The Town of Hyde Park Justice Court handles minor civil and criminal litigation and the early stages of major criminal litigation arising within the town limits.
This court has wide-ranging jurisdiction but is limited in some situations in what it can do. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as a court of "inferior jurisdiction." Such courts include some of the oldest of the state - town justices date back to the seventeenth century. The courts follow sections of the Uniform Court Acts, enacted by the New York State Legislature, which assure that procedures they followed are substantially the same throughout as other courts the state.
Town Board Members
Until 1934, justices of the peace were members of the town board and thus had legislative as well as judicial functions. In 1934, the Town Law, substituted town councilmen for justices on the town board in some towns and in 1976, the Town Law was amended again to preclude all town justices from serving on town boards during the tenure of their judicial office.
Outline of the Court System
There are two Town Justices in Hyde Park and they are elected positions with 4 year terms. Although they each hold court sessions separately, the Court Reorganization Amendment of 1962 and the Uniform Justice Court Act of 1966 require them to be considered justices of a single court.
The proceedings of each of them separately are treated as acts of the single Justice Court of the Town of Hyde Park. The Town Justices deal with many problems, including:
- Bill collection cases
- Complex commercial litigation
- Felony hearings
- Small claims suits
- Simple traffic offenses
The justices can also perform civil marriage ceremonies. Court is held in the Police/Court building at:
1 Cardinal Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538