THE NOTICE OF CLAIM
CANNOT  BE  SENT  UNDER PARAGRAPH ONE OR TWO OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AT ANY
PLACE IN THE STATE WHERE CLAIMANT MAY MAIL OR OTHERWISE DELIVER RENT AND
AT SUCH REAL PROPERTY.   If, after the expiration  of  twenty-one  days,
such  ordinary  first class mailing has not been returned as undelivera-
ble, 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 S 1912
(a) of this act which is hereby made applicable, except  that  necessary
mailing costs shall be paid.
  S  5.  Section  1801  of  the uniform justice court act, as amended by
chapter 76 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
S 1801. Small claims defined.
  The term "small claim" or "small claims" as used  in  this  act  shall
mean  and  include  any  cause of action for money only not in excess of
three thousand dollars exclusive of interest and  costs,  provided  that
the  defendant  either  resides, or has an office for the transaction of
business or a regular employment[,] WITHIN THE  MUNICIPALITY  WHERE  THE
COURT IS LOCATED, OR WHERE CLAIMANT IS OR WAS A TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL
PROPERTY OWNED BY THE DEFENDANT AND THE CLAIM RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR
LEASE,  AND SUCH REAL PROPERTY IS SITUATED within the municipality where
the court is located. However, where a judge of the county court, pursu-
ant to subdivision (g) of section three hundred twenty-five of the civil
practice law and rules, transfers a small claim from the town or village
court having jurisdiction over the matter to  another  town  or  village
court within the same county, the court to which it is transferred shall
have jurisdiction to determine the claim.
  S 6. Subdivision (a) of section 1803 of the uniform justice court act,
as  amended  by  chapter  309 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as
follows:
  (a) Small claims shall be commenced upon the payment by  the  claimant
of  a filing fee of ten dollars for claims in the amount of one thousand
dollars or less and fifteen 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 filing system maintained 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 (1) at his  residence,
if he resides within the county and his residence is known to the claim-
ant,  or  (2)  at  his  office or place of regular employment within the
municipality if he does not reside within the county  or  his  residence
within the county is not known to the claimant, OR (3) WHERE CLAIMANT IS
OR  WAS  A  TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE DEFENDANT AND
THE CLAIM RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR  LEASE  AND  THE  NOTICE  OF  CLAIM
CANNOT  BE  SENT  UNDER PARAGRAPH ONE OR TWO OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AT ANY
PLACE IN THE COUNTY OR AN ADJOINING COUNTY WHERE CLAIMANT  MAY  MAIL  OR
OTHERWISE DELIVER RENT AND AT SUCH REAL PROPERTY.  If, after the expira-

S. 3159                             4

tion  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  section
nineteen  hundred  twelve  of  this act which is hereby made applicable,
except that necessary mailing costs shall be paid.
  S 7. Section 1801 of the New York city civil court act, as amended  by
chapter 65 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S 1801. Small claims defined. The term "small claim" or "small claims"
as used in this act shall mean and include any cause of action for money
only  not  in  excess of five thousand dollars exclusive of interest and
costs, or any action commenced by a party aggrieved  by  an  arbitration
award  rendered  pursuant to part 137 of the rules of the chief adminis-
trator of the courts (22 NYCRR Part 137) in which the amount in  dispute
does  not  exceed  five  thousand  dollars,  provided that the defendant
either resides, or has an office for the transaction of  business  or  a
regular  employment[,] WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, OR WHERE CLAIMANT IS
A TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE DEFENDANT AND THE CLAIM
RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR LEASE, AND SUCH  REAL  PROPERTY  IS  SITUATED
within the city of New York.
  S  8. Subdivision (a) of section 1803 of the New York city civil court
act, as amended by section 34 of part J of chapter 62  of  the  laws  of
2003, is amended to read as follows:
  (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 thou-
sand 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 ordi-
nary  first  class mail and certified mail with return receipt requested
to the party complained against (1) at  his  residence,  if  he  resides
within the city of New York, and his residence is known to the claimant,
or  (2)  at his office or place of regular employment within the city of
New York if he does not reside therein or his residence within the  city
of  New  York  is not known to the claimant, OR (3) WHERE CLAIMANT IS OR
WAS A TENANT OR LESSEE OF REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE DEFENDANT  AND  THE
CLAIM RELATES TO SUCH TENANCY OR LEASE AND THE NOTICE OF CLAIM CANNOT BE
SENT UNDER PARAGRAPH ONE OR TWO OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AT ANY PLACE IN THE
STATE  WHERE  PLAINTIFF  MAY  MAIL OR OTHERWISE DELIVER RENT AND AT SUCH
REAL PROPERTY.  If, after the expiration of twenty-one days, such  ordi-
nary  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 proce-
dure 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 S 1912

S. 3159                             5

(a) of this act which is hereby made applicable, except  that  necessary
mailing costs shall be paid.
  S  9.  This  act  shall  take  effect  on  the first of September next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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