Budget troubles are everywhere, which you likely know if you are attempting to sue someone in small-claims court. As a result of that belt-tightening, reports the New York Law Journal, city small-claims courts themselves are cutting back to one night from four per week. This brings the number of weekly small-claims courts to six from 21, and means you’ll need to be available on a Thursday nights between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. for any small claiming.
This will apparently save some $2 million over the next year. Small-claims courts cover claims of less than $5,000, 34,000 of which are filed yearly.
Other cost-cutting courtroom reductions involve ending court proceedings at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m., though there are those who say that restricted hours will mean more adjournments and an added expense to the public. And no more free lunch for jurors! (Wait…we never got a free lunch.)
If your small-claims court date is pending, you’ll get a notification of the change by mail.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 8, 2011