The Beekmantown Town Court has jurisdiction over small claims which are cases for money damages not exceeding $3,000. To file a small claim, you must be 18 years or older; otherwise, the action must be brought by a parent or legal guardian. The defendant must reside, work or have a place of business in the Town of Beekmantown. The filing fee is $10.00 or $15.00 according to the amount you are suing for. A corporation may not file a Small Claim in a Town Court, but they may file one in a City Court.
Small claims are mailed by both "Certified Mail - Return Receipt Requested" and by First Class Mail. Therefore, a proper mailing address is required. Post office box addresses are not acceptable. You must also pay for the cost of mailing.
You may download the form needed to file a Small Claims by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. However, you must bring this form to the Court in person. Do not fill out the section dealing with the date and time of the hearing. A Court Clerk will schedule the hearing when you bring the form to the Court. They will also assist you in filling out the form if you have any questions.
Q: Do I need a lawyer in Small Claims Court?
A: Absolutely not, although you may bring one. The procedure is informal and designed to permit individuals to bring and defend claims without being skilled in the law.
Q: I've just received notice of a Small Claim being brought against me. What if I
do not appear?
A: The Court may issue a default judgment against you.
Q: I've brought a small claim to recover damages from an auto accident. How do I prove the damages?
A: Bring a receipted bill for the repairs, or, if you have not had the car repaired, bring at least two itemized estimates of the cost of the repairs.
Q: What if my witness cannot come on the trial date?
A: You may have a problem. If the other side is ready and does not consent to an adjournment, the Court can order the trial to go ahead, even without your witness. If you know in advance that a necessary witness may not appear voluntarily, see the Court Clerk about a subpoena.
Q: Will the judge rule on my case on the same day it's tried?
A: It depends upon the nature of the case. The judge may reserve a decision and
mail it to the parties.
Q: What if I have other questions?
A: For more information, you may pick up a booklet on Small Claims at the Court
office or you may view the booklet on-line by clicking on the link below.
Small Claims Form
A Guide To Small Claims Court
NOTE: A guide To Small Claims Court is in Adobe Acrobat format. You can click on the "Get Acrobat Reader" link below to download the program - there is no charge for it.