Village Court

In the state of New York, smaller courts in villages are typically called “village court.” These courts are the same as justice courts, and they are where drivers go to fight traffic tickets.

Justices and court clerks in village courts receive their training from OCA, but there is still variability in how each judge handles cases. In some villages, a ticket will be dismissed if the issuing officer does not appear to give testimony. In other villages, the case is adjourned to give the officer a second chance to appear.

In some village courts, police are granted the right to prosecute their own tickets. In others, it is an attorney acting as prosecutor. In still other courts, State Troopers and Deputies are permitted to prosecute their own tickets, but an attorney will prosecute tickets written by local police officers.

Larger village courts often have heavy caseloads. In these instances, it can take hours for a case to be heard and decided upon. Smaller villages have such a light caseload that they may only meet once a month. If a misdemeanor occurs in a village, it is also heard in the village court.

In many states, court systems tend to be the same as you move from city to city. New York is the exception to this rule, having no stringent set of guidelines on how village courts must operate. Those appearing in village court should not assume that they will have the same experience from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.