Bronx Civil Court

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 What Is the Bronx Civil Court?

There are two types of laws in the United States that are meant to punish wrongdoing or compensate victims of illegal acts. These two branches of law are known as criminal law and civil law.

Civil law is the set of laws that address behaviors that cause some injury or harm to another individual or other private party. Civil laws encompass various laws regarding personal civil disputes including personal injury, family law, tort law, business law, labor laws, laws involving contract violations, and other various civil matters. As such, Bronx civil courts hear a variety of different civil matters.

When a person is injured, they are then allowed to file civil lawsuits against the wrongdoer. The legal penalties for any parties found liable for civil violations are generally monetary in nature, but the penalties may also include court-ordered remedies such as an injunction or a restraining order.

The other branch of law in the United States is criminal law. Criminal law addresses behavior considered an offense against society, the state, or the public. If a person is accused of committing a crime, then they will become a criminal defendant.

Then, if a defendant is convicted of a crime, they may be forced to pay criminal fines or lose their freedom by imprisonment. Importantly, criminal cases must follow the rules of criminal procedure in the State of New York.

It is important to note that every state will have its own written laws concerning what constitutes a civil violation according to state law. In the state of New York, and specifically in the Bronx, the laws concerning civil violations may be found in the New York Consolidated Laws, Civil Practice Law and Rules.

There may also be local rules and ordinances in the Bronx that make certain acts prohibited. Violating such local ordinances and rules may result in a civil violation and result in civil fines and penalties.

How Many Civil Courts Are in the Bronx?

According to the New York State Unified Court System, the Bronx has two civil courts:

  • The Bronx Supreme Court: The Bronx Supreme Court handles civil matters that allege over $50,000 in damages
    • Common cases include cases involving labor laws, product liability cases, motor vehicle accident cases, and other torts cases, i.e. civil cases designed to provide relief to persons who have been injured due to the wrongful act of others; and
  • The Bronx Housing Civil Court: The Bronx Housing Civil Court handles a variety of different housing-related issues, including non-payment of rent, holdover issues, harassment, and civil cases involving improper maintenance of housing standards.

Finally, the Bronx also has a Bronx Small Claims Court which is also a part of the New York State Unified Court System. This court is located at 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 104511. Small claims court is a special court where individuals in the Bronx that suffered civil harm can file lawsuits for small amounts of money, typically $5,000 or less.

The Bronx Small Claims Court is designed to provide a simple and inexpensive way for people to resolve civil disputes, without hiring an attorney or going through the typical legal process. Individuals interested in filing a small claims case in the Bronx, may begin their case by contacting the Small Claims Court Clerk. The clerk will then be able to provide them the instructions necessary to initiate their case.

What Types of Cases Are Heard in Civil Court?

Once again, Bronx civil courts hear a variety of different types of cases. In general, most of these cases are tort cases. Although the exact definition of what constitutes a tort varies by state, the legal term “tort” refers to a violation in which one person inflicts damage, injury, or harm to another person.

Such violations may occur due to the intentional actions of an individual, the negligent actions or inaction of an individual, or a violation of certain laws. In New York, a tort is defined broadly as any wrongful act, not including a breach of contract claim, that results in harm to another person, their property, reputation, or the like, that the legal system can remedy.

In other words, any injury that is caused to another person that does not fall under breach of contract law may be considered a tortious action in New York. Once again, if a tort is committed in the Bronx, New York law grants the victim the legal right to civilly sue the person who allegedly harmed them. This right to sue is known as a “cause of action.”

Tort laws in New York include dozens of different tort causes of action, which result in numerous types of civil cases being heard, such as those listed above. In addition to the cases listed above, examples of the most common types of cases heard in civil court include:

  • Cases involving the negligent actions of another person;
  • Cases involving the fraudulent actions of another person;
  • Cases involving intentional physical torts such as civil battery;
  • Cases involving intentional property torts such as conversion or other theft crimes; and
  • Cases involving emotional torts, such as defamation, libel, slander, and/or an invasion of privacy.

If an individual is successful in their particular court case by proving all of the necessary elements required, then they will then be able to present their damages claim and hold the party responsible for their injuries accountable.

In addition to the above cases involving injuries to one’s person or property, the other major type of cases that makeup a significant portion of the Bronx civil court’s caseload are cases regarding family law matters. The Bronx family court hears a variety of different matters, including issues surrounding:

  • Visitation and custody of children;
  • Advisory matters;
  • Spousal maintenance;
  • Child support;
  • The loss of parental rights;
  • Paternity and adoption; and
  • Child abuse and child neglect matters.

What Are Some Common Remedies Issued in Civil Court?

Once again, most cases heard in Bronx Civil Court involve an injury suffered by one person as a result of the actions or inactions of another party. Examples of common damages that may be available in a civil court case include:

  • Medical Expenses: Plaintiffs (i.e. the individual that was harmed) may be able to recover damages related to hospital and medical costs, including surgery costs, hospital costs, physical therapy costs, and other related expenses;
  • Future Medical Expenses: Plaintiffs may also seek to recover the costs associated with their future medical treatment and expenses if their injury is ongoing;
  • Lost Wages: If a plaintiff was unable to work or had to miss work due to their injuries, they may be able to recover the wages they lost as a result of their injuries;
  • Punitive Damages: In cases in which there is evidence of conduct arising to being a wilful and wanton disregard for other persons’ safety, punitive damages may also be issued by the court to punish the wrongdoer;
  • Property Damages: If there is damage to property, such as a vehicle collision case, then the plaintiff may also include a property damage claim in their lawsuit; and/or
  • Pain and Suffering: Plaintiffs may also be entitled to damages for the physical pain and emotional suffering that they have experienced as a result of their injuries.

In addition to monetary remedies, a Bronx civil court may issue additional civil remedies such as an injunction, which is an order that compels a person to either perform a specific action or refrain from doing an action.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Civil Court Issues?

As can be seen, Bronx civil court claims can often involve a variety of different legal matters, which may often involve complicated legal issues. As such, if you have been civilly injured as a result of the actions or inaction of another party, it may be in your best interests to consult with an experienced Bronx lawyer.

An experienced Bronx civil lawyer will be able to assist you with any civil claims. An attorney can help you determine the party responsible for your damages, and assist you with filing a civil lawsuit against that party. Additionally, an attorney can also represent your interests in court, as needed.

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